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Chapter 2:

Current Paradigms in Psychopathology



I. The Genetic Paradigm

II. The Neuroscience Paradigm

III. The Cognitive Behavioral Paradigm

IV. Factors That Cut Across the Paradigms

V. Diathesis-Stress: An _______________ Paradigm
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Goal: Study abnormal behavior scientifically
Science aims for objectivity

(Thomas Kuhn)
Perspective or conceptual framework from within which a
scientist operates
We can never be totally objective; subjective factors interfere

No one paradigm sufficient to completely explain
psychopathology
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Heredity plays a role in most behavior

Genes
Carriers of genetic information (DNA)
Impacted by environmental influences
e.g., stress, relationships, culture

Relationship between genes and environment is

__________________________

Nature via nurture (Ridley, 2003)
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Gene ________________________
Proteins influence whether the action of a specific gene
will occur

________________________ transmission
Multiple gene pairs vs. single gene

________________________
Extent to which variability in behavior is due to genetic
factors
Heritability estimate ranges from 0.00 to 1.00
Group, rather than individual indicator
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Shared environment
Events and experiences that family members have in
common

Nonshared environment
Events and experiences that are unique to each family
member
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Study of the degree to which genes and
environmental factors influence behavior

Genotype
Genetic material inherited by an individual

________________________

Phenotype
Expressed genetic material

________________________ behavior and characteristics
Depends on interaction of genotype and environment
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Identifies particular genes and their functions
Alleles
Different forms of the same gene
Polymorphism
Difference in DNA sequence on a gene occurring in a population
SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms)
Identify differences in sequence of genes
CNVs (Copy Number Variations)
Identify differences in structure of genes; can be additions or
deletions in DNA within genes

________________________ studies
Removing specific genes in animals to observe effect on behavior
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Gene-environment interaction
Ones response to a specific environmental event is

________________________ by genes

________________________
Study of how the environment can alter gene expression or
function
Cross-fostering ________________________ method
Rats born to mothers with low parenting skills who were raised by
mothers with high parenting skills showed lower levels of stress
reactivity (Francis et al., 1999)
Environment (mothering) was responsible for turning on (or turning up)
the expression of a particular gene
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Genes predispose individuals to _____________
situations that increase the likelihood of
developing a disorder.

Adolescent girls with genetic vulnerability for
depression are more likely to experience events
that can trigger depression (Silberg et al., 1999)

Dependent life events influenced by genes (Kendler
and Baker, 2007)
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Examines the contribution of brain __________

and ______________________ to psychopathology
Mental disorders are linked to aberrant processes in
the brain.

Three major components:
Neurons and neurotransmitters
Brain structure and function
Neuroendocrine system

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Neurons
Cells of the nervous system
Four major parts
Cell body
Dendrites
Axons
Terminal buttons
Nerve Impulse
Dendrites or cell body stimulated
Travels downs axon to terminal
Synapse
Gap between neurons
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reserved. 13
Neurotransmitter
Chemicals that allow neurons to
send a signal across the synapse
to another neuron
Receptor sites on
postsynaptic neuron absorb
neurotransmitter
Excitatory
Inhibitory
Reuptake
Reabsorption of leftover
neurotransmitter by presynaptic
neuron
________________________ and Dopamine
Implicated in depression, mania, and schizophrenia
Norepinephrine
Implicated in anxiety and other stress-related disorders
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
Inhibits nerve impulses
Implicated in anxiety
Possible mechanisms
Excessive or inadequate levels
Insufficient reuptake
Excessive number or sensitivity of postsynaptic receptors
Second Messengers help neurons adjust receptor sensitivity after periods
of high activity
Agonist drugs ________________________ neurotransmitter
receptor sites
Antagonist drugs ________________________
neurotransmitter receptor sites
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Two cerebral hemispheres
Connected by Corpus Callosum

