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Approaches cheat sheet
Topic Outline (A01) Evaluation (A03)
The origins of
Wundt (1832-1920)
He believed that a...
Can you link this to Pavlov’s dog?
Other features e.g…
 Timing: if the NS cannot be used to predictthe UCS (e.g., i...
observed a model punished for the same behaviour. VC =
individualslearn aboutthe consequences of an action,and
then adjust...
hard disk (RAM = longterm memory).
Cognitive neuroscience
The use of non-invasiveneuroimaging techniques (PET scans and
their behaviour,and at leastsome of this is inherited.
Because individuals mustcompete with each other, those
who do survi...
Biopsychology Cheat Sheet
Topic Outline (A01)
The Nervous
Central Nervous System (CNS)
The CNS, comprising of the b...
such as increasing heart rate and blood pressure and dilating blood vessels in the muscles. Neurons from the SNS travel to...
The Endocrine
Glands and Hormones
The endocrine systemis regulated by feedback to ensure stable concentration of ho...
The adrenal cortex produces cortisol – a stress hormone. It has a variety of functions such as cardiovascular and anti-inf...
and fats to supply energy.
● PNS: when the threat has passed,this dampens the stress response.
This slows things down e.g....
Individual Differences Cheat Sheet
Topic: Outline (AO1) +/- Evaluations (AO2)
Definitions of abnormality 1. Statistical in...
The behavioural approach
to explaining phobias
All behaviour is learned –
including abnormal
This learning can ...
for an individual to be happy e.g., ‘I must be approved of or
accepted by people I find important’.
An individual who hold...
sessions e.g., asking someone out on a date. This is to test
irrational beliefs against reality.
Behavioural activation: C...
The biological approach to
treating OCD
Drug therapy
 Antidepresseants (SSRIs): low levels of serotonin are
associated wi...
Areas I feel confident in: Areas I feel less confident in:
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  1. 1. Approaches cheat sheet Topic Outline (A01) Evaluation (A03) The origins of psychology Wundt (1832-1920) He believed that all aspects of nature (includingthemind) could be studied scientifically. His aimwas to study the structureof the mind and he believed that the best way to do this was to break down behaviours such as sensation and perception into their basic elements – known as introspection. Introspection (look in to) With training,mental processes e.g., memory/perception could be observed systematically e.g., observers might be shown an object and asked to reflect upon how they were perceivingit. PPs might be given a carefully controlled stimulus (e.g., image) and then asked to providea description of the inner processes they were experiencingas they looked at the image. This made is possibleto compare PPs responses. Psychology as a science Empiricism = knowledge comes from observation and experience (rather than innate). This meant that Wundt was ableto claimthat:  All behaviour is caused (determinism).  We can predicthow human beings would behave (predictability). Scientific method in psychology Refers to objective, systematic and replicable.  Unreliable methods Although PPs could report on their conscious experiences,the processes themselves were considered to be unobservableconstructions =lack of reliability.  Introspection – not accurate Nisbett and Wilson (77) state that many of our attitudes/behaviours arethe resultof implicitattitudes e.g., a person may be implicitly racistand this influences the way they reactto members of a different ethnic group, yet such attitudes existoutsideof their awareness = self-reports of introspection wouldn’t uncover this!  Scientific approach  Systematic methods of observation = objective  Able to establish causeand effect.  Scientific approach  Tells us littleaboutthe natural environment.  Much of psychology is beyond scopeof ‘observable’.  Not all psychologists agreeon how to measure human behaviour i.e., should scientific methods be used? The behaviourist approach Classical Conditioning (CC) – Pavlov (27) Investigated the salivary reflex in dogs and found that animals not only salivated when food was placed in their mouths, but also when reactingto other stimuli.  Natural stimulus in any reflex is referred to as an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and the natural response (UCR).  A neutral stimulus (NS) is presented (which does not cause the UCR) before the UCS.  After many pairingsNS & UCS, this changes and the NS is now ableto reproduce the same responsein the absence of of the UCS.  The NS is now referred to as a conditioned stimulus (CS) and the response itproduces is called a conditioned response  Strengths of CC Led to development of treatments for the reduction of anxiety associated with various phobias. SD is a therapy based on CC (see Psychopathology sheet).  Limitations of CC Different species facedifferent challenges to survive. Therefore, some species may find the link between CS and UCS more difficultto establish. Seligman (70) proposed the concept of ‘preparedness’to explain this. Animals areprepared to learn associationsthatarequickly significantin terms of their survival needs e.g., a dog will learn the presence of food BUT find it difficultto associatea bell with food.  Strengths of OC
