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AQA A Psychology, Unit 2 - Abnormality, Stress & Social Psychology

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Joshua Clark

on 30 May 2013

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Transcript of AQA A Psychology, Unit 2 - Abnormality, Stress & Social Psychology

Psychology Abnormality, Stress & Social Psychology

By Joshua Clark Stress Social Psychology Conformity Why Do People Obey? Obedience Stress Management Research into Stress in Everyday Life Stress Management: Stress As A Bodily Response The Biological Approach The Cognitive Approach Abnormality AKA The Medical Model
Theory that says mental disorders have a physical cause, such as genetics, Neuroanatomy and Neurochemistry
Says mental disorders can be treated by drugs
Diathesis-Stress Model says that people can have a genetic pre-disposition to developing a mental disorder later in life The Cognitive Approach is caused by maladaptive (faulty) thinking.
When people maximize negative aspects of their life and minimize positive ones. (Maximisation & Minimisation)
A negative schemata can build up, due to bad past experiences - leading to negative mindsets and expectations.
It is a reductionist theory, as it says abnormality is soley caused by "faulty thinking" - overlooking other factors, such as the biological approach Acute Stress Response

Hypothalamus

Sympathetic Nervous System

Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM)

Adrenal Medulla releases Adrenaline + Noradrenaline

(results in increased heart-rate, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils and suppressed digestion Holmes & Rahe - Life Changing Units (LCU).
(AKA Social Readjustment Rating Scale [SRRS])
Two medical doctors noted that many patients, particularly heart disease, had experienced significant life changing events in the previous year. Therefore they put together a list of life changing events, and their corresponding score.

Rahe et al. - 2,684 US navy personnel filled in the SRRS for the past 6 months, they were then followed up (after touring on duty). A score was given for illness, taking it's severity into account. Results concluded that illness and stress are linked. SIT - Stress Inoculation Therapy - a type of cognitive behavioural therapy
Aims to change unwanted / maladaptive thoughts
Instead of changing stressors in our life, CBT aims to change how we THINK about these stressors


SIT has three stages:
1) Conceptualisation
2) Skills Acquisition Phase & Rehearsal
3) Application & Follow-through Drugs:

Benzoiazepines (BZ's) - work directly in the brain, imitating the action of the neurotransmitter GABA in the synapses.

Beta-Blockers (BB's) - reduce the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the acute response to stress. BB's also bind to receptors in the heart and other parts of the body which are stimulated during arousal. The result is that the heart beats slower, and with less force, and the blood vessels do not contract so easily (leading to a fall in blood pressure - the client will feel calmer and less anxious Informational Social Influence - This happens when there is no obvious right answer so we look to others for information in order to be right (eg waiting for others to answer a question before you answer)

Normative Social Influence - This happens when we go along with the crowd because we want to be accepted or liked or because we don't want to be ridiculed. (eg smoking/dressing in a certain way) Legitimate Authority - Society gives power to certain people who are able to exercise over others - for example police officers and teachers.

Agentic Shift - we operate on two levels:
As autonomous individuals - conscientious and aware of the consequences of our own behavior
As agentic individuals - seeing ourselves as puppets of others and no longer responsible for our actions
Normally we behave as autonomous individuals, but under certain circumstances / situations we undergo "agentic shift".
For example, the Nazi soldiers who were technically "following orders" so they cannot be to blame for their actions. - A response to a direct order from a perceived authority - the person probably wouldn't behave in the same way without the order The Psychodynamic Approach Designed by Freud, the tripartite personality:

id: primitive, center for pleasure
superego: sense of right and wrong, conscience
ego: conscious, rational, sense of reality

Unresolved conflicts in childhood are the root cause of Abnormality. The Behavioural Approach Antidepressants (to treat depression, anxiety and eating disorders)
Mood Stabilisers (to treat bi-polar disorder [manic depression])
Anti-psychotics (to treat schizophrenia)
Anxiolytics (to treat anxiety disorders)
Stimulants (to treat narcolepsy) Believes that all behaviour is learned.
Most behaviours are adaptive (helping people to lead happy & healthy lives) however;
Maladaptive behaviour also exists, which is undesirable and abnormal.
Classical Conditioning - learning occurs through association (we associate something that initially does not produce any response
(neutral stimulus) with something that already produces that response (unconditioned stimulus). This leads to us responding to both of the stimuli in the same way. the neutral stimulus is no longer neutral because it doesn't lead to a response, therefore called a conditioned (learned) stimulus Drugs: Treatments Treatments Treatments Treatments Relaxation - can be achieved by hypnosis or meditation, or by drugs such as Valium
Systematic Desensitisation - the exposure starts in a way in which they feel reasonably comfortable and gradually builds up to the thing the client fears most
Aversion Therapy - The aim is to associate undesirable behavior with an unpleasant stimulus.
Flooding 0 inescapable exposure to the feared object or situation Psychoanalysis:

