The Science of Psychopathology (Exam 1) Flashcards Preview

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1

What does the nature of science mean?

a way of knowing

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epistemology

how we know what we know

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What does science value?

empiricism, objectivity, and replicability

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What does science demand?

rigorous standards of proof

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What are the means of science?

a means for testing hypotheses and theoretical claims

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Is science value free?

no
as a human enterprise, it can be value laden

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Case studies: narratives

record in detail and in narrative form what happens during therapy (stories)

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Usefulness of case studies

-useful for rare cases
-used to generate research questions and hypotheses

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Main problems of case studies

-results do not generalize
-not convincing data for casual modeling
-does not control for outside factors
-no manipulation of variables

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Bias in case studies

-interviewer's bias for soliciting selective info
-patient's bias for recollecting selective information

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Descriptive Research

taking data and counting numbers

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incidence

new case rate per unit of time

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prevalence

total number of cases in certain time frame (base rate)

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retrospective studies

subject to bias, patient may not recall

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prospective studies

keep track with population

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longitudinal study

subject to bias, expensive

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epidemiological research

-incidence
-prevalence
-retrospective studies
-prospective studies -> longitudinal study

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Why is it essential to know prevalence rates (base rates)?

-can study changes over time
-can try to follow to see if problem remits naturally (ex: depression after 5 years untreated)

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Correlational Research

associations but not cause

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What does correlational research look at?

looking at a relationship between two or more variables

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What does "Do they co-relate?" mean?

correlate

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What does "Do they vary together?" mean?

covary

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positive correlation

one measure goes up, other goes up
ex: relation of hours worked and tips received

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negative correlation

one measure goes up, other goes down
ex: relation of practice time on an instrument and less errors in recital

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zero correlation

knowing value of one measure does not allow you to predict value of the other measure

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correlation coefficient

-r or R
-range: -1.0 to 1.0 (can't go over this range)

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What does the correlation coefficient mean?

-used to summarize whether two measures vary together

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What is the strongest correlation? (test question)
-2.6, -0.8, 0, 1.2, 0.7?

-0.8

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Does correlation mean causation?

No, correlation does NOT mean causation
-measures can be correlated, but doesn't mean that one caused the other

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Third Variable

mediator and moderators

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Direction of Casualty: Consider case where X and Y are correlated. Why? (Test question)

-X might cause Y or Y might cause X
-X might be correlated with Y, because of Z (3rd variable)

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Can spurious relationships exist?

yes

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What do correlations show?

patterns, not causes

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Experimentation

demonstrating casual relationships

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Begin with a hypothesis (hypothesis formation)

-some variable causes something to happen
-develop a specific and testable research question

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Hypothesis testing

identify and manipulate an independent variable (X) to look at its impact on dependent variable (Y)

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What is identifying a comparison group called?

control condition

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independent variable

-variable manipulated by experimenter
-must involve at least 2 conditions (ex: violent/nonviolent show)
-has levels (ex: percentage)

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dependent variable

behavior that is measured or observed (ex: aggressive behavior)

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How is the hypothesis tested?

observing effect of manipulating independent variable (ex: # of acts of aggression caused by exposure to different levels of violence)

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control condition

a comparison condition in which subjects are not exposed to the same treatment as in the experimental condition

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Does the control condition receive the independent variable?

no

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Can there be confounding variables?

no

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Confounding variable examples

-uncontrolled variables
-can change systematically with the independent variable
-will alter ability to make casual statements
(ex: impact of cognitive therapy for depression that includes a large group interaction component)

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random assignment to conditions

-stratify participants
-equal chance of being assigned to control or treatment condition
-allows comparison between groups

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How do you stratify participants?

based on knowledge of characteristics before participants are assigned

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internal validity

assesses whether differences between groups is due to influence of IV or some other factor

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What is the active ingredient of change?

mechanism of change

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placebo effect

reflects a therapy effect due to expectations of the person rather than true treatment effect (large threat to internal validity)

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What is the purpose of a double-blind procedure?

control for placebo effects

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double-blind studies

neither participants nor experimenter know which group the participant is in (led to believe they are receiving a treatment)

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external validity

extent to which the results of an experiment can be generalized beyond the conditions of the experiment

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Clinical Efficacy Trails

concerned primarily with internal validity (why and how does the treatment work)

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Clinical Effectiveness Trials

concerned more with external validity (where and with whom does the treatment work, given that it seems to work)

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group designs

larger design with manipulated IV and DV

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statistical significance testing

evaluating the dependent variables mathematically (are the differences between groups attributable to chance?) (mathematically difference, meaning)

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clinical significance testing

testing if participants have moved from here to there (have participants moved from one group to another?)

ex: depressed -> nondepressed

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What are the limits to group designs?

-can't control for everything
-hard to generalize from a very controlled study to outside world
-may not always yield info we are after with treatment outcome studies

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may not always yield info we are after with treatment outcome studies (limits to group designs)

average patient/client treated by average therapist

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What is the key to single subject designs?

repeated measurement and evaluation of variability, level, and trend

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What does a single subject design look at?

in depth, scientific study of one person at a time

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What does a single subject design emphasize?

measurable, observable, meaningful change

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What can a single subject design show?

true experimental control OR true accountability of treatment effect (by the clinician)

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What does a baseline need in order to determine sufficient data?

-level
-variability
-trend/stability
(some data will be easier to hold at a baseline)

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What is the ABAB Design?

another type of single subject design

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A (ABAB design)

baseline measure

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What does a baseline measure look at? (ABAB design)

-record behavior without intervening
-no treatment time
-want to observe regular pattern

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B (ABAB Design)

treatment (record changes in behavior)

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2nd A (ABAB Design)

remove treatment

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What happens when you remove treatment? (ABAB design)

-see if you have a return to baseline
-naturally done with termination of treatment in psychotherapy

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2nd B (ABAB Design)

reinstate treatment (see if behavior returns to level of 1st B or maintains)

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What does a multiple baseline approach look at?

looks at baselines across
-situations
-behaviors
-participants

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What does a multiple baseline approach show?

shows experimental control at n=1 level of analysis

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What are the strengths of a multiple baseline approach?

implements treatments staggeringly and look at the effects

ex: teaching social skills in multiple settings to a socially anxious person one at a time

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Example of a multiple baseline approach

person feels anxious in social settings -> lacks social skills (hypothesis) -> teaching social skills in different contexts (work, dating, family)

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Where do we see single subject designs being used?

-individual psychotherapy (private practices, HMO based practices)
-teachers and educators (targeted behaviors of interest, special education)
-developmental disabilities (autism and other PDDs)

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What is the Human Subjects Internal Review Board (HSIRB) for ethics in research?

-analyzes components of experiment
-decides whether experiment can be conducted ethically and legally with minimum risk to subjects

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Is deception allowed during experiments?

no, deception is frowned upon and is not used in experiments very often

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Are participants informed about the study after completion?

yes, participants are debriefed of the purpose of the study after completion

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Do participants give informed consent?

yes, they give informed consent to participate

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Is data of the participants confidential?

yes, confidentiality must be ensured of the participant's data