Loading...

PSYCH401: Abnormal Behavior

Unit 2: Influential Paradigms in Abnormal Psychology   Since the dawn of time, the origins of abnormal behavior have been shrouded in mystery. The debate as to whether abnormal behavior is caused by genetic and/or biological mechanisms versus environmental ones has greatly shaped the field and our understanding of psychopathology. This nature versus nurture debate is captured through the major defining paradigms of the field, which seek to explain the causes of abnormal psychology. In this unit, we will learn about the concepts and assumptions of the major paradigms that have had the strongest influences on the field of abnormal psychology. We will also learn about a new, more inclusive explanation of abnormal behavior that emerged as the debate subsided—that of the diathesis-stress model. This model stresses both the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of psychological disorders.   

Unit 2 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.

☐     Unit 2 Introduction: 2.5 hours

☐     Subunit 2.1: 3.5 hours 

☐     Subunit 2.2: 0.25 hour

☐     Subunit 2.3: 0.75 hour

☐     Subunit 2.4: 0.25 hour

☐     Subunit 2.5: 0.75 hour

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - identify and describe the major concepts and assumptions of the classical viewpoints in abnormal psychology; - compare and contrast as well as discuss the major theories/paradigms within the field of abnormal psychology; and - describe the diathesis-stress model and its current standing in the understanding of abnormal behavior.   

  • Lecture: Podbay: Portland Community College: Dana C. Leighton’s Abnormal Psychology: “Episode 3 – Historical and Contemporary Approaches” Link: Podbay: Portland Community College: Dana C. Leighton’s Abnormal Psychology: “Episode 3 – Historical and Contemporary Approaches” (iTunes)
     
    Instructions: Listen to this lecture. This lecture covers the topics outlined in subunits 2.1 and 2.2 as well as any inclusive subunits. Note: It may take a moment for the audio to begin although the page will appear to have loaded fully. Don't fret: it will start momentarily.

    Listening to this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please repect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1 Biological Paradigm   2.1.1 Biology as the Unit of Analysis   Note: The biological paradigm seeks to understand abnormal behavior as a function of biological processes within the body. The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Review the portion of the lecture beginning at 41:05 and running until 41:34. Take approximately 5 minutes to review this material. 

2.1.2 Research on Genetic Contributions of Disorders   Note: Many psychological disorders have genetic contributions. The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Review the portion of the lecture beginning at 1:07:37 and running until 1:20:01. Take approximately 10 minutes to review this material to cover the topics in subunits 2.1.2 and 2.1.2.1.

2.1.2.1 Twin Studies   Note: The study of twins provides a unique way to examine biological factors influencing behavior. These natural experiments help to show the degree to which abnormal behaviors are due to genetic factors. The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Focus on the portion of the lecture beginning at 1:07:37 and running until 1:20:01. 

2.1.2.2 Adoption Studies   - Reading: Adoption Studies The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.1.3 Basics of Neurobiology   - Reading: University of Tasmania: Dr. Saxby Pridmore’s Download of Psychiatry: “Chapter 2: Hardware” Link: University of Tasmania: Dr. Saxby Pridmore’s Download of Psychiatry: “Chapter 2: Hardware” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Download “Chapter 2: Hardware,” and study this chapter (31 pages) to learn about structures including the brain, neuron and synapse, and chemical release and medications. This chapter is full of detailed information; however, for your purposes, please focus on the information regarding the relevant brain functions and structures associated with the study and understanding of abnormal behavior. This reading covers subunits 2.1.3.1–2.1.3.3, 2.1.4, and 2.1.5.   
 
Studying this reading should take approximately 2 hours.

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 2.5 Generic
license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/).

2.1.3.1 Anatomy of a Neuron   Note: Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system. The reading assigned beneath subunit 2.4.1 covers this topic. Focus on the section titled “Neurons” on page 6–8. Take approximately 15 minutes to review this material.

2.1.3.2 Neurotransmitter Approach   Note: Neurotransmitters allow neurons to communicate with each other. The reading assigned beneath subunit 2.4.1 and the lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction cover this topic. Review the material under “Synapse” on pages 9 and 10 for the reading. For the lecture, review the portion beginning at 58:48 and running until 1:04:37. Take approximately 15 minutes to review this material.

