Abnormal Pyschology

Myer's Psychology for AP: Unit 12

Key Concepts

Medical Model: The concept that diseases, in this case psychological disorders, have physical causes that can be diagnosed,treated, and, in  most cases, cured, often through treatment in a hospital.

DSM-IV-TR: The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, updated as a 2000 "text revision", a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders.

The Vicious Cycle of Depressed Thinking: Cognitive therapists attempt to break this cycle by changing the way depressed people process events. Psychiatrists attempt to alter with medication the biological roots of persistently depressed moods.

Psychological Disorders

Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A psychological disorder marked by the appearance by age 7 of one or more of three key symptoms: extreme inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity

Anxiety Disorders

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): An anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific subject, activity, or situation

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): An anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, and/or insomnia that lingers for four weeks or more after a traumatic experience

Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): A rare dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities. Formerly called multiple personality disorder.

Key People & Experiments

Emily Pronin and Daniel Wegner: Simulated mania's racing thoughts when they invited students to read a series of statements at either double or half the normal reading speed. Those who just raced through the material reported feeling happier, more powerful, more energetic, and more creative. They found that a racing mind arouses an upbeat mood.

David Rosenhan: Rosenhan and seven others went to hospital admissions offices, complaining of "hearing voices" saying empty, hollow, and thud. Apart from this complaint and giving false names and occupations, they answered questions truthfully. All eight normal people were misdiagnosed with disorders. Until being released an average of 19 days later the "patients" exhibited no further symptoms. Yet after analyzing their (quite normal) life histories, clinicians were able to "discover" the causes of their disorders, such as reacting with mixed emotions about a parent. Even the routine behavior of taking notes was misinterpreted as a symptom.

Susan Mineka: Demonstrated that wild monkeys transmit their fear of snakes to their watchful offspring. Human parents similarly transmit fears to their children. Moreover, just observing someone receiving a mild electric shock after a conditioned stimulus produces fear learning similar to that produced by direct experience.  

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