  2. 2. (CR). Can you link this to Pavlov’s dog? Other features e.g…  Timing: if the NS cannot be used to predictthe UCS (e.g., if the time interval is too long), then conditioningbetween the two does not take place.  Stimulus generalisation: he discovered that once an animal has been conditioned,they will also respond to other stimuli that are similar to the CS. Operant conditioning (Skinner) Skinner believed that an animal/human/organismrepeats a particularbehaviour based on the nature of consequences – it is reinforced. Types of reinforcement Positive reinforcers: occurs when behaviour produces a consequence that is satisfying/pleasante.g., a child is given praisefor doingsomething good. Negative reinforcers: this removes something unpleasante.g., turning off an alarmor avoidingsomethingyou are scared of. Other features:  Punishment: this refers to where a behaviour is followed by a consequence that is undesirable/unpleasant.As with reinforcement, punishment can also bepositive (e.g., slappinga naughty child) or negative (e.g., takingaway something pleasante.g., a toy). Use of experimental method (controlled conditions) =high in reliability = possibleto discover causal relationships.  Limitations Skinner used non-human animals.The relianceon rats and pigeons means that the work doesn’t tell us much about humans. Human beings have free will over our actions BUT Skinner said thatthis is an illusion and external influences ‘guide’ our behaviour. Social learning theory SLT – Bandura (86)  Modelling: in order for SL to take place,someone must model the attitude/behaviour e.g., parent, actor.  Imitation: this is the act of copyingsomeone. This is usually determined by the characteristicsof the model and the observer’s perceived ability to perform that behaviour.  Identification: refers to how the observer relates to the model e.g., a male may be more likely to imitate another male.  Vicarious reinforcement: Bandura noted that children who are rewarded for aggressivebehaviour were much more likely to imitate that behaviour than children who had  Useful applications Applied to understandingof other areas of human behaviour e.g., criminal activity.Akers (98) found that the probability of someone engaging in criminal behaviourincreases when they are exposed to models who commit the criminal behaviour.  Supporting research for identification Fox and Bailenson (09) found evidence for this using ‘virtual’humans engaging in exerciseor merely loitering.The models looked either similar or dissimilarto individual PPs.PPs who viewed a similar model exercisingwere more likely to do more exercisefollowingthe viewing.  Complexity
  3. 3. observed a model punished for the same behaviour. VC = individualslearn aboutthe consequences of an action,and then adjusttheir subsequent behaviour.  Meditational processes: he claimed thatthe observer must form mental representations of the behaviour displayed by the model and the probableconsequences of that behaviour in terms of expectations of the future. Key Study: Bandura (61) Procedure: experiment usingchildren who observed aggressiveor non-aggressiveadultmodels.½ were exposed to adults acting aggressively towards a lifesizeBobo doll and the other ½ exposed to non-aggressivemodel. Aggressive situation included props e.g., malletand also verbal aggression e.g., POW. Followingexposure,the children were taken to a room and a Bobo doll. Findings: children who observed the aggressivemodel reproduced a lot of aggressivebehaviour (physical and verbal),similar to adult model. About 1/3 who observed aggressivemodel repeated adult’s verbal responses.They found in a follow-up study that the children rewarded for aggressiveacts were more likely to show a high level of aggression. Does SLT explain all types of ‘learnt’ behaviour? E.g., criminal behaviour could have other ‘causes’such as genetics or parental upbringing. The cognitive approach Internal mental processes This approach studies information processingi.e.,ways in which we extract, store and retrieve information.This approach recognises that these mental processes cannotbe directly studied and must be studied indirectly (inferred) as a way of measuringbehaviour.  Schemas: cognitiveframework that helps organiseand interpret information around us e.g., expectations of how to behave in certain situations.They fill in the gaps in the absence of all theinformation. A possiblenegative consequence of these however is that we develop ‘set ideas’or stereotypes that aredifficultto disconfirm.  Theoretical/computer models: e.g., MSM (Atkinson and Shiffin) – simplified representation based on current research evidence. Also computers allow us to focus on the way certain information is encoded e.g., a computer model of memory is a good example. Information is stored on the  Strengths  Applications: applied to other areas of psychology.E.g., ithas been used to explain how much of the dysfunctional behaviourshown by people can be traced back to faulty thinkingprocesses – so this has led to the successful treatment of people sufferingfrom OCD using CBT.  Scientific: use of experimental method – rigorous method for collectingand evaluatingevidencein order to reach conclusions.  Limitations  Computer models: difference between field of computing (e.g., encoding, input) to humans. Computers do not make mistakes.  Ignores emotion and motivation: approach tells us howthings happen but not why.
