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Historical Approaches to Abnormal Behavior, Part III January 29, 2014 PSYC 2340: Abnormal Psychology Brett Deacon, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Historical Approaches to Abnormal Behavior, Part III January 29, 2014 PSYC 2340: Abnormal Psychology Brett Deacon, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Historical Approaches to Abnormal Behavior, Part III January 29, 2014 PSYC 2340: Abnormal Psychology Brett Deacon, Ph.D.

2 Announcement Sona systems mass testing has begun

3 From Last Class Chemical imbalance theory Psychoanalytic tradition Humanistic tradition

4 From Last Class Humanistic tradition: summary Rejection of DSM diagnostic system Rejection of clinical trials based on DSM Assumption that relationship is why therapy works Rejection of specific techniques for specific problems Assumption clients know what’s best for themselves

5 The Humanistic Tradition What therapy is, and is not, within the humanistic tradition Carol Rogers and client-centered therapy s&feature=related s&feature=related Critical analysis?

6 The Behavioral Tradition Arose in reaction to psychoanalytic model Disagreement with the “deeper meaning” of symptoms Rejection of immeasurable concepts as speculative and nonscientific Emphasis on experimentally demonstrable principles of conditioning and learning

7 Classical Conditioning First demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov (1927) Process by which a neutral stimulus acquires the power to elicit a response by being repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus Simple definition: paired learning

8 Classical Conditioning How classically conditioned responses are acquired: An unconditioned stimulus (meat) automatically elicits an unconditioned response (salivation) A neutral stimulus (bell) is repeatedly paired with the unconditioned stimulus (meat) Eventually, the neutral stimulus (bell) becomes a conditioned stimulus that has the power to elicit the response (now called a conditioned response) Example: Little Albert’s rabbit fear

9 Classical Conditioning: Examples Roommate tormenting: Product advertisements: 4&list=PL0D74B5C A 4&list=PL0D74B5C A

10 Classical Conditioning How are conditioned responses extinguished? Repeatedly presenting the CS in the absence of the UCS Hitting the easy button without shooting your roommate Drinking Coke in the absence of cuddly polar bears

11 Another Example Jesse is mugged at gunpoint in her driveway one night by a male with a beard wearing Polo cologne Which previously neutral stimuli might now feared by Jesse because of classical conditioning? How could such conditioned fears be overcome?

12 Operant Conditioning Behavior is modified by its consequences Pleasurable consequences strengthen behavior Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Aversive consequences weaken behavior Positive punishment Negative punishment

13 Operant Conditioning Negative reinforcement is not the same thing as punishment! Reinforcement strengthens behavior Punishment weakens behavior

14 Operant Conditioning – Clinical Applications Irene is a recovering heroin addict with mild mental retardation. On the inpatient substance abuse unit, she often engages in a form of self-injurious behavior in which she stares at a staff member, smiles, strikes her ears with her hands, and repeats the word “no” while shaking her head. Staff members typically respond by approaching her, gently grabbing her hands, and reminding her that such behavior is not acceptable. The persistent nature of this behavior is a serious concern among staff members who don’t want Irene to hurt herself but are also concerned that she is manipulating them.

15 Operant Conditioning – Clinical Applications What operant conditioning process is maintaining Irene’s self-injurious behavior? What operant conditioning process is maintaining the staff’s response to Irene’s self- injurious behavior? How could you use operant conditioning to change Irene’s behavior?

16 The Cognitive Tradition Basic principle: People are upset not because of events or situations, but by the meaning that people give to events or situations When the meaning is negative, negative emotions result Perceived threat = anxiety Perceived loss = sadness Perceived unfairness = anger

17 The Cognitive Model: A Clinical Example Lisa is bothered by recurrent, distressing obsessions that she can’t seem to get out of her mind. These include unwanted urges to stab her friends, urges to hit pedestrians with her car, impulses to engage in sexually inappropriate acts, and urges to drive her car off bridges. She is terrified that she will act on these thoughts, even though she has no desire to do so and finds them abhorrent. She goes to great lengths to avoid acting on them, and her lifestyle becomes dramatically restricted as a result. She eventually begins taking medication and seeing a therapist.

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19 The Cognitive Model: An Everyday Example Ed sometimes has weird thoughts, such as unwanted urges to stab his friends, urges to hit pedestrians with his car, impulses to engage in sexually inappropriate acts, and urges to drive his car off bridges. He has no desire to act on the thoughts. He easily dismisses them as senseless and unimportant, and they do not bother him.

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21 The Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition Behavioral and cognitive therapies (i.e., cognitive-behavioral therapy) Theory and practice Tend to be short-term, problem-focused, present-focused Cognitive-behavioral therapies have widespread empirical support We’ll talk about plenty of examples this spring


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