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Models of Abnormality

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Slides & Handouts by Karen Clay Rhines, Ph.D. Seton Hall University Chapter 3 Models of Abnormality Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 6e * Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 6e ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Models of Abnormality


1
Chapter 3
Slides Handouts by Karen Clay Rhines,
Ph.D. Seton Hall University
  • Models of Abnormality

2
Models of Abnormality
  • Paradigms the perspectives used to explain
    phenomena (abnormal behavior for this class)
  • Biological model
  • Psychodynamic model
  • Behavioral model
  • Cognitive model
  • Humanistic-Existential model
  • Sociocultural model

3
The Biological Model
  • Takes a medical perspective
  • Main focus is that psychological abnormality is
    an illness brought about by malfunctioning parts
    of the organism
  • Typically focused on the brain

4
4
5
How Do Biological Theorists Explain Abnormal
Behavior?
  • Brain chemistry
  • Researchers have identified dozens of NTs
  • Examples serotonin, dopamine, and GABA
  • Studies indicate that abnormal activity in
    certain NTs can lead to specific mental disorders
  • Examples depression (serotonin and
    norepinephrine) and anxiety (GABA)

6
How Do Biological Theorists Explain Abnormal
Behavior?
  • Brain chemistry
  • Additionally, researchers have learned that
    mental disorders are sometimes related to
    abnormal chemical activity in the endocrine
    system
  • Hormone release, triggered by a variety of
    factors, propels body organs into action.
    Abnormal secretions have been linked to
    psychological disorders
  • Example cortisol release is related to anxiety
    and mood disorders

7
How Do Biological Theorists Explain Abnormal
Behavior?
  • Sources of biological abnormalities Genetics
  • Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each with
    numerous genes that control the characteristics
    and traits a person inherits
  • Studies suggest that inheritance plays a part in
    mood disorders, schizophrenia, mental
    retardation, Alzheimers disease, and other
    mental disorders
  • Arent able (yet) to identify specific genes
  • Dont know the extent to which genetic factors
    contribute to disorders
  • Seems no SINGLE gene is responsible for a
    particular behavior or disorder

8
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9
How Do Biological Theorists Explain Abnormal
Behavior?
  • Sources of biological abnormalities Viral
    infections
  • Infection provides another possible source of
    abnormal brain structure or biochemical
    dysfunction
  • Example schizophrenia and prenatal viral
    exposure
  • Interest in viral explanations of psychological
    disorders has been growing in the past decade
  • Example anxiety and mood disorders

10
Biological Treatments
  • Biological practitioners attempt to pinpoint the
    physical source of dysfunction to determine the
    course of treatment
  • Three types of biological treatment
  • Drug therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Psychosurgery

11
Biological Treatments
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Currently experiencing a revival
  • Used for depression when drugs and other
    therapies have failed
  • In 60 of cases, ECT can lift symptoms within a
    few weeks

12
Biological Treatments
  • Psychosurgery (or neurosurgery)
  • Historical roots in trephination
  • 1930s first lobotomy
  • Much more precise than in the past
  • Considered experimental and used only in extreme
    cases

13
Assessing the Biological Model
  • Weaknesses
  • Can limit rather than enhance our understanding
  • Too simplistic
  • Evidence is incomplete or inconclusive
  • Treatments produce significant undesirable
    (negative) effects
  • Strengths
  • Enjoys considerable respect in the field
  • Fruitful
  • Creates new therapies
  • Suggests new avenues of research

14
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!
15
The Psychodynamic Model
  • Oldest and most famous psychological model
  • Based on belief that a persons behavior (whether
    normal or abnormal) is determined largely by
    underlying dynamic psychological forces of which
    she or he is not aware
  • Abnormal symptoms are the result of conflict
    among these forces
  • Father of psychodynamic theory and psychoanalytic
    therapy
  • Sigmund Freud (1856 1939)

16
How Did Freud Explain Normal and Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Freud says abnormal behavior is caused by three
    UNCONSCIOUS forces
  • Id guided by the Pleasure Principle
  • Instinctual needs, drives, impulses
  • Sexual fueled by libido (sexual energy)
  • Ego guided by the Reality Principle
  • Seeks gratification but guides us to know when we
    can cant express our wishes
  • Ego defense mechanisms protect us from anxiety

17
How Did Freud Explain Normal and Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Caused by three UNCONSCIOUS forces
  • Superego guided by the Morality Principle
  • Conscience unconsciously adopted from our
    parents
  • These three parts of the personality are often in
    conflict
  • A healthy personality is one in which compromise
    exists among the three forces
  • If the id, ego, and superego are in excessive
    conflict, the persons behavior may show signs of
    dysfunction

18
How Did Freud Explain Normal and Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Developmental stages
  • Freud proposed that at each stage of development,
    new events and pressures require adjustment in
    the id, ego, and superego
  • If successful ? personal growth
  • If unsuccessful ? fixation at an early
    developmental stage, leading to psychological
    abnormality
  • Because parents are the key figures in early
    life, they are often seen as the cause of
    improper development

