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Introduction to Psychology

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Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Lesson 36
Definitions of Abnormal Behavior
3. A Sense of Personal Discomfort Seen As Abnormality
A person is seen as abnormal if his thoughts and behavior are a source of discomfort for him.
Discomfort can be in the form of anxiety, distress, or guilt.
4. Inability to function effectively
People, who cannot function and perform as effectively as they ought to, are seen as abnormal.
This definition includes adjusting, and adapting to the social requirements.
5. The Legal Definition of Abnormality
·  Laws in different countries define abnormality according to their legal standards.
·  It is primarily needed for differentiating sanity from insanity.
·  Abnormality may be viewed as not being able to foresee and understand the consequences of
the criminal act.
Or it can be taken as inability to control one's own thoughts and behaviors.
Or it can be the ability to see right as different from wrong.
Perspectives on Abnormality
Approaches to studying, describing, understanding, explaining, and predicting abnormality.
These approaches affect the way a mental patient will be treated.
1. Medical Perspective
Psychological problems are caused by physiological factors.
These can be the biological processes and systems, genetic factors, the nervous system and the
neurotransmitters, hormonal changes, or external variables affecting the biology of a person.
2. Psychodynamic Perspective
Childhood experiences are the root cause of mental disorders.
Unconscious determinants are significant.
3. Behavioral Perspective
Abnormal behavior is learned.
Abnormality is a learned response.
It results from our interaction with the external world.
4. Cognitive Perspective
The factors causing mental disorders are a person's cognitions, thoughts, and beliefs.
5. Humanistic Perspective
People's need to self-actualize, and their responsibility for their own actions, play a central role
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
in abnormality behavior.
6. Sociocultural Perspective
The social milieu in which one lives, the family and the people around, the society, and the
culture at large are of primary importance in the onset, and later treatment, of mental illness
Classification of Mental Disorders
Kraepelin gave the first classification system of mental disorders.
A number of classification systems followed afterwards.
The purpose was to assist the clinicians diagnose mental disorders, as well as to determine the
extent of the problem.
Classification Systems
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders is the classification system compiled by
the American Psychiatric Association.
This is the most widely used classification system all over the world.
ICD: International Classification
For decades, mental health professionals in Western Europe and a major part of the world used
this classification system.
The World Health Organization developed ICD.
ICD is a comprehensive classification system of all kinds of diseases, including psychological or psychiatric illnesses.
For a number of years ICD9 remained a popular diagnostic system.
Research, in the last more than a decade, reflected that the revised and improved versions of
DSM had an edge over ICD in many respects.
Besides, there were no major differences as such in the two systems.
Also, the need for a single universally accepted system was intensely felt.
Therefore today DSM-IV-TR is recognized as a universally accepted diagnostic system.
The first DSM was published in 1917.
It originated from a project of the American Medico-Psychological Association, now known as
American psychiatric Association and United States Bureau of the Census.
In order to collect uniform data on hospitalized mental patients, they developed a list of 59
mental illnesses.
The list was further expanded with the publication of the first DSM in 1952.
The first DSM included a list of 106 mental illnesses.
DSM-II was published in 1968.
DSM-III was published in 1980.
DSM-III-R was published in 1987.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
·  DSM-IV was published in 1994.
·  DSM-IV was developed after a special 27-member task force of experts worked for five years.
·  More than 1000 psychiatrists contributed and advised in deciding about the diseases and other
information to be included in DSM-IV.
DSM-IV-TR was published in 2000.
DSM-IV-TR contains definitions of more than 200 mental disorders.
These disorders are organized into 17 major categories.
Multi Axial System of DSM-IV-TR
DSM-IV-R also contains five axes, or five types of information, that have to be considered in
the diagnosis of a patient.
Axes of DSM-IV-TR
·  Axis I: Clinical disorders
·  Axis II: Long standing problems that are frequently overlooked in the presence of disorders
listed in axis mental retardation, personality disorder, and I.
Axis III: General medical conditions that may be relevant to a psychological disorder.
Axis IV: Psychosocial or environmental problems that a person is facing.
These problems may affect the diagnosis, treatment, or the course of the mental disorder.
Axis V: Global Assessment Of Functioning.
Major Categories of Disorders in DSM-IV-TR
Anxiety disorders
Somatoform disorders
Dissociative disorders
Mood disorders
Personality disorders
Sexual disorders
Substance-related disorders
Delirium, dementia, amnesia, and other cognitive disorders.
Anxiety Disorders
Disorders in which anxiety becomes an impediment in a person's routine functioning.
Anxiety is a reaction to real or imagined threat that may hamper the daily functioning and
results in uneasiness, worry, and apprehension.
In anxiety disorders, anxiety occurs without an obvious external cause, to an extent that it
affects routine functioning of the person.
·Stress is the part of daily routine in a person's life but the reactions to stress vary from
individual to individual.
·Anxiety is one of the various reactions to stress.
·Whether or not one will develop anxiety, and to what extent, will depend on the nature
of stress faced, family history, and fatigue or over work, and the person's coping strategies.
Major symptoms of stress include
·  Sleeplessness
·  Headaches
·  Twitching and trembling
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Dry mouth
Memory problems
Muscle tension
Common causes are
·  Imagined threat
·  Grief
·  Physical or emotional stress
·  Use of drugs
·  Withdrawal from drugs.Subcategories of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder
Panic disorder
Phobic disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Post- traumatic stress disorder
Treatment can be done through
·  Finding the actual cause of anxiety.
