Definition: Behavior that is judged to be
atypical, disturbing, maladaptive and unjustifiable.
Biological (medical model): Abnormal behavior has a
biochemical or physiological basis.
Diathesis-stress model: people biologically or genetically
predisposed to a disorder can develop that disorder when
exposed to stress.
Psychoanalytic Model : Abnormal behavior is a result
of unconscious conflicts.
Behavioral Model : Abnormal behavior is a result of
Cognitive Model : Abnormal behavior is a result or
irrational or maladaptive ways of thinking.
Classifying Psychological Disorders
Neurotic vs. Psychotic Disorders
DSM-IV: The American Psychological
Association’s (APA) Diagnostic &
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder :
continual tenseness & nervousness.
Panic Disorder : intense fear or terror that seems to
come “out of the blue”. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
: person is compelled to think disturbing thoughts
(obsessions) and perform senseless rituals (compulsions)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : anxiety
& nightmares result from some disturbing incident from the
Phobic Disorder : irrational fear & avoidance of a
specific object or situation.
Social Phobia (ex: public speaking)
Simple Phobia (snakes, heights, etc.)
Phobic Disorder (cont.)
Agoraphobia : fear of leaving home or being in open
Explaining Anxiety Disorders
Behavioral (learning) Model:
operant conditioning (reinforcement)
observational learning (Bandura)
Psychoanalytic : anxiety is a result of repressed
impulses that begin to come into consciousness.
Somatization Disorder : vague,
recurring physical symptoms for which no medical cause can
Conversion Disorder : specific and dramatic physical
disability for which no medical cause can be found (e.g.,
blindness, and paralysis).
Hypochondriasis : small & insignificant symptoms are
interpreted as signs of serious illness.
Disorders in which some aspect of the personality seems
separated or fragmented from the rest.
: selective memory loss often
brought about by severe stress. Dissociative Fugue
amnesia accompanied by flight from one’s home and identity.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (
disorder): more than one personality seems to be present in
a single individual.