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Abnormal Psychology Glossary

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Abstinence violation effect
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A sense of loss of control over one’s behavior that has an overwhelming demoralizing effect. (Chapter 13: Substance-Related Disorders)
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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
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A form of cognitive therapy that helps clients accept the full range of their subjective experiences such as distressing thoughts and feelings, as they commit themselves to tasks aimed at achieving behavior change that will lead to an improved quality of life. (Chapter 4:Theoretical Perspectives)
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Active phase
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A period in the course of schizophrenia in which psychotic symptoms are present. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Acute Stress Disorder
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An anxiety disorder that develops after a traumatic event, with symptoms such as depersonalization, numbing, dissociative amnesia, intense anxiety, hypervigilance, and impairment of everyday functioning. People with this disorder may reexperience the event and desperately avoid reminders of the trauma. These symptoms arise within the month following the trauma and last from 2 days to 4 weeks. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Adoption study
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A method of comparing genetic versus environmental contributions to a disorder by tracking the incident of disorders in childrenwho biological parents have psychological disorders but whose rearing parents do not. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Adult antisocial behavior
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Illegal or immoral behavior, such as stealing, lying or cheating. (Chapter 10: Personality Disorders)
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Affect
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An individuals outward expression of emotion. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Affective flattening
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A symptom of schizophrenia in which an individual seems unresponsive and which is reflected in relatively motionless body language and facial reactions, as well as minimal eye contact. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Agnosia
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The inability to recognize familiar objects or experiences, despite the ability to perceive their basic elements. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Agoraphobia
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Intense anxiety about being trapped or stranded in a situation with out help if a panic attack occurs. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Akinesia
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A motor disturbance in which a person muscle become rigid and movement is difficult to initiate. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)
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A zinc-containing enzyme that breaks down alcohol into fatty acids, carbon dioxide, and water before it enters that blood stream. (Chapter 13: Substance-Related Disorders)
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Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)
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An enzyme that is involved in metabolizing alcohol. (Chapter 13: Substance-Related Disorders)
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Allel
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One of two different variations of a gene. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Alogia
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Speechlessnes or a notable lack of spontaneity or responsiveness in conversation. (Chapter 7: Sexual Disorders)
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Alters
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The alternative personalities that develop in an individual with dissociative identity disorder. (Chapter 6: Somatoform Disorders Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Conditions and Dissociative Disorders)
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Alzheimers’s disease
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A form of dementia characterized be progressive and gradual cognitive deficits due to severe cerebral atrophy. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Amnestic Disorders
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Cognitive disorders involving the inability to recall previously learned information or to register new memories. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Amyloid cascade hypothesis
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The proposal that Alzheimer’s disease results form snipping of beta amyloid when its being manufactured in the neuron. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Amyloid plaques
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A characteristic of in which clusters of dead or dying neurons become mixed together with fragments of protein molecules, (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Anal Stage
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A period of psychosexual development in which the toddler’s pleasure focuses on anal stimulation from holding onto expelling feces. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Anhedonia
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A loss of interest in or ability to experience pleasure from activities most people find appealing. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Anorexia nervosa
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An eating disorder characterized by inability to maintain normal weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and distorted body perception. (Chapter 14: Eating Disorders and Impulse-Control Disorders)
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Antisocial personality disorder
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A personality disorder characterized by a lack of regard for society’s moral or legal standards. (Chapter 10: Personality Disorders)
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Anxiety
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A future oriented and global response, involving both cognitive and emotional components, in which an individual is inordinately apprehensive, tense, and uneasy about the prospect of something terrible happening. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Anxiety disorders
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Disorders characterized by intense, irrational, and an incapacitating apprehension. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Anxiety sensitive theory
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The belief that panic disorder is caused in part by the tendency to interpret cognitive and somatic manifestations in a catastrophic manner. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Aphasia
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A loss of the ability to use language. (Chapter 12: Age-related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Apraxia
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Loss of the ability to carry out coordinated body movements that the individual could previously perform with out difficulty. (Chapter 12: Age-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Asperger’s disorder
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A pervasive developmental disorder in which a child maintains adequate cognitive and language development but becomes severely impaired in social interaction. Children with this disorder also develop restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Assessment
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The evaluation of a person in terms of the psychological, physical, and social factors that have the most influence on the individual’s functioning. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Assigned (biological) sex
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The sex of the individual that is recorded on the birth certificate. (Chapter 7: Sexual Disorders)
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Asylum
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Literally a place of refuge or safety; the term was originally used to describe a psychiatric facility and later came to have negative connotations. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Attachment style
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The way a person relates to a caregiver figure. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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A behavior disorder involving problems with inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Auditory Hallucination
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A hallucination that involves hearing sounds, often voices, or even entire conversations. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Autistic disorder
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A pervasive developmental disorder involving massive impairment in an individuals ability to communicate and relate emotionally to others. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Automatic thoughts
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Ideas so deeply entrenched that the individual is not even aware that they lead to feelings of unhappiness and discouragement. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Aversions