·  Avoid becoming dependent on mood altering drugs.
·  Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol etc.
·  Biofeedback and relaxation therapy.
·  Aerobic exercises.
·  Avoid the effects that have been produced due to anxiety, if anxiety is cured, the
other symptoms will be resolved automatically. Generalized Anxiety Disorders
The disorder marked by long-term, persistent, anxiety and worry.
It refers to the long- term anxiety in which there is continual and exaggerated state within the
person due to which he/ she is continually tense, apprehensive and in automatic nervous
system arousal.
Chronic form of anxiety disorders.
Causes include
·  Hereditary causes,
·  Or this disorder begins at very early age and the revealing of the symptoms is gradual not burst.
Treatment involves
·  Medications and use of psychotherapy,
·  Exposure therapy,
·  Behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Symptoms involve
·  People with this disorder are unable to relax,
·  Insomnia
·  Trembling,
·  Muscle tension,
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Head aches, sweating,
Feel tiredness,
Depression etc.Panic Disorder
·  Disorder in which anxiety is manifested in the form of panic attacks lasting from a few seconds
to many hours.
Panic attacks are unpredictable; resulting from vague anxiety and that may accompany
physiological manifestations.
Symptoms include:
·  Dizziness and/or fainting
·  Sweating
·  Trembling
·  Palpitation
·  Nausea
Fear of dying
Fear of being out of control
Skin blushing or flushing
Chest pain and discomfort
Sleep disturbances
Facial paralysis etc.Causes involve
·  Use of drugs and stimulants.
·  As a result of some incident or risk factor.
·  The exact cause of panic attacks is still not known; may result due to temporal
dysfunction of the brain or may have been learnt through past experiences.
·  More frequent in women than men.
Prognosis: The disorder is difficult to treat and long- lasting as well, but behavioral therapies and use of
drugs can minimize the symptoms.
Phobias are the particular, persistent, irrational and intense paralyzing fear of some objects and
situations that they are unable to explain and overcome; and that may occur without any actual
Symptoms include
·  Perspiration
·  Frustration,
·  Rapid heart beat
·  Headaches etc.
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?:Theoretical perspectives of psychology
  3. SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT:Biological Approach, Psychodynamic Approach
  4. PERSPECTIVE/MODEL/APPROACH:Narcosis, Chemotherapy
  5. THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH/ MODEL:Psychic Determinism, Preconscious
  6. BEHAVIORAL APPROACH:Behaviorist Analysis, Basic Terminology, Basic Terminology
  8. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (I):Scientific Nature of Psychology
  9. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (II):Experimental Research
  11. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT:Socio- Cultural Factor, The Individual and the Group
  12. NERVOUS SYSTEM (1):Biological Bases of Behavior, Terminal Buttons
  13. NERVOUS SYSTEM (2):Membranes of the Brain, Association Areas, Spinal Cord
  14. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM:Pineal Gland, Pituitary Gland, Dwarfism
  15. SENSATION:The Human Eye, Cornea, Sclera, Pupil, Iris, Lens
  16. HEARING (AUDITION) AND BALANCE:The Outer Ear, Auditory Canal
  17. PERCEPTION I:Max Wertheimer, Figure and Ground, Law of Closure
  18. PERCEPTION II:Depth Perception, Relative Height, Linear Perspective
  19. ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS:Electroencephalogram, Hypnosis
  20. LEARNING:Motor Learning, Problem Solving, Basic Terminology, Conditioning
  21. OPERANT CONDITIONING:Negative Rein forcer, Punishment, No reinforcement
  22. COGNITIVE APPROACH:Approach to Learning, Observational Learning
  23. MEMORY I:Functions of Memory, Encoding and Recoding, Retrieval
  24. MEMORY II:Long-Term Memory, Declarative Memory, Procedural Memory
  25. MEMORY III:Memory Disorders/Dysfunctions, Amnesia, Dementia
  26. SECONDARY/ LEARNT/ PSYCHOLOGICAL MOTIVES:Curiosity, Need for affiliation
  27. EMOTIONS I:Defining Emotions, Behavioral component, Cognitive component
  28. EMOTIONS II:Respiratory Changes, Pupillometrics, Glandular Responses
  29. COGNITION AND THINKING:Cognitive Psychology, Mental Images, Concepts
  31. PERSONALITY I:Definition of Personality, Theories of Personality
  32. PERSONALITY II:Surface traits, Source Traits, For learning theorists, Albert Bandura
  33. PERSONALITY III:Assessment of Personality, Interview, Behavioral Assessment
  34. INTELLIGENCE:The History of Measurement of Intelligence, Later Revisions
  35. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:Plato, Aristotle, Asclepiades, In The Middle Ages
  36. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR I:Medical Perspective, Psychodynamic Perspective
  37. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR II:Hypochondriasis, Conversion Disorders, Causes include
  38. PSYCHOTHERAPY I:Psychotherapeutic Orientations, Clinical Psychologists
  39. PSYCHOTHERAPY II:Behavior Modification, Shaping, Humanistic Therapies
  40. POPULAR AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY:ABC MODEL, Factors affecting attitude change
  41. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY:Understanding Health, Observational Learning
  42. INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY:‘Hard’ Criteria and ‘Soft’ Criteria
  43. CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Focus of Interest, Consumer Psychologist
  44. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Some Research Findings, Arousal level
  45. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Origin and History of Forensic Psychology