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Chapter 14 Psychological Disorders


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Attentional bias
A social-cognitive explanation for phobias which proposes that people with phobias focus their attention on feared aspects of the environment.
Type of anxiety disorder involving fear of being in situations of public places where escape would be difficult.
Dissociative amnesia
Psychological disorder involving the forgetting of past experiences following a stressful event. ____________ ________ is characterized by extensive memory loss.
Phobic disorder
Type of anxiety disorder involving excessive fear of a specific, object, activity, or situation. This fear is out of proportion to the true danger, and it cannot be eliminated by rational thought.
Psychological disorder that involves severely disordered thoughts, although perceptual, emotional, social, and behavioral processes may also be disturbed. People with schizophrenia experience disorganized thought process. In some cases, this disorganization is so extreme that individuals lose contact with reality.
Repetitive behaviors performed according to certain rules, often linked with obsessive thoughts. People with compulsions usually realize that their compulsive behavior is unreasonable. Common compulsions include hand washing, counting and checking the location of an object.
Psychological disorders
Disorders involving behavior that is (1) distressing (2) maladaptive and (3) different from the social norms
Ruminative responses
Thoughts and behaviors that cause depressed people to focus their attention on their symptoms.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Pattern of disordered reactions following a traumatic event. These reactions may include anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate, and emotional numbness, as well as flashbacks to the traumatic event.
Panic disorder
Type of anxiety disorder marked by recurrent panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety that occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Someone in the midst of a panic attack may feel smothering sensations, severe chest pains, and a fear of dying.
Social Phobia
Type of phobic disorder in which people are excessively afraid of social situations, because they are afraid they are going to do something embarrassing.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
Manual for classifying psychological disorders, containing descriptions of the major categories of disorders as well as a description of specific criteria that must be met before a diagnosis can be assigned.
Paranoid schizophrenia
Person with one or more persistent, bizarre delusions.
Dopamine hypothesis
Hypothesis that schizophrenia is caused by too much dopamine at critical synapses in the brain.
Multiple personality disorder
Psychological disorder that occurs when a person has two or more distinct, well-developed personalities. Typically the personalities are dramatically different from each other, and there is a distinct unawareness of the other personalities. Currently known as dissociative identity disorder.
Mood Disorders
Psychological disorders characterized by persistent, extreme disturbances of mood or emotional state. Examples include major depression, bipolar disorder, and mania.
Dissociative identity disorder
Psychological disorder that occurs when a person has two or more distinct, well-developed personalities. Typically the personalities are dramatically different from each other, and there is a distinct unawareness of the other personalities. Previously known as multiple personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder
Type of personality disorder characterized by unstable interpersonal relationships, inappropriate anger, unstable mood, and impulsiveness.
Personality disorder
Psychological disorders in which personality traits become inflexible and maladaptive. People with personality disorders typically share these problems: (1) a disability at work and in social relationships (2) frequent interpersonal conflicts, (3) an ability to cause distress to other people, and (4) a maladaptive response to stress.
Availability heuristic
General strategy used when people estimate frequency or probability in terms of how easy it is to think of examples of something.
Strong mental images that seem as if they truly occurred in the absence of physical stimuli. The most common hallucinations are auditory, such as voices coming from outside one's head, but they may also include visions, smells, tastes and skin-sense hallucinations.
Anxiety disorders
Anxiety that persists without any clear explanation and that causes intense suffering. Five types of anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders and agoraphobia, phobic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorders.
Bipolar disorder
Mood disorder in which the individual experiences both depressive episodes and manic episodes.
Distracting responses
Thoughts and behaviors that cause depress people to shift their attention among two or more competing tasks.
Major depression
Mood disorder characterized by frequent episodes of intense hopelessness and lowered self-esteem.
Diathesis-stress model
Model stating that people are born with a predisposition (diathesis) to respond to a stressful situation by developing a psychological disorder.
Antisocial personality disorder
Type of personality disorder characterized by a variety of antisocial behaviors, including lying, violence, and other actions that show little concern for the welfare of others.
Pessimistic explanatory style
Depressed person's belief that their sorrows are permanent, widespread, and traceable to themselves.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Type of personality disorder characterized by a personality that overemphasizes details, conscientiousness, and rigid compliance with rules.
Dissociative disorders
Psychological disorder involving the splitting off (or dissociating) of a person's identity, memory, or consciousness
In the nervous system, chemical substances stored in the neurons that alter the electrical activity of the postsynaptic neuron.
Persistent, unwanted thoughts that are unreasonable. Typical obsessions include inappropriate worry over germs or illness and excessive concerns about other people.
Cognitive-behavioral approach
Therapy that acknowledges behavior principles and also emphasizes observational learning and cognitive interpretations of the world.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Disabling conditions that involve recurrent, time-consuming obsessions and /or compulsions.
Mood disorder characterized by an abnormally positive, over-excited state, accompanied by high self-esteem.
Catatonic stupor
Symptoms of schizophrenia in which a person stands rigidly immobile and unresponsive for hours.
Generalized anxiety disorder
Disorders characterized by continuous long-lasting worry and tension. People with this disorder cannot identify a specific cause of their anxiety. They also have physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and muscle tension.
False belief that a person firmly holds, despite any objective evidence.
In the nature-nurture question, the extent to which the variation in some characteristic can be traced to differences in heredity as opposed to differences in environment. The heritability index can vary between 0% (little of the variation can be traced to heredity) to 100% (almost all of the variation can be traced to heredity).
Lifetime prevalence
The likelihood that someone will experience a psychological disorder at some point in life.
Flat effect
Little sign of either positive or negative emotion, often characteristic of schizophrenics. In flat affect, the voice is a monotone and the face has no expression.

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