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Basic concepts of psychology


Scientific investigation of behaviour and mental processes

 Biological approach: Focus on the neuronal processes of behaviour, motivation and emotional processes.  Behaviourism Focus on the directly observed behaviour  Cognitive approach Focus on perception, memory, appraisal, decision making and other thinking processes. 2.-3. form the behavioural and social learning psychology

Psychoanalytic approach Concentrate on conceptualising mental processes as conflict of intrapsychic forces Phenomenological approach Concentrate on the personal experiences and the subjective interpretation of the world

Interdisciplinary approaches.
Cognitive science Investigate mental processes as perception, memory and decision making as computing mechanisms and create comprehensive models on multiple scientific bases (mathematics, computer sciences, neurobiology, linguistics etc.) Evolutionary psychology Focus of the origin of different psychological mechanisms using the terms of genetics, ethology and physiology

Basic disciplines:
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1. Experimental psychology Focus on the experimentation concerning the basic mental processes.
2. Developmental psychology Focus on the human development 3. Personality psychology Focus on the constructs of human personality

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4. Social psychology Focus on the nature and organisation of human interpersonal relationships

Applied disciplines:

• School and education psychology • Work and organisation psychology • Military psychology

Clinical disciplines:
Clinical psychology Focus on the assessment and treatment of mental/behavioural disorders

Health Psychology

Focus on health behaviour and prevention with modification of those behaviours that carry epidemiological risk.

Medical psychology
Focus on the psychological issues in general medical practice e.c. doctor patient relationship, communication, assessment and treatment of psychological complaints, symptoms and disorders frequently associated with general medical problems and

Behavioural medicine

Focus on comprehensive management of complex, chronic physical disorders (e.c. CHD, bronchial asthma, pain, diabetes, chronic GI diseases)

Theory of Mind I.

• • • • •

Intrapsychic conflicts Determinims Libido Early childhood development Unconscioous mental process

The unconscious mental process
 Much of the human mental activity occurs outside of awareness  These activity influences behaviour and conscious thoughts but not available to voluntary recall  The unconscious process represents drives, instincts and wishes, impulses, fantasies considered unacceptable  The unconscious process produces attitudes, thinking patterns and behaviours as part of the personality (conscience, defence mechanisms, automatic behaviours)

Psychic determinism

• All mental activity is meaningful and is connected with previous life experiences. No mental activity is accidental or meaningless.

Drives is the motivation behind mental processes and behaviour The manifestation of unconscious drives are: wishes, fantasies, impulses There are two major categories of drives: libido (sexual drive) and thanatos (aggressive drive) • Drives press toward gratification and discharge. In the infant and child the actions are more direct and overt (primary process) then gradually meet social standards (secondary process).

The importance of psychosexual development
oral stage (primary drive satisfaction is achieved by sucking) anal stage (primary drive satisfaction is achieved by voluntary control of urinary and anal expulsion and retention)

Oedipal stage
Genitals became the primary source of interest and pleasure Oedipus complex (child wishes to have an exclusive relationship with the opposite sex parent) and oedipal conflict (fear that the same sex parent will be displeased and angry with the child for his rivalrous wishes). The resolution is the identification with the same sex parent.

Latency (primary interest on peers and socialisation) Genital stage: Previous experiences are integrated to primary genial sexuality.

Defence mechanisms:
Mental operations that function outside of awareness to ward off anxiety and maintain a sense of safety, self esteem, and well being Along with maturation emerge in a developmental sequence Some defences may emerge episodically some may become habitual as the part of the personality.

Structural model of mind:
Id the unconscious, psychic representation of drives Ego is a group of functions that provide for adaptation to the demand of the drives and to the requirements of external (sociocultural) reality. Superego: represents the moral, ethical values, judgements, conscience and the egoideal

Psychoanalysis as treatment:
Main objective: Cope with fixation or regression
 Free association and dream analysis  Clarification: obtaining further associations about issues and relationships  Confrontation: Pointing out the defences and other unconscious actions by identifying connections, continuities and inconsistencies  Interpretation: Conceptualisation the nature of the patient s unconscious wishes and thought through clarification and confrontation

Transference: Attitudes, feelings, thoughts and wishes that involve important figures in the past are unconsciously re-enacted with individuals (therapist, medical staff, physician) in the present.
Counter-transference: The same process but occurs on the part of the therapist toward the patient.

Behavioural and Social Learning Psychology
Theory of Mind II.

