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Describe the deviation from social norms
definition of abnormality.
- Every society develops its own set of standards of acceptable behaviour (social norms).
- People who violate these rules are seen as abnormal
- i.e. people with schizophrenia might show inappropriate emotions such as laughing at a funerals.
- Johnson stated that 11,000 procedures were carried out in the UK in 1999.
- Can be useful in suppressing depressive symptoms for up to one year. It is not known how it works.
- Can cause temporary memory loss and emotional side effects such as withdrawal and flatness.
- Does not deal with the problem and symptoms return usually after one year.
- Can cause death (4 in 100000)
- Patients cannot give informed consent as they are in a distressed and confused state, given only when all other treatments have failed.
Biological approach therapy:
- Antidepressants: i.e. Prozac, act by stopping the reuptake of the serotonin in the synaptic gap.
- Antipsychotic drugs: block the dopamine receptors (dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is raised in schizophrenia).
Describe a behavioural therapy
- Systematic desensitisation:
- The aim is to replace the fear response by a relaxation response (we cannot feel fearful and relaxed at the same time - reciprocal inhibition)
- The client learns relaxation techniques. The client works out a hierarchy of fear from the least frightening to the most frightening i.e. fur, paws, teeth, dog.
- The client works through the hierarchy learning to use relaxation techniques in the presence of the feared object.
Evaluate systematic desensitisation
- It can be very effective in the treatment of some phobias (60-90% for spider phobias) but it does not seem so effective with social phobias or phobias of objects or situations which relate to evolution.
- Once the phobia is improved it may be replace by another phobia or another form of anxiety disorder which suggests that phobias might have a deeper psychological cause.
- It is an expensive treatment as it is carried out by a qualified clinical psychologist so it is not accessible to everybody.
- It requires 6-8 sessions for moderate phobias, more for strong phobias so it requires commitment from the patient.
- It does not address psychological factors for example the psychodynamic approach argues that phobias are due to an unconscious conflict and the phobic object is a symbol of the real object of fear.
What is the therapy proposed by the psychodynamic approach?
- Psychoanalysis: its aim is to bring the unconscious conflicts to the conscious mind where they can be dealt with.
- It uses two main strategies
- Free association: Client is asked to talk about anything that comes to mind and the therapist writes this down and then later analysis the content to reveal repressed desires. The client is made aware of this to then overcome them.
- Dream analysis: Client is asked to talk about dreams (manifest content) the therapist then interprets the hidden meaning (latent content) and makes client aware of this so they can overcome repressed issues
Describe the cognitive approach explanation of
- Abnormality is due to irrational and negative thoughts - assumes thoughts direct our emotions and behaviour.
- Ellis’s ABC model: Activating events (A) have consequences (C) which are affected by beliefs (B). (It is not the event which create the problem, it is the way you think about it)
- Beck: Cognitive Triad-depression can be caused by negative thinking about the world, the future and the self.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
- Assumes thoughts interact with and influence emotions and behaviour.
- The aim is to identify and change irrational and/or negative ways of thinking.
- It includes a cognitive stage, where the therapist helps the patient to identity their negative/irrational thoughts and a behavioural stage, where the patient carries out practical task to challenge their old ways of thinking.
Stress Inoculation Therapy (SIT)
- The therapist would help the patient to identify her what is making them feel stressed and why.
- They would then be taught ways of dealing with stress, such as relaxation and breathing techniques.
- In the final stage the patient would be given homework to reinforce the new ways of thinking.
- From this they would learn new positive ways of coping with and reducing stress.
Evaluate Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- It is an effective treatment for depression and some anxiety disorders - evidence has shown effects of CBT can be longer lasting than those of antidepressant drugs.
- The improvement might be too slow in cases when urgent intervention is required (i.e. suicidal patients).
- People with mental disorders such as schizophrenia might not have the necessary insight to take part in the therapy.
- Less time consuming - generally limited to a number of sessions over a few weeks
- Research shows conformity will be significantly reduced if the majority is not unanimous in its opinion
- As soon as the unanimity of the majority group is weakened non conformity is likely to be seen
- The dissenter represents a form of social support
- It liberates the participants from the need to conform to the majority
- Support for the role comes from a variation of the Asch study
- The presence of a dissenter was a crucial variable for increasing independent behaviour - when a confederate agreed with a participant conformity dropped by 5.5%
- Even if the dissenter gave a different answer but still incorrect conformity decreases by 12%
- Concluded that it is the unanimity of that group is crucial
Legitimate authority AO1
- most societies are ordered in a hierarchical way with some members having social powers
- This power is held by authority figures whose role is defined by society
- It is extremely difficult to deviate from social roles which are learnt through childhood
Legitimate authority AO2
- Supporting a variation - setting was changed from Yale university to a run down office block
- Obedience rates dropped to 47% from 65% - because legitimate authority was diminished
- Bickman 1974 - field experiment in new York 92% of pedestrians obeyed an order to give a stranger money for a parking meter when the researcher was dressed as a guard compared to 49% when dressed in civilian clothing
Gradual commitment AO1
- Migram had found that once participants had committed to lower levels of shocks they felt they had entered an agreement so were unable resist further demands (to give shocks at increasingly higher and higher levels)
- Stopping was madras more difficult as there was a gradual transition from one shock to another
- Known as the foot in the door approach once someone has signalled their willingness to agree to a small request their ability to refuse larger requests from the same source diminished
Gradual commitment AO2
- Lifton 1986 found evidence of gradual commitment among the Nazi doctors first required to carry out sterilisation of individuals considered to be mentally defective and then to carry out increasingly extreme experiments in death camps
- Also supported by the abusive behaviour of the guards in Abu Graib prison in iraq (it was gradual)
- Kobasa and Maddi believed individuals could be trained in 'hardiness' to help manage stress better
- Involves focusing: - learn to recognise sources of stress in their lives and the physiological effects of stress
- Reliving stress encounters: - analyses how responded in the past
- Self-improvement: - learning new techniques seeing stressors as challenges to be overcame
Hardiness training AO2
- Strengths: -Found to be very effective
- Real life applications - been used to increase commitment in Olympic swimmers to help control stressful aspects of there daily lives which might interfere with their training schedules
- Weaknesses: - based on explanation of hardiness which is very criticised and considered flawed, therefore this treatment must be too
Drug theory - drugs involved
- Focuses on reducing the negative emotions associated with stress rather than cause of stress
- 2 types of drugs: Benzodiazepines and beta-blockers
- anti-anxiety drugs
- work by reducing activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin and reducing the arousal of the CNS
- This is done by stimulation the activity of GABA the bodies natural form of anxiety relief
- do not enter the brain
- reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system in pathways around the body and block the receptors on the heart which are stimulated by noradrenaline
- So they slow the heart rate and reduce the blood pressure
Evaluation of biological methods of stress
- Advantages: - widely available, easy to take and can work very quickly
- They reduce disabling and potentially dangerous symptoms such as acute anxiety and high blood pressure
- One researcher found that beta-blockers reduced the risk of death by about 20% in patients suffering from heart disease
- Dont require commitment and time
- Disadvantages: -treat the symptoms not the cause (return when drugs are stopped)
- Maybe become dependent on the drugs and may experience withdrawal symptoms
- There maybe undesirable side effects
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