19
How Did Freud Explain Normal and Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Developmental stages
  • Oral (0 to 18 months of age)
  • Anal (18 months to 3 years of age)
  • Phallic (3 to 5 years of age)
  • Latency (5 to 12 years of age)
  • Genital (12 years of age to adulthood)

20
How Do Other Psychodynamic Explanations Differ
from Freuds?
  • Although current models deviate from Freuds in
    important ways, each retains the belief that
    human functioning is shaped by dynamic
    (interacting) forces
  • Ego theorists
  • Emphasize the role of the ego consider it
    independent
  • Self theorists
  • Emphasize the unified personality over any one
    component
  • Object-relations theorists
  • Emphasize the human need for interpersonal
    relationships

21
Psychodynamic Therapies
  • Range from Freudian psychoanalysis to more modern
    therapies
  • All seek to uncover past trauma and inner
    conflicts
  • Understanding early life experience critically
    important
  • Therapist acts as subtle guide

22
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23
Psychodynamic Therapies
  • Utilize various techniques
  • Free association
  • Therapist interpretation
  • Resistance
  • Transference
  • Dream interpretation
  • Catharsis
  • Working through

24
Assessing the Psychodynamic Model
  • Strengths
  • First to recognize importance of psychological
    theories treatment
  • Saw internal conflict as important source of
    psychological health and abnormality
  • First to apply theory and techniques
    systematically to treatment monumental impact
    on the field
  • Weaknesses
  • Unsupported ideas difficult to research
  • Non-observable
  • Inaccessible to human subject (unconscious)

25
The Behavioral Model
  • Like the psychodynamic perspective, behaviorism
    is deterministic, and is based on the idea that
    our actions are determined largely by our life
    experiences
  • Emphasizes observable behavior and environmental
    factors
  • Focuses on how behavior is acquired (learned) and
    maintained over time

26
The Behavioral Model
  • Historical beginnings in laboratories where
    conditioning studies were conducted
  • Three forms of conditioning (learning)
  • Operant conditioning
  • Modeling
  • Classical conditioning
  • May produce normal or abnormal behavior

27
How Do Behaviorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Operant conditioning
  • Organism operates on environment and produces
    an effect
  • Humans and animals learn to behave in certain
    ways as a result of receiving rewards whenever
    they do so

28
How Do Behaviorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Modeling
  • Individuals learn behavioral responses by
    observing and repeating behavior
  • No direct reinforcement

29
How Do Behaviorists Explain Abnormal Functioning?
  • Classical conditioning
  • Learning by temporal association
  • When two events repeatedly occur close together
    in time, they become fused in a persons mind
    before long, the person responds in the same way
    to both events
  • Father of classical conditioning Ivan Pavlov
    (1849 1936)
  • Classic study using dogs meat powder

30
Classical Conditioning
UR Salivate
US Meat
UR Salivate
Tone
US Meat

CS Tone
CR Salivate
31
How Do Behaviorists Explain Abnormal Functioning?
  • Classical conditioning
  • If, after conditioning, the CS is repeatedly
    presented alone, it will eventually stop
    eliciting the CR
  • This process is called extinction
  • Explains many familiar behaviors (both normal and
    abnormal)

32
Behavioral Therapies
  • Aim is to identify the behaviors that are causing
    problems and replace them with more appropriate
    ones
  • May use classical conditioning, operant
    conditioning, or modeling
  • Therapist is teacher rather than healer
  • Early life experiences important only in
    providing clues to current learning

33
Behavioral Therapies
  • Classical conditioning treatments may be used to
    change abnormal reactions to particular stimuli
  • Example systematic desensitization for phobia
  • Step-by-step procedure
  • Learn relaxation skills
  • Develop a fear hierarchy
  • Confront feared situations (covertly or in vivo)

34
Assessing the Behavioral Model
  • Strengths
  • Powerful force in the field
  • Rooted in empiricism
  • Phenomena can be observed and measured
  • Significant research support for behavioral
    therapies
  • Weaknesses
  • Too simplistic
  • Unrealistic
  • Downplays role of cognition
  • New focus on self-efficacy, social cognition, and
    cognitive-behavioral theories

35
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36
The Cognitive Model
  • Seeks to account for behavior by studying the
    ways in which the person attends to, interprets,
    and uses available information
  • Argues that clinicians must ask questions about
    assumptions, attitudes, and thoughts of a client
  • Concerned with internal processes
  • Present-focused

37
How Do Cognitive Theorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Maladaptive thinking is the cause of maladaptive
    behavior
  • Several kinds of faulty thinking
  • Faulty assumptions and attitudes
  • Illogical thinking processes
  • Example overgeneralization

