Abnormal Psychology Notes

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Week 1&2 - Chapter 1 – Conceptual Issues in Abnormal Psychology Mental illness: Severe abnormal thoughts, behaviours and feelings cause by a physical illness Affect: Experience of feeling or emotion Dementia: Cognitive disorder in which a gradual decline of intellectual functioning occurs Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): Treatment for mood disorders that involves the induction of a brain seizure by passing electrical current through the patient’s brain while they are anesthetised Psychosurgery: Biological treatment (such as lobotamy0 for a psychological disorder in which a neurosurgeon attempts to destroy small areas of the brain thought to be involved in producing the patients symptoms Prefrontal cortex: Region at the front of the brain important in language, emotional expression, the planning and producing of new ideas, and the mediation of social interactions Biological approach: Theories that explain abnormal behaviours in terms of a biological dysfunction (medical approach) Enlarged ventricles: Fluid-filled spaces in the brain that are larger than the normal and suggest a deterioration in brain tissue Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs): Class of antidepressant drugs (such as fluroxetine) that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin Psychopharmacological treatment: The use of drugs to treat psychological disturbances Psychoanalysis: Form of treatment pioneered by Freud that entails alleviating the unconscious conflicts driving psychological symptoms by helping the patient gain insight into his/her conflicts through techniques such as dream analysis and free association Psychological approaches: Theories that explain abnormality in terms of psychological factors such as disturbed personality, behaviour and ways of thinking Unconscious: In psychoanalytic theory, the part of the personality of which the conscious ego in unaware. Id: In psychodynamic theory, most primitive part of the unconscious; consists of drives and impulses seeking immediate gratification Ego: Part of the psyche that channels libido acceptable to the super ego and within the constraints of reality Super ego: Part of the unconscious that consists of the absolute moral standards internalised from one’s parents and the wider society during childhood Libido: Psychial energy within the id Pleasure principle: Drive to maximise pleasure and minimise pain and quickly as possible

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Reality principle: Idea that the ego seeks to satisfy ones needs within the constraints of reality rather than following the abandon of the pleasure principle Defence mechanisms: In traditional psychoanalytic theory, strategies (such as repression or reaction formation) the ego uses to disguise or transform unacceptable, unconscious wishes or impulses Neurosis: Set of maladaptive symptoms caused by unconscious conflict and its associated anxiety Psychosis: State involving a loss of contact with reality in which the individual experiences symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations Psychodynamic theories: Theories developed by Freud’s followers but usually differing somewhat from Freud’s original psychoanalytic theory Case study method: Research method in which single individuals are studies in detail. Control groups: Group of participants in an experimental study whose experience is the same as that of the experimental group in all ways expect that they do not receive the key manipulation; this allows for the effect of the experimental manipulation to be determined. Double-blind experiments: Experimental study in which both the researchers and the participants are unaware of which experimental condition the participants are in so as to reduce demand characteristics. Validity: In psych testing, degree to which an instrument actually measures what it is intended to measure. In diagnosis, the degree to which diagnostic criteria accurately define the features of disorders....
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