Individual differences by MikeJenny


									Individual differences
• Deviation from social norms
  – Set of rules we have, don’t follow them. E.g. queuing
• Failure to function adequately
  – Daily routine/normal pattern of behaviour. Especially
    if cause observer discomfort, are unpredictable, are
    irrational or personal distress.
• Deviation from ideal mental health
  – Jahoda. 6 characteristics; self actualisation,
    autonomy, integration (resistant to stress), self
    attitudes, perception of reality, adaptability
• Deviation from social norms
   – Until 1980 homosexuality considered a disorder. What about
     desirable behaviour? Where is the cut off? Cultural differences.
     Some ‘abnormal’ behaviour quite common i.e. mild depression
• Failure to function adequately
   – Context of behaviour. Cultural differences. Some disorders can
     have periods where they seem ‘normal’. Could be due to
     circumstance/situation out of persons control.
• Deviation from ideal mental health
   – Culturally bias –rooted in western culture i.e. autonomy. Does
     anyone actually match this ideal mental state? Some elements
     very subjective –how do we measure self attitudes? Ask
     someone? Will this be correct?
• Mental illness similar to physical illness
• Caused by at least one of the following
  – Genetics
        – Huntington’s
  – Neurotransmitters
        – Schizophrenia and dopamine
  – Infection
        – Syphilis
  – Brain injury
        – Phineas Gage
       Biological treatments
• Drugs
    • Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake
      inhibitors e.g. Prozac), antipsychotics
      (Chlorpromazine which blocks dopamine at
      synapses), mood stabilisers.
• Electroconvulsive therapy
    • Electric shock, fraction of a second long to the
      brain, induces a seizure similar to epilepsy.
• Psychosurgery
    • Frontal lobotomy, now electric current or laser
Strengths of biological approach
• Research shows that it is possible there is
  a genetic link
• It is scientific
• No blame –it is not the fault of the
• Treatments can work
      Limitations of biological
• Not a complete explanation
• Reductionist
• Drugs don’t always work
• Patients could become passive
• Focus on curing symptoms not stopping the
• Ethical problems –addiction to drugs,
  suppressing rather than curing symptoms
• Conscious and unconscious
• Personality
  – ID, Ego, Superego. Ego balances demands of other
    two, abnormal if can’t.
• Psychosexual development
  – Stages of development. If become fixated at a stage
    causes abnormality. Oral, anal, phallic, latency,

        Defence mechanisms used, repression,
               displacement and denial.
   Psychodynamic treatments
• Free-association
  – Client is allowed to talk freely about their past
    and analyst interprets what they say
• Dream analysis
  – Keep a diary of dreams and analyst interprets
• Hypnosis (optional)
• Its unique
• Client can understand he cause of their problem
• Focus on there being psychological issues

•   Subjective interpretations
•   Not scientific
•   Time consuming and expensive
•   Reliability on memory
•   Focus on past not current symptoms.
• Classical conditioning
  – Association
• Operant conditioning
  – Positive and negative reinforcement
        Behavioural treatments
•   Aversion therapy
•   Systematic desensitisation
•   Flooding
•   Token economy
• Scientific and testable
• Therapies can be effective

•   Ignores genes and biology
•   Ignores cognition
•   Don’t always work –schizophrenia
•   Ethics
•   Doesn’t deal with cause just behaviour
            Cognitive model
• Thoughts and beliefs
• Ellis
  – ABC, activating event, belief, consequence.
    Rational or irrational belief
• Beck
  – Cognitive triad, self, world, future. Negative
    thoughts about self go round and round.
         Cognitive treatments
• Cognitive behaviour therapy
• Ellis
  – Change irrational thought to rational
• Beck
  – Change negative thought to more realistic and
•   Useful for depression
•   Considers thoughts and beliefs
•   Successful treatments
•   Allows client to take control

•   Thoughts may not be the cause
•   Time consuming and expensive
•   Blaming the person
•   Sometimes works better when mixed with other
    treatments e.g. drugs.
 Questions on individual differences
1. Give one definition of abnormality (1mark)
2. Describe two criteria you would expect in someone who was psychologically
    healthy (4 marks)
3. Outline one weakness of defining abnormality in terms of mental health (2
4. Outline two definitions of abnormality (6 marks)
5. Identify one definition of abnormality and explain one limitation associated
    with this definition (3 marks)
6. Explain one limitation of the behavioural approach to psychopathology
7. Outline what is involved in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (3 marks)
8. Describe the key features of the behavioural approach to psychopathology
    (4 marks)
9. Outline on limitation of the behavioural approach to psychopathology (2
10. Describe the use of ECT in treating abnormality (4 marks)
11. Explain how a therapist might use systematic de-sensitisation to help
    Hamish overcome his phobia (6 marks)

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