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Psychopathology exam questions

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Bina has been diagnosed with depression. Her doctor says that depression is a common problem but Bina is miserable. She cannot be bothered to get washed in the morning and her manager is unhappy tha... t she is taking a lot of time off work. When she does go to work she is irritable, has temper tantrums and is rude to customers. • Using your knowledge of three definitions of abnormality, explain whether or not Bina's behaviour might be considered to be abnormal. [6 marks] - Statistical infrequency - the doctor says depression is quite common therefore Bina's behaviour should not be considered abnormal. • Failure to function adequately - Bina is neglecting personal hygiene she also takes lots of time off work therefore her behaviour could be considered abnormal. • Deviation from ideal mental health - Bina is miserable therefore her behaviour could be considered abnormal. • Deviation from social norms - Bina has temper tantrums/is rude to customers which is not the norm for adults in a work environment therefore her behaviour could be considered to be abnormal. • Outline one behavioural and one cognitive characteristic of obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). [4 marks] - Behavioural characteristic - this is the compulsion element of the disorder, where a behaviour is performed repeatedly in order to alleviate anxiety • Cognitive characteristic - this is the obsessive element of the disorder, where the sufferer experiences unwanted/intrusive thoughts or images that cause distress • Credit other relevant characteristics e.g. avoidance (behavioural) • Describe one drug therapy that has been used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Identify one limitation of drug therapy. [4 marks] - Use of SSRIs e.g. fluoxetine • Acts to inhibit the re-uptake or re-absorption of serotonin in the brain • Enables the serotonin to remain active at the synapse • Serotonin continues to stimulate the post-synaptic neuron • Outline and evaluate the cognitive approach to treating depression. [8 marks] - *AO1* • Features of Beck's CBT • Focus on present experience • Identifying automatic negative or irrational thoughts • Thought catching • Challenging negative thoughts • Hypothesis testing via homework - patient as scientist • Behavioural activation - engaging in previously enjoyed activities to raise mood • Credit other relevant information e.g. Ellis's argumentation and disputation • *AO3* • Use of evidence to support effectiveness in alleviating symptoms, relapse rates etc. • Comparisons with medication e.g. March 2007 • Role of the patient as engaged and active rather than passive • General enhancement of personal experience and efficacy • Severely depressed cannot engage in the process and need medication • Time and commitment where part of reasoned justification • Distinguish between obsessions and compulsions. [2 marks] - Obsessions are internal components because they are thoughts, and compulsions are external components because they are behaviours. • Researchers analysed the behaviour of over 4000 pairs of twins. The results showed that the degree to which obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is inherited is between 45% and 65%. • With reference to the study described above, what do the results seem to show about possible influences on the development of OCD? [4 marks] - Results indicate development of OCD is at least partly genetic • The findings suggest that heritability is high (between 45% and 65%) • This means that there must also be other explanations (inherited influence is not 100%) • So other factors (e.g. environment or other bio factors) may also partly account for OCD. • Steven describes how he feels when he is in a public place. • 'I always have to look out for people who might be ill. If I come into contact with people who look ill, I think I might catch it and die. If someone starts to cough or sneeze then I have to get away and clean myself quickly.' • Outline one cognitive characteristic of OCD and one behavioural characteristic of OCD that can be identified from the description provided by Steven. [2 marks] - Cognitive characteristics of OCD: • Hypervigilance - 'looking out for people who are ill' • Catastrophic thinking - 'I might catch it and die'. • Behavioural characteristic of OCD: • Repetitive cleaning - 'I have to clean myself'. • Fill in A and B, to show Beck's negative triad as it is used to explain depression. • Negative views about • *A* for example: 'I am worthless' • Negative views about • *B*for example: 'I will never be any good at anything' • Negative views about • C *the world* for example: 'Nobody values me' • [2 marks] - A: Self. • B: The future. • Briefly outline one strength of the cognitive explanation of depression. [2 marks] - Based on sound experimental research • Have provided effective treatments for depression • Acknowledges role of thoughts in behaviour/disorders. • Outline and evaluate the behavioural approach to treating phobias. [12 marks] - *AO1* • Aims to replace a faulty association between CS and CR that has resulted in a phobic response • Gradually using systematic desensitisation - relaxation technique, anxiety hierarchy, exposure stages, imagined and or real/in vivo • Suddenly using flooding - no relaxation, visualisation, intensive exposure in vivo or in vitro • Virtual reality exposure therapy as an in vitro form of systematic desensitisation • Detail of studies illustrating aspects of behavioural therapies, e.g. Lang and Lazovik (1963). • *AO3* • Issues related to suitability and effectiveness for different types of phobia • Success outside the clinical situation and long-term effectiveness • Ethical problems, e.g. with flooding • Side effects such as nausea for VRET • Use of evidence to support or refute effectiveness. • What is meant by 'statistical infrequency' as a definition of abnormality? [2 marks] - A person's trait, thinking or behaviour would be considered to be an indication of abnormality if it was found to be numerically (statistically) rare/uncommon/anomalous • Gavin describes his daily life. • 'I sometimes get gripped with the thought that my family is in danger. In particular, I worry about them being trapped in a house fire. I now find that I can only calm myself if I check that every plug socket is switched off so an electrical fire couldn't start. I used to switch each socket on and off, but now I have to press each switch six times. It takes me ages to leave the house.' [Show More]

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