Sulci (fissures) define
regions or lobes of the
cerebrum (gray matter):
Frontal (Reasoning, Problem
Solving, Emotion Regulation)
Parietal (Sensory-Spatial)
Occipital (Vision)
Temporal (Sounds)

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White Matter Interior
Myelinated (sheathed) nerve
fibers
Thalamus
Sensory relay station (except
olfactory)
Brain Stem
Pons and medulla oblongata
Cerebellum
Responsible for balance, posture,
equilibrium


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Limbic System (outdated
term):
Often implicated in
psychopathology

Involved in the expression of
emotions

_______________ is key brain
structure for psychopathology
researchers due to role in
attending to emotionally
salient stimuli and in
emotionally relevant
memories
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HPA axis involved in stress
Hypothalamus triggers
release of corticotropin-
releasing hormone (CRF)
Pituitary gland releases
adrenocorticotropic
hormone (ACTH)
Adrenal cortex triggers
release of cortisol, the
stress hormone
Takes 20-40 minutes for cortisol
to peak
Takes up to 1 hour for cortisol
levels to return to baseline
________________________ drugs alter
neurotransmitter activity
Antidepressants
Antipsychotics
Benzodiazepenes

A neuroscience view does not preclude
psychological interventions

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Reductionism

View that behavior can best be understand by

reducing it to its basic ________________________
components

Ignores more complex views of behavior

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Roots in ________________________ principles and
cognitive science
Behavior is reinforced by consequences
Attention
Escape or avoidance
Sensory stimulation
Access to desirable objects or events
To alter behavior, modify consequences
Time out
Systematic desensitization
Relaxation plus exposure
Imaginal or in vivo
Important treatment for anxiety disorders
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Behaviorism criticized for ignoring thoughts and
emotions
Cognition
A mental process that includes:
Perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, judging, and reasoning

________________________
Organized network of previously accumulated knowledge
We actively interpret new information
Role of attention in psychopathology
Anxious individuals more likely to attend to threat or
danger
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Contemporary theorists have attempted to study
the unconscious scientifically

Implicit memory
The unconscious may reflect ________________________
information processing rather than being a repository for
troubling material
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Attends to thoughts, perceptions,
judgments, self-statements, and
unconscious assumptions

Cognitive ________________________
Change a pattern of thinking
Changes in thinking can change feelings,
behaviors, and symptoms
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Initially developed for depression

Depression caused by distorted thoughts
Nothing ever goes right for me!

Information-Processing Bias
Attention, interpretation, and recall of negative and positive
information biased in depression

Help patients recognize and change maladaptive
thought patterns
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Focus is on ________________________
determinants of disorder
Childhood and other historical antecedents
given less attention

Are distorted thoughts the cause or the result of
psychopathology?
Causal status ________________________
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Affect vs. Mood
Emotion
Components
Expressive
Experiential
Physiological
Most psychopathology includes disturbances of one or more
component
e.g., flat affect in schizophrenia
What is your Ideal Affect?
Happiness vs. Calmness
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Sociocultural Factors
Gender, race, culture, ethnicity, and
socioeconomic status

May increase vulnerability to psychopathology
e.g., women more likely to experience
depression than men

Some disorders specific to certain cultures
Hikikomori in Japanese culture

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Object relations theory
Longstanding patterns of relating to others
Attachment theory
Type and style of infants attachment to caregivers can
influence later psychological functioning
Relational self
Individuals will describe themselves differently depending
upon which close relationships are told to think about
________________________Therapy (IPT)
Impact of current relationships on psychopathology
Unresolved grief; Role transitions; Role disputes; Social deficits

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Integrative model that incorporates multiple causal
factors
Genetic, neurobiological, psychological, and environmental
Diathesis
Underlying ________________________
May be biological or psychological
Increases ones risk of developing disorder
Stress
Environmental events
May occur at any point after conception
Triggering event
Psychopathology unlikely to result from one single
factor
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