  4. 4. hard disk (RAM = longterm memory). Cognitive neuroscience The use of non-invasiveneuroimaging techniques (PET scans and fMRI) help psychologists understand howthe brain supports different cognitiveactivities and emotions by showingwhat parts of the brain become activeunder certain circumstances e.g., Burnett (09) found that when people feel guilty,several brain regions become activeincludingtheprefrontal cortex, associated with social emotions. The biological approach Biological influences on behaviour Genes  Heredity: genes are passed from one generation to the next. They carry important information e.g., intelligencebut how this develops depends on the environment (nature- nurture debate).  Genotype and phenotype: Genotype = code written into DNA and phenotype = physical appearancethatresults from this inherited information (recessiveand dominant genes can affect this).  Basis of behaviour: everyone possesses a unique combination of genetic instructions so we differ in terms of personality,intelligenceetc… Biological structures  CNS: brain and spinal cord  PNS: somatic and autonomic nervous systems Neurochemistry  Neurotransmitters: e.g., dopamine = excitatory neurotransmitter that is associated with motivation. Serotonin = inhibitory neurotransmitter that is associated with to stabilisemood.  Hormones: produced by endocrine glands e.g., pituitary gland.In responseto signals fromthe brain,they are secreted into the bloodstreamand travel to target cells. Evolution  Over time organisms become adapted to their environment through biological evolution - natural selection. Individuals differ from each other in terms of their physical characteristicsand in their physical characteristicsand in  Strengths  Scientific method: experimental method, highly controlled environments, replicable.Use of imaginghas increased precision and objectivity.  Applications: clear predictions e.g., led to research into the role of neurochemical imbalancein depression =development of drug treatments.  Limitations  Reductionist: this is the belief that complex human behaviour can be explained by breakingit down into small parts.  Problems for evolutionary explanations: some argue that patterns of human behaviour have cultural originsand NOTsurvival or reproductive valuee.g., existence of incestin societies. This would causegenetic mutations and therefore natural selection would favour those individuals thatavoided such practices.
  5. 5. their behaviour,and at leastsome of this is inherited. Because individuals mustcompete with each other, those who do survivewill reproduceand pass on their genes etc… therefore successivegenerations will develop behaviours that are even more likely to lead to survival and reproductive success.
  6. 6. Biopsychology Cheat Sheet Topic Outline (A01) The Nervous System Central Nervous System (CNS) The CNS, comprising of the brain and spinal cord, has two main functions:the control of behavior and the regulation of the b ody’s physiological processes. In order to do this, the brain must be able to receive information from the sensory receptors (eyes,ears, skin etc.) and be able to send messages to the muscles and glands of the body.This involves the spinal cord, a collection of nerve cells that are attached to the brain and run the length of the spinal cord. Spinal cord: relay information between the brain and the rest of the body.This allows the brain to monitor and regulate bodily processes,such as digestion and breathing, and to coordinate voluntary movements. The spinal cord is connected to different parts of the body by p airs of spinal nerves,which connect with specific muscles and glands. Brain: The brain can be divided into 4 main areas: cerebrum, cerebellum, diencephalon and brainstem. ● The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and is further divided into 4 different lobes. For example, the frontal lobe is involved in thought and production of speech,the occipital lobe is involved in the processing of visual images. The cerebrum is split down the middle in two halves called cerebral hemispheres. Each hemisphere is specialised for particular behaviours and the two halves communicate with each othervia the corpus callosum. ● The cerebellum sits beneath the back of the cerebrum. It is involved in controlling a person’s motor skills, balance and coordinating the mu scles to allow precise movements. Abnormalities of this area can result in a number of problems, including speech,motor problems a nd epilepsy. ● The diencephalon lies beneath the cerebrum and on top of the brain stem. Within this area are two important structures,the thalamus and the hypothalamus. The thalamus acts as a relay station for nerve impulses coming from the senses,routing themto the appropriate part of the brain where they can be processed.The hypothalamus has a number of important functions,including the regulation of body temperature, hunger and thirst. It also acts as a link between the endocrine systemand the nervous system, controlling the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. ● The brainstem is responsible for regulating the automatic functions that are essential for life. These include breathing, heartbeat and swallowing. Motor