ch 2 notes - CH 2: CAUSES OF ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR The cause or...

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CH 2: CAUSES OF ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR The cause or etiology of most abnormal behavior remains a mystery Early cultures: reference to demonology, witchcraft, and other less-than-scientific descriptive accounts 20 th century: many psychologists have argued for 1 of 4 broad theories/paradigms explaining the etiology biological psychodynamic cognitive behavioral humanistic Most psychologists now recognize that abnormal behaviors is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors ( biopsychosocial model ) Biological Paradigm Looks for biological abnormalities that might cause abnormal behavior (brain disease, brain injury, genetic disorder) Psychological symptoms can be caused by physical disease Ex: General Paresis Psychological symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, decreased cognitve functioning, irritability Attributed to syphilis infection that damages nerves in brain Gave hope that scientists would discover biological causes for other mental disorders To date, biological causes have been identified for only some cognitive disorders and for half of all cases of mental retardation. Likely that specific biological causes will be discovered for a small percentage of mental disorders. Psychodynamic Paradigm
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An outgrowth of the writings of Freud, but includes other theorists’ influence Asserts that abnormal behavior is caused by unconcious mental conflicts that have roots in early childhood Ex: hysteria Physical symptoms (blindness, paralysis, difficulty speaking, heaviness in limbs, difficulty breathing) in the absense of physical dysfunction Thought to be a female-only prorblem originating in the uterus Freud talked to women w/ hysteria and concluded it was caused by psychological trauma Traumatic events: unbearable emotional reactions altered state of conciousness hysteria symptoms Symptoms could be relieved when traumatic memories were recovered and put into words Psychoanalytic theory – mind divided into 3 parts Id : houses basis biological drives (hunger, sex, aggression); instinct Operates according to pleasure principle and seeks to avoid pain/suffering Unconscious awareness Ego : must deal with realities of the world as it attempts to fulfill id’s desire for pleasure without bringing about long-term problems; plays an organizing role in making sense of thoughts & world; reason Operates according to reality principle Mostly conscious awareness Superego : aims to guide behavior according to rules, ideals, and societal standards while criticizing and governing id impulses; conscience Defense mechanisms – unconscious self-deceptions that reduce conscious anxiety (produced by conflict between id & superego) by distorting anxiety-producing memories, emotions (guilt, shame) and impulses Denial: insistence that an experience, memory, or need did not occur or does not exist. Ex: you completely block a traumatic experience from your memory
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course PSY 242 taught by Professor Messman-moore&walker during the Spring '08 term at Miami University.

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ch 2 notes - CH 2: CAUSES OF ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR The cause or...

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