Week 1 - Introduction _ Research Methods - TO POST

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					Psy3604: Introduction to
 Abnormal Psychology
       Instructor: Kelly Berg
        TA: Jennifer Filson
            Spring, 2007
    Tuesdays: 6:00 pm – 8:20 pm
     Nicholson Hall, Room 35
What is Abnormal Psychology?
   Abnormal psychology is the study of behavior,
    thoughts, and mood that are outside the bounds of
    what is considered “normal” in a particular culture

   However…what is normal and what is abnormal?
Elements of Abnormality
   Distress

   Dysfunction

   Deviance

   Danger
Is this a mental disorder?
   A man cannot get through the day without crying

   A woman stays in bed until noon

   A woman believes that her daughter’s spirit is escaping
    from her body

   A man sets fire to his land
Why define mental illness?
   Nomenclature

   Consensus

   Communication

   Organization

   Research

   Treatment
What are the disadvantages of a
classification system?
   Loss of information

   Cultural factors
       Some disorders exist in some cultures and not in other
        cultures
       Manifestations of disorders can be different between cultures
What are the disadvantages of a
classification system?
   Stigma



   Stereotyping



   Labeling
Being Sane in Insane Places
 Rosenhan, 1973
 Eight healthy participants complained of hearing voices
  saying “thud,” “hollow,” and “empty,” but did not
  feign any other symptoms
 Admitted to inpatient hospital
 Once admitted, “stopped” hearing these voices
 Seven received diagnosis of Schizophrenia
 Stays ranged from 7 to 52 days, average of 19 days
Being Sane in Insane Places
 Family and friends could identify no significant
  differences in the behavior of the “pseudo-patients”
 35/118 other patients identified the “pseudo-patients”
  as being sane
       “You’re not crazy. You’re a journalist or a professor. You’re
        checking up on the hospital.”
   Otherwise normal behavior was interpreted by hospital
    staff as symptoms of their illness
       Writing in a journal was interpreted as a compulsive behavior
       Walking around the floor was interpreted as anxiety
Key points
   When thinking about mental disorders, it is important
    to remember:
       Knowing a person’s diagnosis and understanding that
        diagnosis is important, but it is not sufficient to
        understanding the person
       It is important to take a person’s culture into consideration
        when thinking about their symptoms
       People are not defined by their diagnosis
            No one would talk about a cancer patient and say, “He’s cancerian”
             but people will say “He’s schizophrenic” when talking about
             someone suffering from schizophrenia
Research Methods
Key points
 Prevalence & Incidence
 Descriptive Research
       Case Studies
       Sampling
       Criterion vs. Comparison Groups
       Self-report vs. Observational Research
 Correlations
 Retrospective vs. Prospective Studies
 Experimental Research
Prevalence & Incidence
   Prevalence

   Point Prevalence

   One-year Prevalence

   Lifetime Prevalence

   Incidence
Research Question


 What are risk factors for depression?
Descriptive Research
 Typically the first step in research
 Information gathering
 Does not necessarily test a hypothesis
 Case Studies, Sampling,
Case Studies (in abnormal psychology)
   A detailed account of one person’s pathology
       Current symptoms and their duration
       Past symptoms and their duration
       Personal history
       Family history
       Impact of the symptoms on the person’s life
       Medical problems
Case Studies
   Pros




   Cons
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

 How would we answer this question using a
               case study?
Sampling
 A group of people that are representative of a specific
  population are studied
 Information is not as rich in detail
 Results are more generalizable
 Random sampling accounts for potential biases
 However, just because the sample shares a set of
  characteristics does not mean that those characteristics
  distinguish people with that disorder from people who
  do not have that disorder
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

  How would we answer this question using
                sampling?
Criterion and Comparison Groups
   A group of people that meet some criterion are
    compared to a group of people that are similar in every
    way except that they don’t meet that criterion
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

  How would we answer this question using
      criterion and comparison groups?
Self-Report vs. Observational Research
   Self-Report
       Time-efficient and cost-efficient
       Only way to get information on internal motives
       However, people:
            Intentionally lie
            Misinterpret the questions
            Want to present themselves in a positive light
Self-Report vs. Observational Research
   Observational Research
       Direct observation
            Behavior (eg. aggression, interpersonal skills)
            Physiology (eg. heart rate, stress hormones)
       Great way to get information about the way a person’s
        symptoms manifest themselves
       Sometimes the only way to get information about symptoms
        or a type of pathology
       Cannot answer the question “why?”
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

How would we answer this question using self-
  report measures? Observational research?
Correlations
 Measure two variables (eg. depression and GPA)
 Correlation – a relationship between two variables
       Ranges from -1.0 to 1.0
       Weak correlation
       Strong correlation
       Positive correlation
       Negative correlation
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

 How would we answer this question using a
            correlational study?
Retrospective vs. Prospective Research
   Retrospective
       Study a group of people who already have a disorder
       Pros


       Cons
Retrospective vs. Prospective Research
   Prospective
       Identify a group of people who at a higher than average risk
        of developing a disorder (but have not developed it yet) and
        follow them longitudinally
       Pros


       Cons
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

  How would we answer this question using
  retrospective measures? Prospective research?
Experimental Research
 Only way to test causality
 Manipulate one variable while controlling all other
  variables
 Independent variable


   Dependent variable(s)

   If the dependent variable does in fact change when the
    independent variable is manipulated, we can assume
    that the cause of the change is the manipulation of the
    independent variable
Experimental Research
   Placebo

   Single-blind study

   Double-blind study

   p-value

   p < .05
Research Question

 What are risk factors for depression?

 How would we answer this question using an
               experiment?

				
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posted:11/14/2011
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