and sensory neurons travel through the brain stem, allowing impulses to pass between the brain and the spinal cord. The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) All the nerves outside the CNS make up the peripheral nervous system.This function of this part of the nervous systemis to relay nerve impulses from the CNS (the brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body and from the body back to the CNS. ● The somatic system is made up of 12 pairs of cranial nerves (nerves that emerge directly from the underside of the brain and 31 pairs of spinal nerves (nerves that emerge from the spinal cord). These nerves have both sensory neurons and motor neurons.Sensory neuro ns relay messages to the CNS, and motor neurons relay information from the CNS to other areas of the body. The somatic systemis also involved in reflex actions without the involvement of the CNS, which allows the reflex to occur very quickly. ● When you are taking a drink or typing on a keyboard, you’re performing voluntary actions that you’re conscious of. However your body als o carries out actions without your conscious awareness.E.g. yourheart beats and yourintestines digest food. Involuntary actions like these are regulated by the ANS. This systemis necessary because the body wouldn’t work as efficiently if you had to think about them. ○ The Sympathetic Nervous System: The SNS is primarily involved in responses that help us to deal with emergencies (fight or flight)
  7. 7. such as increasing heart rate and blood pressure and dilating blood vessels in the muscles. Neurons from the SNS travel to virtually every organ and gland within the body, preparing the body for the rapid action necessary when the individual is underthreat. E.g. The SNS causes the body to release stored energy, pupils to dilate and hair to stand on end. It slows bodily processes that are less important in emergencies such as digestion and urination. ○ The Parasympathetic Nervous System: If we think of the SNS as pushing as individual into action when faced with an emergency, then the parasympathetic nervous system(PNS) relaxes them again once the emergency has passed.Whereas the SNS causes the heart t o beat faster and the blood pressure to increase, the PNS slows the heartbeat down and reduces blood pressure.Anotherbenefit is that digestion will begin again under PNS influence. Because the PNS is involved with energy, conservation and digestion,it’s sometimes referred to as the body’s rest and digest system. Neurons and synaptic transmission Structure and function of neurons Neurons are specially designed cells that carry information around the body. ● Sensory neurons: carry nerve impulses from sensory receptors to the spinal cord and the brain. ● Relay neurons: most common in the CNS. They allow sensory and motor neurons to communicate with each other. ● Motor neurons:form synapses with muscles and control their contractions. Synaptic transmission Once an action potential (an action to do something) has arrived at the terminal button at the end of the axon, it needs to be transferred to anotherneuron or tissue.It must cross a gap between the presynaptic neuron and the postsynaptic neuron.This is known as the synapse -this includes the end of the presynaptic neuron, the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron and the gap in between. The physical gap between the pre and post synaptic cell membranes is known as the synaptic gap.At the end of the axon of the nerve cell are a number of sacs known as synaptic vesicles. These contain the chemical messengers that assist in the transfer of the impulse, the neurotransmitters. As the action potential reaches the synaptic vesicles, it causes themto release their contents through a process called exocytosis. The released neurotransmitter diffuses across the gap where it binds to specialised receptors on the surface of the cell that recognise it and are activated by that particular neurotransmitter (like a specialist lock and key).This transmission takes a fraction of a second,with the effects terminated at most synapses by a process called ‘reuptake’. The neurotransmitter is taken up again by the presynaptic neuron, where it is stored and made available for later release (recycling). Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters ENs (e.g., noradrenaline) - nervous system’s ‘on’ switches.These increase the likelihood that an excitatory signal is sent to the postsynaptic cell, which is then more likely to fire. An EN binding with a postsynaptic receptorcauses an electrical change in the membrane of that cell = excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) - meaning that the postsynaptic cell is more likely to fire. INs (e.g., serotonin)- ‘off’ switches. They decrease the likelihood of that neuron firing. They are generally responsible for calming the mind e.g., inducing sleep. An IN binding with a postsynaptic receptorresults in an inhibitory postsynaptic potential(IPSP), making it less like ly to fire. A nerve cell can receive both EPSPs and IPSPs at the same time. The likelihood of the cell firing depends on the adding up the EN and INs. The net result (summation) determines whether or not the cell fires.
