Abnormal Psychology Ch 4


an educated guess about what you expect to find

dependent variable
Some aspect of the phenomenon that i measured and is expected to be changed or influenced by the independent variable.

Independent variable
The aspect manipulated or thought to influence the change in the dependent variable.

Internal Validity
the extent to which the results of the study can be attributed to the independent variable.

External validity
the extent t which the results of the study can be generalized or applied outside the immediate study.

Research design
The plan for testing the hypothesis. Affected by the question addressed, by the hypothesis, and by practical considerations.

the ability to support a hypothesis

confound or confounding variable
any factor occurring in a study that makes the results uninterpretable because a variable other than the independent variable may also affect the dependent variable.

control group
people are similar to the experimental group in every way except that members of the experimental group are exposed to the independent variable and those in the control group are not. Control groups help rule out alternative explanations for rests, herby strengthening internal validity.

the process of assigning people to different research groups in such a way that each person has an equal chance of being placed in any group. Helps increase internal validity by eliminating any systematic bias in assignment, but does not necessarily eliminate bias in the group.

Analogue models
A type of study that attempts to replicate/stimulate a situation analogous to real life, but under controlled settings.

the extent to which a study’s results apply to everyone with a particular disorder.

statistical significance
a mathematical calculation about different groups

clinical significance
whether a mathematical calculation about different groups was meaningful for those affected

effect size
how large statistical differences are. Instead of looking at the results of the group as a whole, individual differences are taken into account as well.

Social Validity
Montrose Wolf’s technique that involves obtaining input from the person being treated, as well as from significant others, about the importance of the changes that have occurred.

Patient uniformity myth
the tendency to see all participants as one homogeneous group. Comparing groups according to their mean scores hides important differences in individual reactions to our interventions. The patient uniformity myth has lead researchers to make inaccurate generalizations about disorders and their treatments.

case study method
one way to begin exploring a relatively unknown disorder. Study one or more individuals who exhibit the behavioral pattern in question very closely. It does not use the scientific method. Lacks controls, few efforts are made to ensure internal validity, and many confounding variables may be present.

-coincidences occur that often lead to mistaken conclusions about what causes certain conditions and what treatment appears to be effective.

a statistical relationship between two variables.

Correlational designs
used to study phenomena as they occur. there is no changing of the independent variable. its not an experimental design.

positive correlation
great strength or quantity in one variable is associated with great strength or quantity in the other variable. Vice versa for low strength associated with low strength. Correlation coefficient is between 0 and +1 “perfect” relationship.

negative correlation
As one variable increases, the other decreases. Farther away from 0, stronger the effect.

Directionality problem
when we do not know whether A causes B, B causes A, or a third variable C causes A and B.

the study of incidence, distribution, and consequences of a particular problem or set of problems in one or more populations. Epidemiologists expect that by tracking a disorder among many people they will find important clues as to why the disorder exists. Epidemiological research can’t tell us conclusively what causes a particular phenomenon.
-one strategy is to determine prevalence
-one strategy is to determine incidence

the number of people with a disorder at any one time

the estimated number of new cases during a specific period

involves the manipulation of an independent variable and the observation of its effects. We manipulate the independent variable to answer the question of causality.

manipulating a variable
introducing or withdrawing a variable in a way that would not have occurred naturally

clinical trial
an experiment used to determine the effectiveness and safety of a treatment or treatments. it is not a design by itself but rather a method of evaluation that follows a number of accepted rules. These rules cover how you should select the research participants, how many individuals should be included in the study, how they should be assigned to groups, and how the data should be analyzed – in order to ensure everyone is treated the same.

Randomized clinical trial
experiments that employ randomization of participants into each experiments that employ randomization of participants into each experimental group.

Controlled clinical trials
describes experiments that rely on control conditions to be used for comparison purposes.

Randomized control trial
the preferred method of conducting a clinical trial, which uses randomization and one or more control conditions.

Placebo Effect
When behavior changes as a result of a person’s expectation of a change, rather than as a result of any manipulation by the experimenter. The placebo effect is a confound that can dilute the validity of the research.

Placebo control groups
One way researchers attempt to counteract the placebo effect. A placebo typically refers to inactive medications such as sugar pills. In psychological treatments it is not always easy to devise something that people believe may help them but does not include the component the researcher believes is effective. Clients in these types of control groups are often given part of the actual therapy – for example, the same homework as the treated grow – but not the portions the researchers believe are responsible for improvements.

Double-blind control
a variant of the placebo control group procedure. In this kind of study, not only are the participants in the study blind to what group they are in or what treatment they are given, but so are the researchers or therapists providing said treatment. Eliminates the allegiance effect.

Single-blind control
a variant of the placebo control group procedure. In this kind of study, the participants in the study blind to what group they are in or what treatment they are given

allegiance effect
when a researcher might subconsciously try harder to make the effect he believes is better succeed, or might not try as hard to see one succeed that he wasn’t expecting to.

comparative treatment research
researchers give different treatments to two or more comparable groups of people with a particular disorder and can then assess how or whether each treatment helped the people who received it.

