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Flashcards in ch 16 Deck (74):

Abnormal behaviour

behaviour that is personally distressing, personally dysfunctional, and/or so culturally deviant that others judge it to be inappropriate or maladaptive



– sharp tool is used to chisel a hole ~ 2 cm in diameter in the skull


General paresis

disorder characterized in its advanced stages by mental deterioration and bizarre behaviour


Vulnerability-stress model

- model that explains behaviour disorders as resulting from predisposing biological or psychological vulnerability factors that are triggered by a stressor

- also called Diathesis-stress model



consistency with which a measure assess a given characteristic



extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure


DSM-5 says there are 6 basic dimensions of disordered personality functioning:

1) Negative emotionality
2) Schizotypy (odd thinking and behaviour)
3) Disinhibition
4) Introversion
5) Antagonism
6) Compulsivity


David Rosenhan

• He had 8 “pseudo-patients” (5 men, 3 women) go to admissions desk of 12 mental hospitals across the US and complained of hearing voices
• If asked about voices, they said message was unclear, but contained words: hollow, empty, and thud; voice unfamiliar, but same sex as pseudo-patient
• After checking in, they went back to normal, said voices were gone
• All diagnosed with schizophrenia, and discharged with “schizophrenia in remission”
• Stayed in hospital for 7-52 day; average was 19 days



defendant’s state of mind at the time of a judicial hearing (not at time of crime)



– presumed state of mind of defendant at time crime was committed


Anxiety disorder

frequency and intensity of anxiety responses are out of proportion to the situations that trigger them, and the anxiety interferes with daily life


Anxiety responses have 4 components

1) Subjective-emotional – feelings of tension and apprehension

2) Cognitive – subjective feelings of apprehension, sense of impending danger, feeling of inability to cope

3) Physiological – increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, rapid breathing, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, and frequent urination

4) Behavioural – avoidance of certain situations and impaired task performance



- strong, irrational fears of certain objects or situations
- Animal fears are common among women, fear of heights is common among men


Generalized anxiety disorder

chronic state of diffuse or “free-floating” anxiety that is not attached to specific situations or objects


Panic disorder

- occurs suddenly and unpredictably, more intense than GAD
- In most cases, panic attacks occur unexpectedly and in the absence of any identifiable stimulus


Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviour



– repetitive and unwelcome thoughts, images, or impulses that invade consciousness, are often abhorrent to person, and are very difficult to dismiss or control



- repetitive behavioural responses that can be resisted only with great difficulty
- often responses to obsessive thoughts and function to reduce anxiety associated with the thoughts

- Behavioural compulsions are extremely difficult to control → involve checking things repeatedly, cleaing, and repeating tasks endlessly



inhibitory transmitter that reduces neural activity in amygdala and other brain structures that stimulate physiological arousal

• Low levels of GABA may cause people to have highly reactive nervous systems that quickly produce anxiety responses in response to stressors


Neurotic anxiety

- occurs when unacceptable impulses threaten to overwhelm the ego’s defences and explode into action
- Freud


Culture-bound disorders

behaviour disorders whose specific forms are restricted to one particular cultural context


Anorexia nervosa

intense fear of being fat and severely restricting food intake to point of self-starvation


Bulimia nervosa

overly concerned with becoming fat; binge eat, then purge the food



- signal that reduces appetite
- when anorexics begin to eat more, their leptin levels rebound more quickly than their weight gain, making it more difficult to keep gaining weight


Mood disorders

psychological disorders whose core conditions involve maladaptive mood states, such as depression or mania


Major depression

mood disorder characterized by intense depression that interferes with functioning



depressive mood disorder of moderate intensity that occurs over a long period of time but does not disrupt functioning as a major depression does


Depression has 4 types of symptoms:

1) Emotional symptoms → sadness, hopelessness, anxiety

2) Cognitive symptoms → negative congitions about self, world, and future

3) Motivational symptoms → loss of interest, lack of drive, difficulty starting anything

4) Somatic (bodily) symptoms → loss of appetite, lack of energy, sleep difficulties, weight loss/gain


Bipolar disorder

depression alternates with periods of mania



- state of highly excited mood and behaviour that is quite the opposite of depression
- Mood is euphoric, and cognitions are grandiose


Depression (women, twins, adopted)

- Women twice more likely to suffer from unipolar depression
- Women most likely to suffer first episode of depression in 20s, men in 40s
- Identical twins have concordance rate of ~ 67% for clinical depression, 15% for fraternal twins
- Adopted people who have depression, biological relatives 8x more likely than adoptive relatives to have depression


Behavioural activation system (BAS)

a reward-oriented and activated by cues that predict future pleasure


Behavioural inhibition system (BIS)

pain-avoidant and generates fear and anxiety


Mood disorder and BIS/ BAS

- Depression predicted by high BIS sensitivity and low BAS activity
- Mania linked to high BAS


Bipolar disorder and genetics

- Bipolar disorder seems to have a stronger genetic basis than unipolar depression

- Concordance of bipolar disorder is 5x higher in identical twins than in fraternal twins


George Brown and Terrill Harris

• Women who lost their mom before 11 and experienced a severe recent loss had a rate of depression 3x higher than those who only experienced severe recent loss → subsequent losses reactivate original loss. Causing reaction to current event and unresolved loss from past


Depressive cognitive triad

negative thoughts concerning:
(1) the world
(2) oneself
(3) the future


Depressive distributional pattern

– depressed people attribute negative outcomes to their own inadequacies and positive ones to factors outside themselves


