Summary Class notes - Abnormal Psychology

- Abnormal Psychology
- N/A
- 2015 - 2016
- DU
- Psychology
332 Flashcards & Notes
2 Students
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Who studied the severity of schizophrenia between males and females? What did they find?
Nopoulos et al, 1997
---> brain imaging study

Results: schizophrenia-related anomalies of brain structure are more severe in male patients than female patients

(p. 316 abnormal textbook)
What is the difference between the findings of Thompson et al (2000) and Cahen et al (2002)?
Cahen et al (2002) just study early onset schizophrenia; however Thompson et al (2000) suggests that decreases in brain tissue and increases in the ventricle size are not limited to the early phases of schizophrenia
(p. 334 abnormal textbook)
Oversecretion of what hormone is related to more frequent depressive symptoms?
What is exposure and modeling therapy?
Controlled exposure to the stimuli /situations that elicit phobic fear

  •   Participant modeling = interaction with the phobic stimulus/situation

= these techniques allow the client to learn that these situations are not as frightening as they had thought 
---> the new learning is probably mediated by changes in brain activation in the amygdala, which is centrally involved in the emotion of fear

(p. 244 abnormal textbook)
What is Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy?
Focuses on observable behaviour and “private event” (e.g. thoughts, evaluations, self-statements)
---> one central issue for cognitive therapy is how best to alter distorted and maladaptive cognition 

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (Albert Ellis)
  • Attempt to restructure client’s maladaptive thoughts and unrealistic beliefs
  • Therapist disputes a person’s false belief system through rational confrontation (“Why should your failure in passing the exam mean that you are worthless?”
  • Increase self-worth 

Beck’s Cognitive Therapy
  • The way we interpret events and experiences determines our emotional reactions to them 
  • Stable set of schemas that contain dysfunctional beliefs
  • Identification of dysfunctional beliefs and logical errors (e.g. ignoring positive events, overgeneralization, magnification, exaggeration)
What are the 3 humanistic-experiental therapies?
1. Client-Centered Therapy (Carl Rogers)
2. Gestalt Therapy
3. Process-Experiental Therapy
What is Humanistic-Experiental Therapy?
---> Based on the assumption that we have both the freedom and responsibility to control our own behaviour - they can reflect on their problems, make choices, and take positive action
---> Focus on expanding clients’ “awareness”
---> This type of therapy emerged after WW11

Client-Centered Therapy (Carl Rogers)
  • Process of removing constraints that grow out of unrealistic demands that people tend to place on themselves (they believe this as a condition of self-worth)
  • Primary objective is to help clients accept who they are
  • Client-therapist relationship is essential (climate in which client can feel unconditionally accepted, understood and valued).
  • Nondirective techniques such as empathy and restatements of client’s descriptions = allows clients to begin to feel free
  • Ultimate result = client becomes more self-accepting
---> in contrast to most other forms of therapy, the therapist does not give answers, interpret what a client says, probe for unconsscious conflicts etc. They simply listen to what the client wants to talk about

Gestalt Therapy 
  • Emphasises the unity of the mind and body ('Gestalt' means whole in German)
  • Integration of thought, feeling and action
  • The main goal of gestalt therapy is to increase the individual's self-awareness and self-acceptance (the same goal as client-centered and humanistic approaches)

Process-Experiential Therapy 

  • Emphasizes the experiencing of emotions during therapy and reflection of their meanings

(p. 581 - 583 abnormal textbook)
How has psychodynamic therapy changed since Freud?

- Face-to-face interaction instead of ‘couch’ setup

- Active conversation instead of interpretation of ‘free associations’
What are the erroneous beliefs of mental illness?
- mental disorder is a sign of personal weakness (fundamentally different from physical injuries)
- psychiatric patients are dangerous

---> unfortunately the erroneous beliefs shape the way we view mental disorders
---> education about mental disorders dispels the stigma (at least this is what it tries to do)
What are 5 advantages and 3 disadvantages of classifying mental disorders?
  • Nomenclature (a naming system)
  • Allows to structure information
  • Allows research 
  • Allows to develop (and generalise) treatment
  • Multicultural - same diagnosis all around the world


  • Loss of (idiosyncratic) information
  • Stigma, Stereotyping & Discrimination
  • Problem of labelling / Self concept is affected