Ch. 13 balanced conceptualization of mental health and behavior
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What is abnormal behavior?
behaviors that are atypical or aberrant, maladaptive, or accompanied by psychological distress.
What is developing competence?
going from low-level competence in intellectual, physical, and interpersonal domains to high competence in each area.
What is developing integrity?
(chickering's model) developed when a person changes from unclear beliefs and values to clear and humanizing values.
What is developing mature interpersonal relationships?
(chickering's model) growing from intolerance of differences and few relationships to an appreciation of differences and healthy relationships.
What is developing purpose?
(chickering's model) transitioning from unclear vocational goals and distracting self-interests to clear goals and more communal activities.
What is developmental counseling and therapy?
the here and now is examined and information gathered about a variety of contextual dimensions in the process of conceptualizing clients' situations. (in this theory, pathological behaviors are understood as logical responses to life events) gather a framework of background information to understand what influences have played a factor in where the client currently is. (view each person as whole)
What is establishing identity?
(chickering's model) changing from personal confusion and low self-confidence to a self-concept clarified through lifestyle and self-acceptance.
What is the four-front approach?
a diagnostic approach that encourages assessment of a person's strengths as well as weaknesses. Observers using this approach gather information on (1) deficiencies and undermining characteristics of the person, (2) strengths and assets of the person, (3) lacks and destructive factors in the environment, and (4) resources and opportunities in the environment.
What is the fundamental attribution error?
the tendency to ignore external situational or environmental factors and instead attribute the behavior of another to that person's internal characteristics (personality or abilities). In contrast, people are likely to explain their own behavior in terms of situational or environmental influences rather than personal characteristics.
What is the fundamental negative bias?
the tendency to perceive as negative behavior that stands out, is considered negative, and occurs in a vague context. Behavior is remembered according to its saliency (stands out vs. doesn't stand out), its value (negative vs. positive), and its context (vague vs. well-defined).
What is managing emotions?
(chickering's model) going from little awareness of feelings and limited control over disruptive emotions to increased understanding of feelings, flexible control, and constructive expression.
What is moving through autonomy toward interdependence?
(chickering's model) moving from poor self-direction and emotional dependence to instrumental independence and limited need for reassurance.
What is universality assumption?
the assumption that what is deemed true for one group can be considered true for other people irrespective of cultural differences?
Who were some of the key figures promoting positive definitions of mental health at the same time that there was increased emphasis on defining and diagnosing mental illness?
Erich Fromm and Marie Jahoda
What are the key characteristics of a “mentally healthy person” according to Jahoda?
- personal attitude toward self that includes self-acceptance, self-esteem, and accuracy of self-perception
- pursuit of one's potentials
- focused drives that are integrated into one's personality
- identity and values that contribute to a sense of autonomy
- world perceptions that are accurate and not distorted because of subjective needs
- mastery of the environment and enjoyment of love, work, and play
Why has there historically been greater fascination and attention given to recognizing and treating abnormal behavior?
treating abnormal behavior requires more time and effort/resources whereas positive behavior is a more passive process and does not require as much time and resources
How might more balanced conceptualizations be useful?
they assist us in properly collecting, organizing, and interpreting the data collected during clinical therapy sessions leading to better diagnoses and better implementation of developed treatment plans.
What are the 3 markers of abnormal behavior?
behavior is atypical, maladaptive, and accompanied by psychological distress
How do the fundamental attribution error and the fundamental negative bias biases neglect to take into consideration the environment or situation when making attributions for others’ negative or unusual behavior?
we tend to make assumptions about the person's behavior from a distance without considering other factors that may be influencing the resulting behaviors
How is the 4-front approach consistent with the overall emphasis of Positive Psychology?
it focuses on the strengths and resources people have available to them and how they use them.
Why is culture important in defining and understanding behavior and how abnormal or normal behavior is defined?
because what could be considered abnormal in our culture could be normal in the clients culture. The way they cope, based on their culture, could be different from ours.
What are some of the limits to the current categorical approach to diagnosing mental illness described in this chapter?
- the distinguishing between normal and abnormal is not well defined (does not account for the effect of everyday stress)
- the diagnoses made by psychologists is not always consistent and accurate
- the degree to which someone experiences and abnormal mental illness is not accounted for, just the presence of one
- mental health professionals are quick to label clients based on the categorical mental diagnoses
What are the pros and cons of adopting a more dimensional approach to measuring and conceptualizing personality disorders?
- pros: measures people's responses to stressful situations in life and how they affect their mental health in varying levels of intensity
- cons: this type of measuring can miscalculate for actual mental illnesses and those that are mentally ill based on a specific situation or time frame
Why is it important to go beyond the DSM framework in conceptualizing abnormal behavior?
DSM system only suggests somewhat vaguely what needs to be changed, but it cannot provide guidelines for how to facilitate change.
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