Free Association - in which the patient expresses their thoughts exactly as they occur, even if they seem irrelevant or unimportant

Dream Analysis -Freud referred to dreams as "The Royal Road to the unconscious". By analysing the content of the client's dreams, the therapist can identidy the latent content (the real underlying meaning of the dream) CBT is the main treatment in the cognitive approach to abnormality
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
The therapist identifies particular negative thoughts of the clients', and they are encouraged to record a diary of their thoughts, feelings and anxieties, with the therapist and the client reviewing these thoughts together.
The focus of CBT is very much on cognitive restructuring, and behavioural change Chronic Stress Response


Hypothalamus

Pituitary Gland Releases ACTH

Travels to Adrenal Cortex

Releases Cortisol

(results in increased high blood-pressure, bursts of energy and a lowered immune response) Stress in Everyday Life - Personality Types: Type A Personality:
Competitive
Aggressive
Goal Focused
Always "in a hurry"
Determined
Hostile Type B Personality:
Relaxed
Less ambitious
Less competitive
Happy
Content Research into Stress in Everyday Life Lazarus - Believed mundane "daily hassles" - such as missing your bus, were more significant to an individual's health than major life events. His results proved that individuals who had reported more daily hassles suffered from more psychological symptoms of stress such as depression and anxiety.

Johansson et al - Investigated whether workplace stressors increase physiological arousal and lead to stress related illnesses. Results concluded that workplace stressors did indeed have a negative effect on the workers' health and a high level of stress hormones. A limitation of this study is that the level of stress (after the study) depends on the individual and how they are affected by different stressors. Advantages and Disadvantages of drugs and SIT Drugs can be seen as a positive treatment for Stress, as they are cheap, and work relatively quickly, in comparison to other methods, however drugs only treat the cause, and not the underlying symptom.

Other therapies, such as Stress Inoculation Therapy DO treat the underlying cause, as well as the symptoms. However as they require a therapist's time, they take longer to work and thus are more expensive. Asch Study -
Investigated conformity using an unambigous task (i.e. the answer was obvious)
Using 123 males, Asch made groups of between 6 and 9 people. In each group, just one person was a naive participant (the others were confederates)
In each group, the naive participant was the last to answer
75% of the naive participants conformed (gave the wrong answer) at least once
After being interviewed, most said they gave the wrong answer so as to not look "stupid" Evaluation Asch's study lacks ecological value (ie the study is very artificial) as comparing lengths of lines is not a usual everyday occurrence.
The study is androcentric - only male participants took part, and worse still, only male students.
These results do not seem to be consistent over time (possibly because when this study took place, (1951) America was very wary of Communist take over)
Lack of informed consent - naive participants were deceived
Lack of protection from psychological harm Milgram Study:
Advert placed in newspaper. Participants are paid $4.50 for taking part
Experiment is said to be on "Learning" (deception)
Participants introduced to "Mr. Wallace"
"Mr Wallace" goes into another room
Participant asks Mr Wallace questions - for each question answered wrong, participant is supposed to increase electric shock
Electric Shock Panel in front of particpant ranges from 75V - 330V.
For each shock, participants hear a pre-recorded reaction from "Mr Wallace"
Results:
Every participant went to 300V, with 65% going to the full 330V! Evaluation Lacks ecological validity
The "right to withdraw" was not made clear to the participants
Lack of "informed consent"
Participants were not protected from Psychological harm
HOWEVER:
the participants WERE debriefed a year after the experiment, with only 2% of them sorry/very sorry that they'd taken part in Milgram's Study Why Do People Obey? (continued) Graduated Commitment - usually referred to as "foot in the door". Gets people to make a small commitment eg buy a small item then build up to bigger, more expensive items. Once we've agreed to a small concession, then in principle it becomes more difficult to refuse a larger one.

Buffers - If we cannot see a victim face to face (eg behind a wall) it makes it easier to harm them. Social Influence In Everyday Life Factors affecting independence -

Dispositional (internal) Factors refer to characteristics within us that influence our behaviour. These include personality, self-esteem and confidence

Situational (external) Factors - refer to environmental factors that influence our behaviour, such as authority figures, physical environment, luck and weather

Anti-Conformity - the anti-conformist will deliberately go our of their way to ensure they do not conform with others, perhaps wanting to be seen as different. Social Influence In Everyday Life (continued) Locus Of Control: Internal Locus

Actively seek information
Achievement Orientated
Tend to make better leaders
Better able to resist pressure
More Independent External Locus

Rely on others for information
Tend to be "followers" rather than "leaders"
More susceptible to peer pressure
More likely to be superstitious A study by Twenge et al. found that Americans are increasingly External Locus Control - they are relying more on others rather than actively seeking information for themselves. High External Locus Control is linked to poor school achievement, depression and less self control. This is bad!
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