  8. 8. The Endocrine System Glands and Hormones The endocrine systemis regulated by feedback to ensure stable concentration of hormones. For example, a signal is sent from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland in the form of a ‘releasing hormone’. This causes the pituitary to secrete a ‘stimulating h ormone’ into the bloodstream. This hormone then signals the target gland (e.g. the adrenal glands) to secrete its hormone. As levels of this hormone rises in the bloodstream, the hypothalamus shuts down secretion of the releasing hormone and the pituitary gland shuts down secretion of the stimulating hormone. This slows down secretion of the target gland’s hormone, resulting in the stable concentration of hormones circulating the bloodstream. Hormones Hormones are chemicals that circulate in the bloodstreamand are carried to target sites throughout the body.Although hormones come into contact with most cells in the body, a given hormone usually affects only a limited number of cells, known as target cells. There has to b e particular receptors for particular hormones. Cells that don’t have such a receptor cannot be influenced directly by that hormone. When enough receptorsites are stimulated, this results in a physiological reaction in the target cell. Pituitary Gland The pituitary gland produces hormones whose primary function is to influence the release of hormones from other glands, and in so doing regulate many of the body’s functions.The pituitary is controlled by the hypothalamus, a region of the brain just above the pituitary gland. As the “master gland,” the pituitary produces hormones that travel in the bloodstreamto their specific target. These hormones either direct ly cause changes in physiological processes in the body or stimulate other glands to produce other hormones. High levels of hormon es produced in otherendocrine glands can stop the hypothalamus and the pituitary releasing more of their own hormones to stop hormone levels from rising too high. Hormones produced by the pituitary gland The pituitary has 2 parts: the anterior (front) and the posterior(back). They each release different hormones that target different parts of the body. E.g. the anterior pituitary produces adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) as a response to stress.ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to produc e cortisol. The anterior also produces 2 other hormones important in the control of reproductive functioning: Luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). In females these hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce oestrogen and progesterone,and in males t hey stimulate the testes to produce testosterone and sperm. The posterior pituitary releases oxytocin, which stimulates the contraction of the uterus in childbirth, and is important for mother-infant bonding.Research using mice has found that oxytocin is indispensable for healthy maintenance and repair, and that it declines with age (Elabd et al 2014). The Adrenal Glands The two adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. Each adrenal gland has two parts. The outer part: adrenal cortex, and the inner region: adrenal medulla. The adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla have very different functions.One of the main distinctions is that the adrenal cortex releases hormones necessary for life, whereas the adrenal medulla releases hormones that do not. Hormones produced by the adrenal glands
  9. 9. The adrenal cortex produces cortisol – a stress hormone. It has a variety of functions such as cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory functions.If cortisol levels are low, the individual has low blood pressure,poor immune function and inability to deal with stress.The adrenal cortex also produces aldosterone, which is responsible for maintaining blood volume and blood pressure. The adrenal medulla releases adrenaline and noradrenaline – hormones that prepare the body for flight or flight. Adrenaline helps the body response to a stressfulsituation e.g. increasing heart rate and blood flow to the muscles and brain. Noradrenaline constricts the blood ve ssels,causing blood pressure to increase. Ovaries Anotherhuge part of the endocrine systemis the ovaries. The 2 ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. Ovaries a re responsible for the production of eggs and for the hormones of oestrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is more important in the post-ovulation phase ofthe menstrual cycle. Testes The testes are the male reproductive glands that produce the hormone testosterone. Testosterone causes the development of male characteristics such as growth of facial hair, deepening of the voice and growth spurts.Testosterone production is controlled by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus instructs the pituitary gland on how much testosterone to produce,and the pituitary gland passes this message t o the testes.Testosterone also plays a role in sex drive, sperm production and maintenance of muscle strength and is associated with overall health and well-being in men. Testosterone is not exclusively a male hormone. Women also have it, but in smaller amounts. The fight or flight response Fight or flight response to stress The amygdala and hypothalamus When someone is faced with a threat, an area of the brain called the amygdala is mobilised. The amygdala associates sensory signals (what we see,hear or smell) with emotions associated with fight or flight, such as fear and anger. The amygdala then sends a distress signalto the hypothalamus,which functions like a command centre in the brain, communicating with the rest of the body through the sympathetic nervous system.The body’s response to stressors involves two major systems,one for acute (i.e. sudden)stressors such as an attack, and the second for chronic (i.e. ongoing)stressors such as a stressfuljob. Acute (sudden) stress ● SNS: prepares the body for sudden rapid action. Sends message to adrenal medulla by releasing adrenaline. ● Adrenaline: circulates in bloodstream e.g., heart beats faster, blood pressure increases… Also triggers release of blood sugar (glucose) Evaluation (A03) Tend and befriend Taylor (00) suggested that females do this rather than ‘fight’. This involve protecting themselves and their young e.g., forming alliances. Negative consequences of fight or flight Stressors of modern life rarely requires action like that required for this. However modern life means that the stress response is constantly activated e.g., increased blood pressure (SNS activation) can lead to physical damage in blood vessels and heart disease. Fight, flight OR freeze?