38
Cognitive Therapies
  • People must be taught a new way of thinking to
    prevent maladaptive behavior
  • Main model Becks Cognitive Therapy
  • The goal of therapy is to help clients recognize
    and restructure their thinking
  • Therapists guide clients to challenge
    dysfunctional thoughts, try out new
    interpretations, and apply new ways of thinking
    in their daily lives
  • Widely used in treating depression

39
Assessing the Cognitive Model
  • Strengths
  • Very broad appeal
  • Clinically useful effective
  • Focuses on a uniquely human process
  • Correlation between symptoms and maladaptive
    cognition
  • Therapies effective in treating several disorders
  • Adapt well to technology
  • Research-based
  • Weaknesses
  • Singular, narrow focus
  • Overemphasis on the present
  • Limited effectiveness
  • Verification of cognition is difficult
  • Precise role is hard to determine

40
The Humanistic-Existential Model
  • Combination model
  • The humanist view
  • Emphasis on people as friendly, cooperative, and
    constructive focus on drive to
    self-actualization
  • The existentialist view
  • Emphasis on self-determination, choice, and
    individual responsibility focus on authenticity

41
Rogers Humanistic Theory and Therapy
  • Basic human need for unconditional positive
    regard
  • If received, leads to unconditional self-regard
  • If not, leads to conditions of worth
  • Incapable of self-actualization because of
    distortion dont know what they really need,
    etc.
  • Rogers client-centered therapy
  • Therapist provides unconditional positive regard
  • Both accurate genuine in reflection (reflective
    listening)
  • Focus on the experiencing person
  • Little research support

42
Existential Theories and Therapy
  • Psychological dysfunction is caused by
    self-deception people hide from lifes
    responsibilities and fail to recognize that it is
    up to them to give meaning to their lives
  • Therapy is focused on patient acceptance of
    personal responsibility and recognition of
    freedom of action
  • Goals more important than technique
  • Great emphasis placed on client-therapist
    relationship

43
Assessing the Humanistic-Existential Model
  • Strengths
  • Emphasizes the individual
  • Taps into domains missing from other theories
  • Non-deterministic
  • Optimistic
  • Emphasizes health
  • Weaknesses
  • Focuses on abstract issues
  • Difficult to research
  • Not much influence
  • Weakened by disapproval of scientific approach
  • Changing somewhat

44
The Sociocultural Model
  • Argues that abnormal behavior is best understood
    in light of the social and cultural forces that
    influence an individual
  • Addresses norms and roles in society
  • Influenced by sociology and anthropology
  • Argues that we must examine a persons social
    surroundings to understand their (abnormal)
    behavior

45
How Do Sociocultural Theorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Focus on
  • Societal labels roles
  • Diagnostic labels (example Rosenhan study)
  • Sick role
  • Social networks and support

46
How Do Sociocultural Theorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Focus on
  • Family structure and communication
  • Family systems theory abnormal functioning
    within family leads to abnormal behavior (insane
    behavior becomes sane in an insane environment)
  • Examples enmeshed, disengaged structures

47
How Do Sociocultural Theorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Focus on
  • Culture
  • Set of values, attitudes, beliefs, history, and
    behaviors shared by a group of people and
    communicated from one generation to the next
  • Multicultural psychology is a growing field of
    study

48
How Do Sociocultural Theorists Explain Abnormal
Functioning?
  • Focus on
  • Religion and spirituality
  • For most of the twentieth century, clinical
    scientists viewed religion as a negative factor
    in mental health but this alienation now seems to
    be ending
  • Researchers have begun to systematically study
    the influence of religion and spirituality on
    mental health
  • Many therapists now address spiritual issues when
    treating religious clients

49
Sociocultural Treatments
  • May include traditional individual therapy
  • Broadened therapy to include
  • Culturally sensitive therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Couple therapy
  • Community treatment
  • Includes prevention work

50
Assessing the Sociocultural Model
  • Strengths
  • Added greatly to the clinical understanding of
    abnormality
  • Increased awareness of labeling
  • Clinically successful when other treatments have
    failed
  • Weaknesses
  • Research is difficult to interpret
  • Correlation ? causation
  • Model unable to predict abnormality in specific
    individuals

51
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52
Integration of the Models
  • Each perspective is valuable to understanding
    abnormal behavior
  • Different perspectives are more appropriate under
    differing conditions
  • An integrative approach provides a general
    framework for thinking about abnormal behavior,
    and also allows for specification of the factors
    that are especially pertinent to particular
    disorders

53
Integration of the Models
  • Many theorists, clinicians, and practitioners
    adhere to a biopsychosocial model
  • Abnormality results from the interaction of
    genetic, biological, developmental, emotional,
    behavioral, cognitive, social, and societal
    influences
  • Also popular
  • Diathesis-stress approach
  • Diathesis predisposition (bio, psycho, or
    social)
  • Reciprocal effects explanation

54
Integration of the Models
  • Integrative therapists are often called
    eclectic taking the strengths from each model
    and using them in combination
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