Notes for last third of course01

Notes for last third of course01 - Abnormal Psychology...

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Abnormal Psychology “Abnormal” Psychology - a.k.a. mental disorders, mental illness, psychopathology - “Abnormal” assumes that we know what normal is. o So, abnormal differs from the norm Diagnosing Mental Disorders - Similar to physical diagnosis - Doctor asks symptoms, doctor decides the problem - Count symptoms o If an individual has a certain amount of symptoms, the doctor can make the diagnosis - Symptom = single characteristic - Syndrome = grouping of interrelated symptoms - Diagnose syndrome by looking at symptoms - Use a book to diagnose syndromes: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders (DSM- IV, 2000) o “Holy” book of diagnoses o Has a number of syndromes listed in book E.g. autism: series of symptoms. To give the diagnosis, one has to meet a certain number of symptoms. o Growth of DSM There have been 4 revisions More pages, more diagnoses over the years Some syndromes are falling out (e.g. homosexuality) Change in DSM reflects social influences on how we go about diagnosing disorders - Diagnosis: other features o Are symptoms producing distress? o Are they interfering with daily function? o Do they occur frequently? o Are behaviors involuntary? o Do symptoms produce a general way of responding? - Gender differences in mental disorders o Females are diagnosed more frequently with depression Does this truly prove that women are more commonly depressed? Not necessarily – women are more likely to admit depression and seek psychological help o Males are diagnosed more frequently with alcohol addiction Does this mean that women are more likely to be addicted to drugs/alcohol? Not necessarily – if men feel depressed, or sad, they are more likely to self- medicate - Gender bias in diagnosis (Ford and Widiger, 1989) o 2 case studies
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One they made up showing a histrionic personality disorder. There were two versions of this case study: one was a man, one was a woman. Histrionic = people who are attention-seeking, emotional, dramatic, shallow emotions, etc. The other case study they made up showing antisocial problems. There were two versions of this case study: male and female versions. Antisocial = disregard for authority, no guilt or shame, irresponsible, harming others, etc. o Gave these 4 case studies to clinical doctors and looked to see if diagnosis demonstrated gender bias Females are more likely to be given a diagnosis of histrionic, even when the case study was antisocial Males are more likely to be given diagnosis of antisocial, even when the case study was histrionic o Conclusion: diagnosis depends on what we expect from men and women. Perspectives on Mental Illness (how we see cause of disorder and how we treat that disorder) - Biological Perspective o Disruption of biological processes o Genetic factors of mental disorders (twin studies) o Differences in brain function o Treatment: biological intervention = drugs Depression – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
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This note was uploaded on 05/29/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Multiple during the Spring '08 term at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Notes for last third of course01 - Abnormal Psychology...

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