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Responses of discomfort or dislike to a particular object or situation. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Aversive conditioning
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A form of conditioning in which a painful stimulus is paired with an initially neutral initially neutral stimulus. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Avoidant Personality Disorder
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A personality disorder whose most prominent feature is that the individual desires, but is fearful of, any involvement with other people and is terrified at the prospect of being publicly embarrassed. (Chapter 10: Personality Disorders)
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Avolition
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A lack of initiative, either not wanting to take any action or lacking the energy and will to take action. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Axis
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A class of information in DWM-IV regarding an aspect of the individual’s function.. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plan)
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Baseline
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The period in which a participant is observed prior to being given treatment, the purpose being to document the frequency of the target behavior. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Base rate
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The frequency with which a disorder occurs in the general population. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plan)
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Behavioral assessment
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A form of measurement based on objective recording of the individual’s behavior. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Behavioral medicine
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An interdisciplinary approach to medical conditionals affected by psychological factors that is rooted in learning theory. (Chapter 6: (Chapter 6: Somatoform Disorders, Psychological Factors Affecting Mental Disorders, and Dissociative Disorders)
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Behavioral observation
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A behavior al method of assessment in which the clinician observes the individual and records the frequency of specific behaviors along with any relevant situational factors. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Behavioral perspective
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A theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that abnormality is caused by faulty learning experiences. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Behavioral self-report
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A method of behavioral assessment in which the individual provides information about the frequency of particular behaviors. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Benzodiazepines
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Medications that slow down the central nervous system reactions that are thought to contribute to anxiety. (Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Big win
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A gain of large amounts of money in one bet that propels the pathological gambler into a pattern of uncontrollable gambling. (Chapter 14: Eating Disorders and Impulse Control Disorders)
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Binges
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The ingestion of large amounts of food during a short period of time, even after reaching a point of feeling full and a lack of control over what or how much is eaten. (Chapter 14: Eating Disorders and Impulse Control Disorders)
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Biofeedback
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A procedure in which people learn to monitor and control their autonomic responses, such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance, and muscular tension. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Biological markers
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Measurable characteristics or traits whose patterns parallel the inheritance of a disorder or other characteristics. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Biological perspective
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A theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that disturbances in emotions, behavior and cognitive processes are caused by abnormalities in the functioning of the body. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Biopsychosocial
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A model in which the interaction of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors is seen as influencing the development of the individual. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Bipolar disorder
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A mood disorder involving manic episodes- intense and very and very disruptive experiences of heightened mood, possibly altering with major depressive episodes. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Bipolar I disorder
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The diagnosis used to describe a clinical course in which the individual experiences one or more manic episodes with the possibility of, though not the necessity, of having experienced one or more major depressive episodes. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Bipolar II disorder
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The diagnosis used to describe a clinical course in which one or more major depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic episode. (Chapter 5: Mood Disorders)
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Body dysmorphic disorder
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A somatoform disorder in which individuals are preoccupied with the idea that a part of their body is ugly or defective. (Chapter 6: Somatoform Disorders, Psychological Factors Affecting Mental Disorders, and Dissociative Disorders)
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Borderline personality disorder
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A personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of poor impulse control and unsustainability in mood, interpersonal relationships, and self image. (Chapter 10: Personality Disorders)
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Bradykinesia
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A motor disturbance involving a general slowing of motor activity. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Brief psychotic disorder
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A disorder characterized by sudden onset of psychotic symptoms that are limited to a period less than a month. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Broca’s aphasia
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A form of aphasia that involves a disturbance in language production but intact comprehension abilities. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Bulimia nervosa
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An eating disorder involving between extremes of eating large amounts of food in a short time, and then compensating for the added calories by either vomiting or other extreme actions to avoid gaining weight. (Chapter 14: Eating Disorders and Impulse Control Disorders)
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Caregiver burden
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The adverse effects on caregivers from the constant demands placed on them by their role. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Case formulation
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A clinicians analysis of the factors that might have influenced the clients current pathological status. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plan)
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Capase theory of Alzheimer’s disease
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The proposal that beta amyloid stimulates substances called capases, that become enzymes that destroy neurons. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Catatonia
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Extreme motor disturbances in an individual not attributable to psychological causes. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Childhood disintegrative disorder
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A pervasive developmental disorder in which the child develops normally and then starts to lose language, social and motor skills, as well as other adaptive functions, including bowel and bladder control. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Chromosomes
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Structures found in each cell of the body that contains genes and exists in a pair, with one chromosome contributed by each parent at conception. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Classical conditioning
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The leaning of a connection between an originally neutral stimulus and a naturally evoking stimulus that produces an automatic reflexive reaction. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Client
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A person seeking psychological treatment. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Client-centered