• All behaviours and personality development represent the acquisition and organisation of reactions, responses and (perceptual, cognitive and behavioural) patterns. These originate in and are governed by learning that are subject primarily to environmental influence

 Subject of study the objectively measurable behaviour  external behaviour - directly observable  internal behaviour - emotions and cognition (could be monitoring with instrumentation)  empirism and experimentation  emphasis on learning

Classic or respondent conditioning (Pavlov)

• stimulus: cue from an internal or external event • response: a behaviour provoked by a stimulus • unconditioned stimulus (UCS) e.g. food  unconditioned response (UCR) • conditioned stimulus (CS) e.g. bell ringing  conditioned response (CR)

• acquisition phase: the period when the conditioned response is learned • discrimination: some stimuli which similar to CS can elicit the CR but others not • generalisation: (almost) all stimuli which similar to CS can elicit the CR • extinction: CS loses the power to elicit CR (by no longer paired with the CS) or response no longer follows the behaviour • aversive conditioning: an aversive stimulus (e.g. feeling nausea) pairs an unwanted behaviour (e.g. drinking alcoholic beverages)

Operant conditioning (Skinner)
• behaviour is determined by its consequences
• actions  reward - one action (or some actions) are reinforced others are extinct

• + reinforcement: increasing the probability of an action by a + stimulus (e.g. giving rewards) • - reinforcement: increasing the probability of an action by removing an aversive event • + punishment: decreasing the probability of an action by a negative stimulus • - punishment: decreasing the probability of an action by removing a + stimulus

Problems with punishment:
 reinforcements are much more effective  punishment models aggressive behaviour  negative emotional responses are conditioned incidentally

Social learning (Bandura)
 facilitate appropriate behaviour  can facilitate/inhibit behavioural preferences from own repertoire  can influence emotional responses and anticipatory arousal

• Self regulation
 self observation and monitoring  self evaluation and judgement  self reaction

Self efficacy
• • • • success experiences, vicarious experiences verbal persuasion physiological state

Cognitive and behavioural therapies
 well elaborated treatment protocols  collaborative relationships  aims/goals/models/explanations are explicit for the patient  time limited  mainly self help

Comparison of behavioural and psychoanalytic model:

• Behaviour is • Intrapsychic determined by processes current determine contingencies, behaviour reinforcement history and genetic endowment

• Problem behaviour is the focus of study and treatment

• Behaviour is interpreted as a symbol of intrapsychic processes and symptoms of unconscious conflicts. The underlying conflict is the focus of treatment

• Contemporary variables, such as contingencies of reinforcement, are the focus of analysis

• Historical variables, such as childhood experiences, are the focus of analysis

• Treatment entails application of learning principles and cognitive conceptualisation of beliefs, attitudes and behaviour

• Treatment consists of bringing unconscious conflicts into consciousness

• Objective observation measurement and experimentation are the methods employed

• Subjective methods of interpretation of behaviour and inference regarding unobservable events (e.g. intrapsychic processes) are employed

• Theory is based on experimentation

• Theory is predominantly based on case histories

• Tenets can be formulated into testable hypotheses and evaluated through experimentation

• Many tenets cannot be formulated into testable hypotheses

Psychological assessment

Psychological interview I. General description
• Appearance • Overt behaviour and psychomotor activity
Manierism Stereotyped behaviour Agitation Psychomotor retardation

• Attitude
Hostile Passive Complainant Co-operative

Mood and affectivity
• Mood
Depressed Euphoric Alternating

Anger Anxiety Euphory

Appropriateness of affects

Speech characteristics
• • • • • Talkative Unspontaneous Voluble Responsive/unresponsive Bizarre

• No perceptual disturbances
• Illusions • Hallucinations
Visual/auditory/olfactory/tactile Scenic/coomentatory/imperative

Thought process
• • • • • • Loosening of associations Flight of ideas, racing thoughts Incoherence Neologisms Thought blocking Tenacity

Content of thought
• • • • • • • Delusions Paranoia Preoccupaitons Obsessions and compulsions Phobias Suicidal ideas Poverty of content

Sensorium and cognition I.

• Consciousness • Orientation (time, place, person, situation)

Sensorium and cognition II. Memory

• • • •

Remote Recent past (months) Recent (few days) Immediate recall

Sensorium and cognition III.
• • • • Concentration and attention Reading/writing Abstract thoughts (proverbs) Information and intelligence

• Impulsivity • Judgement and insight • Reliability