2.1.3.3 Relevant Brain Functions/Structures   Note: A variety of brain structures are important for the understanding of mental disorders. The reading assigned beneath subunit 2.4.1 and the lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction cover this topic. For the reading, review the material below the heading “Further Details of Particular Structures” on page 13 up until the References section on page 28. For the lecture, review the portion of the podcast beginning at 41:34 and running until 55:56. Take approximately 30 minutes to review this material.

2.1.4 Nature vs. Nurture   - Reading: Nature vs. Nurture The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.1.5 Basis for Psychopathology   Note: The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Review the portion of the lecture beginning at 55:56 and running until 58:48. Take approximately 15 minutes to review this material.

2.2 Psychodynamic Paradigm   - Reading: Psychodynamic Paradigm The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.2.1 The Preconscious, Conscious, and Subconscious   - Reading: The Preconscious, Conscious, and Subconscious The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.2.2 The Id, Ego, and Superego   - Reading: The Id, Ego, and Superego The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.2.3 Psychosexual Stages of Development   Note: Freud believed that psychological development was critically associated with discrete stages in childhood. The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Review the portion of the lecture beginning at 1:20:05 and running until 1:27:54. Take approximately 15 minutes to review this material.

2.3 Behavioral Paradigm   2.3.1 Classical Conditioning   Note: Certain forms of learning are automatic and involuntary. Much of this learning falls into the category of classical conditioning. The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. To cover the topics outlined in subunits 2.3.1 through 2.3.3 as well as 2.4.3, review the portion of the lecture beginning at 1:27:54 and running until 1:33:40. Take approximately 15 minutes to review this material.

  • Web Media: YouTube: “Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov” Link: YouTube: “Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Watch this brief video for information on classical conditioning.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.2 Operant Conditioning   Note: In contrast to classical conditioning, operant conditioning consists of learning in which learners operate against the environment and earn consequences for their actions. The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Focus on the part of the lecture that begins at 1:27:54 and runs until 1:33:40. 

  • Web Media: YouTube: “Operant Conditioning” Link: YouTube: “Operant Conditioning” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch the brief video to learn about Skinner’s experiment with operant conditioning.
     
    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.3 Token Economy   Note: The lecture assigned below the Unit 2 introduction covers this topic. Focus on the part of the lecture that begins at 1:27:54 and runs until 1:33:40.

2.4 Cognitive Paradigm   - Reading: Cognitive Paradigm The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.4.1 Assumptions of Cognitive Paradigm   - Reading: Assumptions of Cognitive Paradigm The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.4.2 Cognitive Processes and Emotion   - Reading: Cognitive Processes and Emotion The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

2.4.3 Beck’s Cognitive Therapy   - Reading: Beck’s Cognitive Therapy The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Web Media: YouTube: “Judith Beck PhD Talks about Cognitive Therapy” Link: YouTube: “Judith Beck PhD Talks about Cognitive Therapy” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this brief video to learn about cognitive therapy.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.5 Diathesis Stress-Model   - Reading: National Center for Biotechnology Information: Dr. Grazyna Kochanska, Dr. Robert A. Philibert, and Dr. Robin A. Barry’s (2009) “Interplay of Genes and Early Mother-Child Relationship in the Development of Self-Regulation from Toddler to Preschool Age” Link: National Center for Biotechnology Information: Dr. Grazyna Kochanska, Dr. Robert A. Philibert, and Dr. Robin A. Barry’s (2009) “Interplay of Genes and Early Mother-Child Relationship in the Development of Self-Regulation from Toddler to Preschool Age” (HTML or PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article, which provides an example of how the diathesis-stress model can explain psychological difficulties. Please note that for the purposes of this course, you should skip the results section. Also, this article contains a detailed explanation of the possible genetic contributors to later emotion regulation difficulties. It is not important that you understand the detailed account of the genetic contributions; instead, please focus on how the model that explains the gene-environment interaction. You can access a PDF version of this article from the top right corner of the linked webpage.
 
Studying this reading should take approximately 45 minutes.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.