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An approach based on the belief held by Rogers that people are innately good and that the potential for self improvement lies with in the individual. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Clinical psychologist
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A mental health professional in the behavior sciences who provides direct service to clients. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plans)
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Cognitive-behavioral perspective
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A theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that abnormality is caused b y by maladaptive thought processes that result in dysfunctional behavior. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Cognitive distortions
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Errors that depressed people make in the way they draw conclusions from their experiences. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Cognitive restructuring
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One of the fundamental techniques of cognitive-behavioral therapy in which clients learn to reframe negative ideas into more positive ones. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Cognitive triad
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A negative view of the self, the world, and the future. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Command hallucination
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A hallucination in which an individual here’s an instruction to take an action. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Commitment
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Legal procedure designed to project individuals from doing harm to themselves or others through involuntary institutionalization or some other form of mental health treatment. (Chapter 15: Ethical and Legal Issues)
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Communication disorders
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Condition involving impaired expression or understanding of language. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Community mental health center (CMHC)
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Outpatient clinic that provides psychological services on a sliding fee scale to serve individuals who live with in a certain geographic area. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plans)
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Comorbidity
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Multiple diagnostic conditions that occur simultaneously within the same individual. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plans)
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Competency to stand trial
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A prediction by a mental health expert of the defendant’s cognitive and emotional stability during the period of trial. (Chapter 15: Ethical and Legal Issues)
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Compulsion
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A repetitive and seemingly purposeful behavior performed in response to uncontrollable urges or according to a ritualistic or stereotyped set of rules. (Chapter 3: Assessment & Chapter 5: Anxiety Disorders)
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Computed axial tomography (CAT or CT scan)
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A series of X-rays taken from various angles that are integrated by a computer to produce a composite picture. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Concordance rate
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Agreement ratios between people diagnosed as having a particular disorder and their relatives. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Conditioned fear reactions
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An acquired association between an internal or external cue and feelings of intense anxiety. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Conditioned response
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An acquired response to a stimulus that was previously neutral. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Conditioned stimulus
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A previously neutral stimulus that, after repeated paring with the unconditional stimulus, elicits a conditioned response. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Conduct disorder
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A developmental-related disorder that involves repeated violations of the rights of others and societies norms and laws; The childhood precursor of antisocial personality disorder in adulthood. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Confidentiality
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The principle that disclosures in therapy must be safeguarded by the therapist as private. (Chapter 15: Ethical and Legal Issues)
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Content of thought
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Ideas that fill a clients mind. (Chapter 3: Assessment)
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Contingency management
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A form of behavioral therapy that involves the principle of behaviors. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Continuous amnesia
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Inability to recall past events from a particular date up to and including the present time. (Chapter 6: Somatoform Disorders, Factors Affecting Mental Disorders, and Dissociative Disorders)
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Control group
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The group of participants that does not receive that “treatment” thought to influence the behavior under the study. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Conversion disorder
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A somatoform disorder involving the translation of unacceptable drives or troubling conflicts into physical symptoms. (Chapter 6: Somatoform Disorders, Factors Affecting Mental Disorders, and Dissociative Disorders)
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Coping
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The process through which people reduce stress. (Chapter 6: Somatoform Disorders, Factors Affecting Mental Disorders, and Dissociative Disorders)
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Corprolalia
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The involuntary uttering of obscenities. (Chapter 11: Development-Related Disorders)
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Correlation
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An association, or correlation, between two variables, that can range from +1.0 to -1.0. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Cortical atrophy
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A wasting away of tissue in the cerebral cortex of the brain. (Chapter 9: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders)
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Cortisol
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A hormone involved in the mobilization of the body’s resources in times of stress. (Chapter 8: Mood disorders)
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Counterconditioning
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The process of replacing an undesired response to a stimulus with an acceptable response. (Chapter 4: Theoretical Perspectives)
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Covert conditioning
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A behavioral intervention in which the therapist instructs the client to imagine a highly negative experience when engaging in an undesirable behavior. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Crack cocaine
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A crystalized form of cocaine that is usually smoked. (Chapter 13: Substance-Related Disorders)
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Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
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A neurological disease transmitted from animals to humans that leads to dementia and death resulting from abnormal protein accumulations in the brain. (Chapter 12: Aging-Related and Cognitive Disorders)
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Crossfostering study
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A method of comparing genetic versus environmental contributions to a disorder by tracking the incidence of disorders in children who are adopted by parents with psychological disorders but whose biological parents are psychologically healthy. (Chapter 1: Understanding Abnormality)
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Culture-bound syndromes
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Recurrent patterns of abnormal behavior or experiences that are limited to specific societies or cultural areas. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plans)
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Cyclothymic disorder
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A mood disorder that, compared with bipolar disorder, involves a less intense vacillation between states of euphoria and dysphoria. (Chapter 8: Mood Disorders)
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Day treatment program
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A structured program in a community treatment facility that provides activities similar to those provided in a psychiatric hospital. (Chapter 2: Classification and Treatment Plans)