  10. 10. and fats to supply energy. ● PNS: when the threat has passed,this dampens the stress response. This slows things down e.g., lowers blood pressure. Chronic (ongoing) stressors If the brain continues to perceive something as threatening the second system kicks in. As the initial surge of adrenaline subsides,the hypothalamus activates a stress response systemcalled the HPA axis. This consists ofthe hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. “H” – The hypothalamus The HPA axis relies on a series of hormonal signals to keep the SNS working. In response to continued threat, the hypothalamus releases a chemical messenger, corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is released into the bloodstreamin response to the stressor. “P” – The Pituitary Gland On arrival at the pituitary gland, CRH causes the pituitary to produce and release adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). From the pituitary, ACTH is transported in the bloodstreamto its target site in the adrenal glands. “A” - The Adrenal Glands ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex to release various stress-related hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for several effects in the body that are important in the fight or flight response.Some of these are positive (e.g. a quick burst of energy and lower sensitivity to pain) whereas others are negative (e.g. impaired cognitive performance and a lowered immune system). Feedback The systemis also very efficient at regulating itself. Both the hypothalamus and pituitary gland have special receptors that monitor circulating cortisol levels. If these rise above normal, they initiate a reduction in CRH and ACTH levels, thus bringing cortisol levels back to normal. Gray (88) says that many animals/humans freeze instead of attacking or running away. This allows them to look for more information about the situation.
  11. 11. Individual Differences Cheat Sheet Topic: Outline (AO1) +/- Evaluations (AO2) Definitions of abnormality 1. Statistical infrequency: abnormality is defined as those behaviours that are extremely rare i.e., any behaviour that is found in very few people. 2. Deviation from social norms: this is where a person’s behaviour is considered deviant, anti-social or undesirable by the majority of society e.g., paedophilia. 3. Failure to function adequately: from an individual’s POV, abnormality can be judged in terms of not being able to cope e.g., feeling depressed and therefore you may not be able to go to work. 4. Deviation from ideal mental health: abnormality is seen as deviating from an ideal positive mental health. Ideal mental health would include a positive attitude towards the self, resistance to stress and an accurate perception of reality. Jahoda identified 6 categories for people with IMH = self-attitudes (e.g., self-esteem), personal growth, integration (e.g., cope with stress), autonomy, mastery of the environment (e.g., ability to love). 1. Susceptible to abuse: what was seen not socially acceptable in the past may now be e.g., homosexuality. Deviance is also relative to time and the context. 2. Who judges? It is assumed that a doctor will determine what categorises someone as failing. Some apparently dysfunctional behaviour can actually be adaptive and functional for the individual e.g., depression may lead to welcome attention for the individual. Cultural relativism. 3. Who can fit the criteria all of the time? Is mental health the same as physical health? It is difficult to diagnose a mental health issue using similarcriteria to physical issues. 4. Cultural relativism: this is where cultural factors may play a bit part on what is seen as deviant or not i.e., no universal rules for labelling a behaviour as abnormal. Mental disorders E = emotional B = behavioural C = Cognitive Phobias A group of mental disorders characterised by high levels of anxiety in response to a particular stimulus or group of stimuli. The anxiety interferes with normal living. E = panic, fear B = avoidance C = irrational thought process. Person recognises that their fear is irrational/excessive – although this may be absent in children. Depression A mood disorder where an individual feels sad/lacks interest in their usual activities. Also includes irrational negative thoughts, raised/lowered levels and difficulties with concentration, sleep and eating. E = e.g., sadness, feeling empty, worthless, loss of interest in hobbies, lack of control… B = e.g., tiredness, reduced energy, restless, sleep problems, appetite affected. C = negative self-concept/beliefs, irrational – HOWEVER, these thoughts can become self-fulfilling. OCD Anxiety disorder where anxiety arises from both obsessions (persistant thoughts) and compulsions (behaviours that are repeated over and over again). People believe that by repeating behaviours this will reduce anxiety. E = e.g., embarassment and shame. C = recurrent, intrusive thoughts/impulses perceived as forbidden/inappropriate. Uncontrollable urges e.g., wash hands. At some level, person does recognise that obsessions are excessive. B = Behaviours are meant to reduce anxiety, repetitive. They can unconcealed or hidden e.g., praying.