Learned helplessness theory

depression occurs when people expect the bad events will occur and that there is nothing they can do to prevent or cope with them


Depression rates and symptoms in diff people

- Western cultures → feelings of guilt and personal inadequacy

- Latin, Chinese, African cultures → somatic symptoms; fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep difficulties

- In US, whites more likely to be depressed than black people → black people experience more sever and disabling symptoms


Suicide rates in people

- Women make 3x more suicide attempts
- Men 4x more likely to actually kill themselves
- Suicide rate for men and women is higher among
those who have been divorced or widowed
- Women’s suicide motivated by failure in love life
- Men’s suicide motivated by failure in occupation


2 fundamental motivations for suicide

1) Desire to end one’s life
2) Desire to manipulate and coerce other people to do what suicidal person wants done


Somatic symptom disorder (somatoform disorders)

physical complaints or disabilities that suggest a medical problem, but have no known biological cause and are not produced voluntarily by person


Pain disorder

experience intense pain that either is out of proportion to whatever medical condition they have or for which no physical basis can be found


Psychophysiological disorders

– psychological factors cause or contribute to a real medical condition, such as ulcer or cardiac problem


Functional neurological symptom disorder (conversion disorder)

serious neurological symptoms (e.g. paralysis, blindness, etc.) suddenly occur


Dissociative disorder

breakdown of this normal integration resulting in significant alternations in memory or identity

can take 3 forms:
1) Dissociative amnesia
2) Dissociative fugue
3) DID


Dissociative amnesia

person responds to stressful event with extensive but selective memory loss


Dissociative fugue

profound and rare dissociative disorder where person loses all sense of personal identity, gives up their customary life, wanders to a new faraway location, and establishes a new identity

o Fugue ends when person suddenly “wakes up”


Dissociative identity disorder (DID)

- two or more separate personalities coexist in the same person

o Primary/ host personality appears more often than the others (called alters)

o Each personality has own set of memories and behaviours


Trauma dissociation theory

development of new personalities occurs in response to severe stress


National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) findings about DID

• Found that voices of alternate personalities were distinct from one another

• Cerebral blood-flow patterns differed among personalities

• When person had right and left-handed personalities → when shifted to left-handed personality, right hemisphere became more active



psychotic disorder that involves severe disturbances in thinking, speech, perception, emotion, and behaviour

•Major subtypes:
- paranoid disorganized
- catatonic
- undifferentiated


Evidence that schizophrenia is genetic

o Twin studies show higher concordance in identical twins than fraternal twins

o Adoption studies show much higher concordance with biological parents than adoptive parents



false beliefs that are sustained in the face of evidence that normally would be sufficient to destroy them



false perceptions that have a compelling sense of reality


Type 1 schizophrenia

predominance of positive symptoms (e.g. delusions, hallucinations, and disordered speech and thinking)

Symptoms are called positive because they represent added pathological extremes of normal processes


Type 2 schizophrenia

negative symptoms (absence of normal reactions) such as lack of emotional expression, loss of motivation, and an absence of normal speech


Brain atrophy

general loss or deterioration of neurons in cerebral cortex and limbic system


Dopamine hypothesis

symptoms of schizophrenia (particularly positive symptoms) are produced by overactivity of dopamine system in areas of brain that regulate emotional expression, moderated behaviour, and cognitive functioning



person retreats to an earlier and more secure stage of psychosocial development in the face of overwhelming anxiety


Expressed emotion

family interaction pattern involving criticism, hostility, and overinvolvement that is associated with relapse when formerly hospitalized schizophrenic patients return home


Social causation hypothesis

attributes higher prevalence of schizophrenia to higher levels of stress that low-income people experience, particularly within urban environments


Social drift hypothesis

as people develop schizophrenia, their personal and occupational functioning deteriorates, so that they drift down the socioeconomic ladder into poverty and migrate to low-cost urban environments


Personality disorders

exhibit stable, ingrained, inflexible, and maladaptive ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving


Antisocial personality disorder

disorder involving behaviour that is interpersonally destructive and emotionally harmful and exhibited a lack of conscience

• Higher rates of concordance for antisocial behaviour in identical twins than fraternal twins
• Heritability between 0.40 and 0.50
• Adoption studies show similar conclusion


Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

collection of symptoms characterized primarily by serious instability in behaviour, emotion, identity, and interpersonal relationships


Emotional dysregulation

inability to control negative emotions in response to stressful life events, many of which borderline individuals themselves cause

• Have intense and unstable personal relationships, and experience chronic feelings of extreme anger, loneliness, and emptiness, as well as momentary losses of personal identity



failure to integrate positive and negative aspects of another’s behaviour into a coherent whole

• As a result, borderline individual may react as if the other person had 2 separate identities, one deserving of love, and the other of hatred


Attention defecit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

problems may take form of inattention, hyperactivity/ impulsivity, or a combo of the two

- 4x more frequent in boys than girls
- Boys more likely to have aggressive and impulsive behaviours
- girls more likely to primarily be inattentive


Autistic spectrum disorder

long-term disorder characterized by extreme unresponsiveness to others, poor communication skills, and highly repetitive and rigid behaviour patterns

• More than 2/3 have intellectual disabilities with IQs below 70, and frequently below 35

• Rest have above-average IQs, but will still have difficulty communicating



exact echoing of phrases spoken by others



gradual loss of cognitive abilities that accompanies brain deterioration and interferes with normal functioning


Alzheimer's disease

leading cause of dementia in elderly (60% of senile dementias)

• Destruction of cells that produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critically involved in the neural processes underlying memory