Process research
focuses on the mechanisms responsible for behavior change, or why something works.

treatment process
involves finding out why or how your treatment works

treatment outcome
involves finding out what changes occur after treatment

single-case experimental design
differ from case studies in their use of various strategies to improve internal validity, thereby reducing the number of confiding variables. Uses repeated measurement.

repeated measurement
Used in single-case experimental designs, in which a behavior is measured several times instead of only once before you change the independent variable and once afterward. The researcher takes the same measurements repeatedly to learn how variable the behavior is (how much does it change from day to day?) and whether it shows any obvious trends (is it getting better or worse?)
Three important parts:
1)the level or degree of behavior change with different interventions
2)the variability of change
3)the trend of change

degree of change in a phenomenon over time

direction of change of a behavior or behaviors (ex increasing or decreasing)

Withdrawal design
when a researcher tries to determine whether the independent variable is responsible for changes in behavior. Has 3 parts:
1)baseline is established
2)change in independent variable
3)treatment is withdrawn

**although case studies often involve treatment, they don’t include any effort to learn whether the person would have improved without the treatment. A withdrawal gives researchers a better sense of whether or not the treatment itself caused behavior change.

A person’s condition before treatment

Drug holidays
periods when the medication (treatment) is withdrawn so that clinicians can determine whether it is responsible for the treatment effects.

Multiple baseline
When the researcher start treatment at different times across settings (home versus school), behaviors (yelling at spouse or boss), or people, as opposed to withdrawing treatment to see if it is effective. Advantageous because it does not involve withdrawing treatment which can often be impossible.

the observable characteristics or behavior of the individual. Our knowledge of phenotypes exceeds our knowledge of genotypes.

the unique genetic makeup of individual people.

all the genes of an organism

Human genome project
a rough draft of the mapping of the approximately 25,000 human genes.

the genetic mechanisms that ultimately contribute to the underlying problems causing the symptoms and difficulties experienced by people with psychological disorders.

family studies
when scientists examine a behavioral pattern or emotional trait in the context of the family. the family member with the trait singled out for study is called the proband.

the family member with the trait singled out for study.

adoption studies
one way to separate environmental from genetic influences influences in families. Scientists identify adoptees who have a particular behavioral pattern or psychological disorder and attempt to locate first-degree relatives who were raised in different family settings.

twin studies
idea is to answer whether identical twins share the same trait more often than fraternal twins.

Genetic linkage analyses
a strategy of locating a defective gene. When a family disorder is studied, other inherited characteristics (called genetic markers) are assessed at the same time. These markers are selected because we know their exact location … so if a link is made between the inheritance of the disorder and the inheritance of the gene marker, we can speculate that they might be located in similar places on the chromosome. Compares markers in a large group of people with a particular disorder.

Association studies
a strategy of locating a defective gene. Compares large groups of people with a particular disorder to people who do not have this disorder. Uses genetic markers – If certain markers occur more often in people with the disorder, it is assumed that the markers are close to the genes involved with the disorder.

Positive development or Health promotion strategies
Focuses on skill building to prevent problems from developing. It involves covering an entire populate of people – even those who may not be at risk – to prevent later problems and promote protective behaviors.

Universal protection strategies
Focus on entire populations and target specific risk factors without focusing on specific individuals.

Selective prevention
targets a specific group of children who are at risk as opposed to the entire population, and designs specific interventions aimed at helping them avoid future problems.

Indicated Prevention
A strategy for individuals who are beginning to show signs of problems but do not yet have a psychological disorder.

Cross section design
When researchers take groups of a population at different age groups ad compare them on some characteristic. Each group of participants. (ex 3 cohorts, 12 year olds, 15year olds, and 17 year olds.) Easier to use than longitudinal designs. One question not answered by these studies is how problems develop in individuals.

each group of participants in a cross sectional study`

cohort effect
the confounding of age and experience – a limitation of the cross-sectional design. When differences among cohorts in their opinions about something may be related to their respective cognitive and emotional development at these different ages and to their dissimilar experiences.

Retrospective information
when you receive information by asking someone to look back.

Longitudinal designs
when researchers follow one group over time and assess change in its members directly. Benefits: do not suffer from the cohort effect problems and they allow the researchers to assess individual change. good for determining the outcomes of parenting practices. Cons: can suffer from the cross generational effect

cross generational effect
involves trying to generalize the findings to groups whose experiences are different from those of the study participants.

Sequential design
when psychopathologists combine longitudinal and cross sectional designs. Involves repeated study of different cohorts over time.

informed consent
A research participant’s formal agreement to cooperate in a study following full disclosure of the nature of the research and the participant’s role in it.

Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct
a manual published by the American psychological association which includes general guidelines for conducting research.

correlation coefficient
describes the direction and strength of the relationship between two sets of variables

the degree of behavior change with different interventions (top)

genetic marker
a specific gene that produces a recognizable trait and can be used in family or population studies