  12. 12. The behavioural approach to explaining phobias All behaviour is learned – including abnormal behaviour. This learning can be understood in terms of conditioning and modelling. What was learned can be unlearned. No need to analyse thoughts/feelings, only the person’s actions. Two-process model (Mowrer, 47) CC – initation A phobia is acquired through association – association between a NS (e.g., white rat) and a loud noise (see Little Albert study). OC – maintenance The likelihood of a behaviour being repeated is increased if the outcome is rewarding. In the case of a phobia, the avoidance of (or escape from) the phobic stimulus reduces fear and is thus reinforcing. This is an example of negative reinforcement (escaping from an unpleasant situation e.g., avoiding a dog). SLT Not part of 2-process model. Phobias may be acquired through modelling the behaviour of others e.g., child sees a parent react to a spider.  Importance of CC People with phobias often do recall a specific incident when their phobia appeared e.g., being bitten by a dog (Sue, 94). HOWEVER, not everyone remembers such an incident (Ost, 87). Diathesis-stress model DiNardo (88) explains that people may have a genetic vulnerability for developing mental disorders and a phobia may only develop if triggered by an event e.g., being bitten by a dog. Biological preparedness Seligman (70): argued that animals and humans are genetically programmed to rapidly learn an association between life- threatening stimuli and fear. These are referred to ancient fears e.g., heights, snakes. It would have been adaptive to rapidly learn to avoid such stimuli. This would explain why people are less likely to develop fears of modern objects e.g., cars that are much more of a threat than spiders – they weren’t present in our evolutionary past. The behavioural approach to treating phobias Systematic Desensitisation (SD)  Counterconditioning: patient is taught a new association that runs counter to the original association i.e., relaxation instead of fear – in effect they are desensitised.  Relaxation: e.g., slow, deep breaths, mindfulness.  Desensitisation hierarchy: this works by gradually introducing the person to the feared situation one step at a time so it isn’t overwhelming. (5 steps). Flooding Patient has one session where they experience their fear at its worst while at the same time practising relaxtion – this continues until the patient is relaxed (and adrenaline levels has dropped). This can be conducted in vivo (actual exposure) or virtually. Evaluation – SD  Effectiveness: McGrath (90) found about 75% of patients with phobias respond to SD. Key = actual contact with feared stimulus (in vivo) rather than imagining (in vitro).  Appropriate? Ohman (75) SD not appropriate for all phobias e.g., those with evolutionary survival component e.g., snakes.  Fast and requires less effort than other therapies. It can also be self-administered. Evaluation – Flooding  Individual differences: not for every patient – highly traumatic (ethics?)  Effectiveness: generally good and quick. Clarke (08) found that SD and flooding were equally effective. The cognitive approach to explaining depression Ellis’ ABC Model (62): irrational thinking = mental disorders A = Activiating event – you get fired at work. B = belief – (irrational) the company was overstaffed or I was sacked because they had it in for me. C = consequence – unhealthy emotions e.g., depression. The source of irrational beliefs lies in ‘mustaboratory thinking’ – thinking that certain ideas or assumptions MUST be true in order  Supporting research: Krantz (76) found that depressed PPs made more errors in logic when asked to interpret written material than non-depressed PPs. Correlation NOT causation: there is a link between negative thoughts and depression but this does not mean that negative thoughts cause depression e.g., a depressed individual develops a negative way of thinking because of their depression rather
  13. 13. for an individual to be happy e.g., ‘I must be approved of or accepted by people I find important’. An individual who holds such assumptions is bound to be disappointed or depressed. Beck’s Negative Triad (67) He believed that depressed individuals feel as they do because their thinking is biased towards negative interpretations of the world and they lack a perceived sense of control. Negative schema: this is acquired during childhood (adopt a negative view). Caused by a variety of factors e.g., parental/peer rejection. These schemas are activated when the person encounters a new situation that resembles the original conditions in which these schemas were learned. Negative schemas lead to cognitive biases in thinking e.g., they over- generalise, drawing a sweeping conclusion regarding self-worth on the basis of one small piece of negative feedback. The negative triad: The negative schema maintains the negative triad (irrational/pessimistic view:  The self: I am unattractive.  The world: I can understand why people find me ugly.  The future: I am always going to be on my own. than the other way round. It is possible that the faulty thinking is a vulnerability factor for abnormality e.g., genetic predisposition.  Blames client rather than situation: suggests client is responsible for their disorder. In one way this is good as it gives the power to a client to change the way things are. HOWEVER, it may cause a client and therapist to overlook e.g., family problems.  Practical applications: CBT has been found to be good in treating depression (see next section). Irrational beliefs may be realistic: Alloy and Abrahmson (79) suggest that depressive realists tend to see things for what they are (with normal people tending to view the world through rose-tinted glasses). For depressed people this creates the ‘sadder but wiser’ effect. Alternative explanations: Zhang (05) research shows that low levels of serotonin in depressed people is linked to people with depression. The cognitive approach to treating depression Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) – Ellis (he also renamed it rational-emotive-behaviour-therapy) He extended the model to ABCDEF: D = disputing irrational thoughts and beliefs E = effects of disputing and effective attitude to life F = feelings (emotions) that are produced. It is the beliefs that lead to self-defeating consequences. REBT therefore focuses on challenging/disputing the irrational thoughts/beliefs and replacing them with effective rational beliefs:  Logical disputing: self-defeating beliefs do not follow logically from the information available e.g., does this thinking make sense?  Empirical disputing: beliefs may not be consistent with reality e.g., where is the proof that this belief is accurate?  Pragmatic disputing: emphasises the lack of usefulness of beliefs e.g., how is this belief likely to help me? Homework: clients are asked to complete assignments between  Research support: Ellis claimed a 90% success rate for REBT. Individual differences: CBT less suitable for people who have high levels of irrational beliefs that are both rigid and resistant to change (Elkin, 85). Alternative treatments: antidepressants is most popular form of treatment (SSRIs). Drugs require less effort from the client and can be used with other treatments like CBT.
