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Raissa N. Matunog,

Day One
Day One

Morning: Overview and Introduction

Afternoon: Case Analysis: Detection and Causes

Day Two

Morning: Common Disorders and their Causes

Afternoon: Less Common Disorders and their Causes

Day Three

Morning: Culture Bound Disorders and Ethical Principles Review

Afternoon: Make a chart for AbPsych Review

TOS for Abnormal Psychology

Outcome Weight No. Of Items

Distinguish between pathological and non-

pathological manifestations of behaviour 20% 20

Recognise common psychological disorders

given specific symptoms 20% 20
Use major psychological theories, particularly
the commonly recognised ones, in explaining
how psychological problems are caused and 30% 30
how they develop

Identify the socio-cultural factors that may

impact on problem-identification and
diagnosis of abnormal behavior
15% 15

Apply appropriate ethical principles and

standards in diagnosing cases of abnormal
15% 15
What is abnormal
Abnormal psychology…
… is an area of scientific study that attempts to
describe, explain, predict and modify behaviours that
are considered strange and unusual.
(Sue et. al., 2013)

… the branch of psychology that studies abnormal

behaviour and ways of helping people who are
affected by psychological disorders.
(Durand & Barlow, 2013)
I can’t sleep or eat
I keep on
or work because I
colouring my hair
keep on thinking
orange. I have to know about my mistress.
where my boyfriend
is to
I prefer allshout
the about
my feelings on the
I wash my hands
20 times every time
that girl comes into
contact with me.
What criteria are
used to determine
normal or abnormal

… a behavioral of psychological syndrome or pattern that

reflects underlying psychobiological dysfunction, that is
associated with distress or disability and is not merely an
expectable response to common stressors or losses.

(Sue et. al., 2013)
• psychological distress can sometimes show up
either physically or psychologically

• can be manifested in extreme or prolonged

emotional reactions

• intense, exaggerated and so prolonged that it

interferes with the person’s capacity to function

• related to using a statistical average

• abnormality defined in terms of behaviours that

occur least frequently
• a breakdown in cognitive, emotional or behavioral

• can also be seen as difference between current

behaviour and expected behavior given the
person’s role (role functioning) or their current
psychological/physical state.

• drawing the line between normal and abnormal

dysfunction is often difficult
• the dangerousness of clients to themselves and

• predicting dangerousness isn’t easy

I keep on
colouring my hair

I prefer to shout about

my feelings on the
I can’t sleep or eat
or work because I
keep on thinking
I have to know about my mistress.
where my boyfriend
is all the time.

I wash my hands
20 times every time
that girl comes into
contact with me.
Important Terms to
Presenting Problem
Models of
One-dimensional vs Multidimensional

- psychopathology is caused by a - abnormal behaviour results from multiple

single cause influences
- also called linear causal model - systemic; no influence contributing to
psychopathology can be considered out of
Biological Theory
• Deficits or defects in
the structural or
functional integrity of
the nervous system
lead to abnormal

• All psychological
disorders have a
physical cause
1. Everything that makes people who they are are embedded in
the genetic material of their cells.

2. Thoughts, emotions and behaviours are associated with nerve

cell activities of the brain and spinal cord.

3. A change in T, E and B will be associated with a change in

activity/structure (or both) of the brain

4. Mental disorders highly correlated with inherited predisposition

and/or some form of brain dysfunction

5. Mental disorders can be treated by drugs, genetic manipulation

or somatic intervention
The Brain
The Brain
Biochemical Theories

• Chemical
imbalances underlie
medical disorders

• Actions of the
neurons and
Major Neurotransmitters and their Effects
Neurotransmitter Effect

widespread, occurs in muscle control systems & in circuits related

Acetylcholine (AcH) to attention & memory. reduction in AcH implicated in Alzheimer’s
concentrated in small areas of brain, one involved in muscles, in
Dopamine excess, dopamine can cause hallucinations, associated with

Endorphins found in brain & spinal cord, suppresses pain

Gamma amino butyric widely distributed in brain, works against other neurotransmitters,
acid (GABA) particularly dopamine

occurs widely in CNS, regulates moods and may increase arousal

Norepinephrine and alertness. often associated with mood disorders and eating
occurs in the brain. works more or less in opposition to
Serotonin norepinephrine, suppressing activity & causing sleep. linked with
anxiety disorders, mood disorders and eating disorders
• Research strongly
supports the
influence of genetic
makeup in the
development of
certain abnormal

• Ex: ANS reactivity,

Psychological Theories
• Psychodynamic - disorders arise from conflict
between id, ego and superego + fixations +
defense mechanisms

• Behavioral - all behaviour is learned through

interaction with environment + abnormality is
simply learned response to stimuli

• Cognitive - person’s thoughts are responsible for

behaviour + faulty/irrational cognitions cause
mental health problems

• Humanistic/Existential - people’s realities are

subjective, to understand their mental health
problem psychotherapists must look at the
problem from their pov + individuals have the
ability to make free choices and are responsible
for their own decisions
• view disorders as a result of childhood trauma or anxieties

• many childhood-based anxieties operate unconsciously -

repressed and expressed through mental defense
Psychodynamic Theories

• greater emphasis on freedom of choice and

future goals (Adler and Jung), ego autonomy
(Freud and Erikson), social forces (Horney and
Sullivan), object relations (past interpersonal
relations) (Kohut and Kernberg) and treatment of
seriously disturbed people (Spotnitz)
Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
• operant behaviour - voluntary and
controllable behaviour

• classical vs operant

• c involved in involuntary behaviors

(fear responses) while o related to

• c behaviors controlled by stimuli, o

behaviors controlled by reinforcers

• effect of negative reinforcement and

positive reinforcement
Observational Learning

• individuals learn
new behaviours
simply by
watching other
people perform
Cognitive Models
• based on the assumption that conscious thought
mediates or modifies an individual’s emotional state
and/or behaviour in response to a stimulus

• we create our own problems by the ways we interpret

events and situations

• schema - a set of underlying assumptions heavily

influenced by a person’s experiences, values and
perceived capabilities

• 2 possible causes of psychopathology

• actual irrational/maladaptive assumptions and


• distortions of actual thought process

A: Activating Event

B: Belief

C: Consequence
• healthy relationships are important for human development and

• these relationships provide many intangible health benefits

• when relationships are dysfunctional or absent, the individual may be

subject to mental disturbances
Multicultural Theories

• These theories look into the societal and cultural contexts in understanding

• The impact of social forces and the failures of the support system in times of

• These theories stress the importance of cultural conflicts and oppression in

the experience of abnormal behaviour
Name Description

the individual fears that his/her body parts or function

taijin kyofusho are offensive to other people because of appearance,
odor or movements

uncontrollable shouting and seizure-like episodes,

ataque de nervios trembling and crying
Multidimensional Models
Multidimensional Models
Multidimensional Models
Diathesis-Stress Theory
• Diathesis - predisposition to develop illness

• Stressors - environmental forces

• Diathesis + Stressors (activates/suppresses predisposition)

• Reciprocal gene-
environment interactions
that actually modify the
expression of the genome

• Changes are not a one-

way street

• Ex: adolescent girls prone

to depression may seek
out situations that
promote mood disorders
(seeking out unstable
boyfriends, rumination
Critical Developmental
• Critical developmental periods can influence whether or not
a mental disorder can develop

• Gene-environment interactions that occur at critical periods

can set the stage for later behavioural phenotypes

• Ex: Research on the 5-HTT (serotonin transporter gene)

• long alleles (L/L) more resistant to depression (even

when mistreated)

• short alleles (S/S) and (S/L) are more prone to

depression (when mistreated)
Case Analysis Time
The Ethical Practice of
Psychology in the
Universal Declaration of
Ethical Principles
• Principle I - Respect for the Dignity of Persons
and Peoples

• Principle II - Competent Caring for the Well-Being

of Persons and Peoples

• Principle III - Integrity

• Principle IV - Professional and Scientific

Responsibilities to Society
General Ethical Standards
and Procedures
• Resolving Ethical Issues

• Competencies

• Human Relations

• Confidentiality

• Advertisements and Public Statements

• Records and Fees

Ethical Standards and
Procedures in Specific Functions

• Psychological Assessment

• Therapy

• Education and Training

• Research