Abnormal Psychology Chapter 3

A set of assumptions and concepts that help scientists explain and interpret observations. Also called a paradigm.
A nerve cell.
The tiny space between the nerve ending of one neuron and the dendrite of another.
A chemical that, released by one neuron, crosses the synaptic space to be received at receptors on the dendrites of neighboring neurons.
A site on a neuron that receives a neurotransmitter.
The chemicals released by endocrine glands into the bloodstream.
Chromosome segments that control the characteristics and traits we inherit.
psychotropic medications
Drugs that primarily affect the brain and reduce many symptoms of mental dysfunctioning.
antianxiety drugs
Psychotropic drugs that help reduce tension and anxiety. Also called minor tranquilizers or anxiolytics.
antidepressant drugs
Psychotropic drugs that improve the moods of people with depression.
antibipolar drugs
Psychotropic drugs that help stabilize the moods of people suffering from a bipolar mood disorder. Also called mood stabilizers.
antipsychotic drugs
Psychotropic drugs that help correct the confusion, hallucinations, and delusions found in psychotic disorders.
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
A biological treatment in which a brain seizure is triggered as an electric current passes through electrodes attacked to the patent’s forehead.
Brain surgery for mental disorders. Also called neurosurgery.
According to Freud, the psychological force that produces instinctual needs, drives, and impulses.
According to Freud, the psychological force that employs reason and operates in accordance with the reality principle.
ego defense mechanisms
According to psychoanalytic theory, strategies developed by the ego to control unacceptable id impulses and to avoid or reduce the anxiety they arouse.
According to Freud, the psychological force the represents a person’s values and ideals.
According to Freud, a condition in which the id, ego, and superego do not mature properly and are frozen at an early stage of development.
ego theory
The psychodynamic theory that emphasizes the role of the ego and considers it an independent force.
self theory
The psychodynamic theory that emphasizes the role of the self–our unified personality.
object relations theory
The psychodynamics theory that views the desire for relationships as the key motivating force in human behavior.
free association
A psychodynamic technique in which the patient describes any thought, feeling, or image that comes to mind, even if it seems unimportant.
Defense Mechanism: Person avoids anxiety by simply not allowing painful or dangerous thoughts to become conscious.
Defense Mechanism: Person simply refuses to acknowledge the existence of an external source of anxiety.
Defense Mechanism: Person attributes own unacceptable impulses, motives, or desires to other individuals.
Defense Mechanism: Person creates a socially acceptable reason for an action that actually reflects unacceptable motives.
Defense Mechanism: Person displaces hostility away from a dangerous object and onto a safer substitute.
Defense Mechanism: Person represses emotional reactions in favor of overly logical response to a problem.
Defense Mechanism: Person retreats from an upsetting conflict to an early developmental stage at which no one is expected to behave maturely or responsibly.
An unconscious refusal to participate fully in therapy.
According to psychodynamic theorists, the redirecting toward the psychotherapist of feelings associated with important figures in a patient’s life, now or in the past.
A series of ideas and images that form during sleep.
The relieving of past repressed feelings in order to settle internal conflicts and overcome problems.
working through
The psychoanalytic process of facing conflicts, reinterpreting feelings, and overcoming one’s problems.
relational psychoanalytic therapy
A form of psychodynamic therapy that believes the reactions and beliefs of therapists should be openly included in the therapy process.
A simple form of learning.
operant conditioning
A process of learning in which behavior that leads to satisfying consequences is likely to be repeated. (Often as a result of receiving rewards for performing an action correctly.)
A process of learning in which an individual acquires responses by observing and imitating others.
classical conditioning
A process of learning by temporal association in which two events that repeatedly occur close together in time become fused in a person’s mind and produce the same response. (Ivan Pavlov and his dogs.)
unconditioned stimulus
…elicits the unconditioned response.
conditioned stimulus
…elicits the conditioned response.
systematic desensitization
A behavioral treatment in which clients with phobias learn to react calmly instead of with intense fear to the objects or situations they dread.
The belief that one can master and perform needed behaviors whenever necessary.
cognitive-behavioral therapies
Therapy approaches that seek to help clients change both counterproductive behaviors and dysfunctional ways of thinking.
cognitive therapy
A therapy developed by Aaron Beck that helps people recognize and change their faulty thinking processes.
The humanistic process by which people fulfill their potential for goodness and growth.
client-centered therapy
The humanistic therapy developed by Carl Rogers in which clinicians try to help clients by conveying acceptance, accurate empathy, and genuineness.
gestalt therapy
The humanistic therapy developed by Fritz Perls in which clinicians actively move clients toward self-recognition and self-acceptance by using techniques such as role playing and self-discovery exercises.
existential therapy
A therapy that encourages clients to accept responsibility for their lives and to live with greater meaning and value.
family systems theory
A theory that views the family as a system of interacting parts whose interactions exhibit consistent patterns and unstated rules.
group therapy
A therapy format in which a group of people with similar problems meet together with a therapist to work on those problems.
self-help group
A group made up of people with similar problems who help and support one another without the direct leadership of a clinician. Also called a mutual help group.
family therapy
A therapy format in which the therapist meets with all members of a family and helps them to change in therapeutic ways.
couple therapy
A therapy format in which the therapist works with two people who share a long-term relationship. Also called marital therapy.
community mental health treatment
A treatment approach that emphasizes community care.
multicultural perspective
The view that each culture within a larger society has a particular set of values and beliefs as well as special external pressures, that help account for the behavior and functioning of its members. Also called cultural diverse perspective.
culture-sensitive therapies
Approaches that are designed to help address the unique issues face by members of cultural minority groups.
gender-sensitive therapies
Approaches geared to the pressures of being a woman in Western society. Also called feminist therapies.
biological model
Cause of dysfunction: biological malfunction
Research support: strong
Consumer designation: patient
Therapist role: doctor
Key therapy technique: biological intervention
Therapy goal: biological repair
Cause of dysfunction: underlying conflicts
Research support: modest
Consumer designation: patient
Therapist role: interpreter
Key therapy technique: free association and interpretation
Therapy goal: broad psychological change
Cause of dysfunction: maladaptive learning
Research support: strong
Consumer designation: client
Therapist role: teacher
Key therapy technique: conditioning
Therapy goal: functional behaviors
Cause of dysfunction: maladaptive thinking
Research support: strong
Consumer designation: client
Therapist role: persuader
Key therapy technique: reasoning
Therapy goal: adaptive thinking
Cause of dysfunction: self-deciet
Research support: weak
Consumer designation: patient or client
Therapist role: observer
Key therapy technique: reflection
Therapy goal: self-actualization
Cause of dysfunction: avoidance of responsibility
Research support: weak
Consumer designation: patient or client
Therapist role: collaborator
Key therapy technique: varied
Therapy goal: authentic life
Cause of dysfunction: family or social stress
Research support: moderate
Consumer designation: client
Therapist role: family/social facilitator
Key therapy technique: family/social intervention
Therapy goal: effective family or social system
Cause of dysfunction: external pressures or cultural conflicts
Research support: moderate
Consumer designation: client
Therapist role: cultural advocate/teacher
Key therapy technique: culture-sensitive intervention
Therapy goal: cultural awareness and comfort
biopsychosocial theories
Explanations that attribute the cause of abnormality to an interaction of genetic, biological, developmental, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social, and societal influences.

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