  14. 14. sessions e.g., asking someone out on a date. This is to test irrational beliefs against reality. Behavioural activation: CBT involves a specific focus on encouraging depressed clients to become more active and engage in pleasurable activities. Based on common-sense idea that being active leads to rewards that act as an antidote to depression. Unconditional positive regard: Ellis came to realise that if clients feel worthless, they will be less willing to consider changing their beliefs and behaviour. However, if the therapist provides respect and appreciation regardless of what the client does/says, this will cause a change in beliefs and attitudes. The biological approach to explaining OCD Genetics  COMT gene This may contribute to OCD. It regulates the production of dopamine. One form of the COMT gene is more common in OCD patients than people without the disorder. This variation produces lower activity of the COMT gene and higher levels of dopamine.  Diathesis-stress An individual gene only creates a genetic vulnerability (diathesis) for OCD as well as other conditions, such as depression. Other factors (stressors) affect what condition develops or indeed whether any mental illness develops. Neural  Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters Dopamine levels are thought to be abnormally high in people with OCD. Based on animal studies – high doses of drugs that enhance levels of dopamine induce stereotyped movements resembling the compulsive behaviours found in OCD patients. Also lower levels of serotonin are associated with OCD. This is based on the fact that antidepressants that increase serotonin activity have been shown to reduce symptoms (Pigott, 90).  Abnormal brain circuits PET scans of patients with OCD, taken while their symptoms are active e.g., when a person with a germ obsession holds a dirty cloth – scans show a heightened activity in the OFC (orbitfrontal cortex). Serotonin and dopamine are linked to these regions of the frontal lobes.  Supporting research Studies of 1st degree relatives (parents/siblings) shows evidence for genetic basis. Nestadt (00) identified 80 patients with OCD and 343 of their 1st degree relatives and compared them with 73 control patients without mental illness and 300 of their relatives. They found that people with a 1st degree relative with OCD had a 5x greater risk of having the illness themselves at some time in their lives, compared to the general population. Concordance rates: diathesis-stress model stresses importance of environment (nature vs nurture).  More supporting research Menzies (07) used MRI scans to produce images of brain activity in OCD patients and their immediate family members without OCD and a group of unrelated healthy people. OCD patients and their closerelatives had reduced grey matter in key regions of the brain, including the OFC. This supports the view that differences are inherited. Real-world application: hope that specific genes can be ‘mapped’ and linked to particular mental and physcial disorders e.g., a parent to be has the COMT gene, mother’s eggs are screened and the parents given the choice of aborting those eggs with the gene. HOWEVER this raises ethical issues.
  15. 15. The biological approach to treating OCD Drug therapy  Antidepresseants (SSRIs): low levels of serotonin are associated with depression as well as OCD, so drugs increase levels of serotonin. Drugs are used to reduce the anxiety associated with OCD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are currently the preferred drug for treating anxiety e.g., Prozac. Serotonin is released into the synapse from one nerve (neuron). It targets receptor cells on the receiving neuron at receptor sites and it reabsorbed by the initial neuron sending the message. In order to increase levels of serotonin at the synapse and increase stimulation to the receiving neuron, this reabsorption (reuptake) is inhibited.  Antidepressants tricyclics: Anafranil was first antidepressant used for OCD and today is used for OCD rather than depression. This blocks the transport mechanism that reabsorbs both serotonin and noradrenaline into the presynaptic cell after it has fired. = more of these neurotransmitters are left in the synapse, prolonging the activity.  Anti-anxiety drugs: BZs are used to treat anxiety e.g., Valium. They slow down activity of the neurotransmitter GABA – which has a quietening effect on the brain.  Effectiveness Soomro (08) reviewed 17 studies of the use of SSRIs with OCD patients and found them to be more effective than placebos in reducing the symptoms of OCD up to 3 months after treatment i.e., the short term.  Drugs preferred to other treatments Less effort required from patient, cheaper and require less monitoring from e.g., NHS.  Side effects Addiction (Ashton, 97), and can make some symptoms worse!  Not a lasting cure May better used with other psychological treatments e.g., CBT.
  16. 16. Areas I feel confident in: Areas I feel less confident in: