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Psychology Final Exam Essay

Final Exam Format Semester 1, 2016 The exam is worth 100 marks (converted to 50% of the final course grade). Section 1: Total of 40 marks 40 multiple choice questions covering material presented in lectures in Weeks 1 to 7 (Dr Atkinson, Harms, Marlin and Bore), and associated readings (including Chapter 2 of Berk (Research Methods)). Answer all questions. Each question is of equal weighting. No penalties for guessing. Sections 2 (Dr Carmen Atkinson), 3 (Dr Lauren Harms), and 4 (Dr Stuart Marlin): Total of 20 marks For Dr Atkinson’s lectures, five short answer questions (worth 2, 3, 3, 2 and 1 mark); answer in the space provided on the exam paper. For Dr Harms one short answer question worth 4 marks; answer in a 4page booklet. For Dr Marlin one short answer question worth 5 marks; answer in a separate 4-page booklet. Section 5: Assoc/Prof Frini Karayanidis and Dr Linda Campbell (total of 40 marks) There will be two short essay questions. Each question is of equal weighting. Answer in the 12 page booklet. The questions will be drawn from those presented on the following page (under Study Questions for Developmental Psychopathology). You should aim to write approximately 500-600 words for each short essay. Do not write lists or use point form. Ensure you cover all aspects of the question. You are advised to draft an outline before you start writing each short essay and to revise your work. NOTE: For Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5, please ensure that your writing is legible. Atkinson – Weeks 1, 4, 5 Chapter 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 Harms – Week 2 Chapter 3 Marlin – Week 3 Chapter 4 Bore – Weeks 6, 7 Chapters 11 and 12 Frini – Weeks 9, 10, 11, 12 Study Questions for Developmental Psychopathology The exam for the developmental psychopathology component of the course will contain two questions. The two questions will be drawn from the pool of questions below. Each question is worth 20 marks. Please note that these study questions are designed to guide your reading and preparation for the exam. You may elect to work in groups to discuss and prepare for the exam. However, lecturers and tutors cannot provide any further support in responding to these questions in lectures, tutorials, blackboard or via email. Questions 1. Within the conceptual framework of developmental psychopathology: (a) Define the terms risk and protective factors and give examples in the context of anxiety disorders. (b) Discuss how dynamic transactional factors can contribute to or protect from the emergence of an anxiety disorder in a child. a) Risk factors are conditions that increase the likelihood of a negative outcome. Within the conceptual framework of developmental psychopathology, this negative outcome is the process of atypical development. Atypical development can lead to disorders such as anxiety. Risk factors that increase the likelihood of anxiety can occur within biological, individual, family, social, and cultural contexts. Biological risk factors include increased anxiety among offspring of parents with anxiety and 1/3 variance of heritability. Family related risk factors are things such as insecure attachment and low socioeconomic status. Individual risk factors include increased sensitivity to threats and the misattribution of unclear situations as threatening to increase anxiety. Anxiety varies across sociocultural contexts and can be of higher risk in societies where inhibition and social evaluation are emphasised as individuals are most concerned with what other people think. Protective factors are those that promote or maintain healthy development and protect an individual against risk factors. Protective factors in terms of development of an anxiety disorder include an individual’s willingness to learn how to approach threatening situations rather than avoid them. An individual’s self-efficacy overcoming their perceived incompetence in unfamiliar situations. Protective factors against anxiety are also how an individual views their successful experiences versus their failure experiences. b) Transactional factors are a series of dynamic, mutually influencing interactions between child, family, and the larger social context in development of an individual. These transactional factors can have a significant impact on the developmental trajectories of an individual to influence either typical or atypical development. Using anxiety as an example we can largely focus on the interactions between the parent and the child and how these transactions can either contribute to or protect from development of anxiety disorders. If a child begins to present with helpless or shy behaviour this can then elicit overprotective behaviour from adults which can then reinforce the child’s withdrawal and perceived incompetence and allow the child to avoid fearful situations and contribute to the development of anxiety. This can eventuate into a continuous process where aversive conditioning takes place and the anxious child basically trains parents to accommodate their fear and aid their avoidance of unknown situations. The influence of an anxious parent can greatly influence atypical development of the child by acting as a model for anxious behaviour and promoting avoidance as a coping mechanism. These transactions between parent and child will continue and the child will continue on a trajectory of atypical development. Alternatively, transactions between parent and the child can in fact protect the child from developing an anxiety disorder. If a child develops shy or helpless behaviour the parent can assists the child to ‘face their fear’ and act as a secure base for the child as they encounter unknown situations. This aids in their ability to approach these situations and influence their self-efficacy. Transactional factors also exist within the individual and their interpretation of situations. Individual transactional factors that can contribute to anxiety are the tendency to interpret sensations of physiological arousal as having harmful consequences in some way. The individual continues to try to figure out why they feel that way in a particular environment which creates aversive feelings towards that environment. To protect from development of an anxiety disorder, individual transactional factors need to be addressed early on so the individual can reinterpret their avoidance of these situations and learn to approach them and develop mastery. 2. For some children oppositional defiant disorder is something that the child will outgrow, for others it has life-long implications? Discuss with regards to discontinuity, homotypic and heterotypic continuity. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) diagnostic criteria is defined as being negativistic, hostile, and defiant behaviour beyond what is typically observed for the child’s age or developmental level and causes a decrease in functioning. A child with ODD presents with a range of symptoms that include; often losing their temper, arguing with adults, defying or refusing to comply, deliberately annoying people or blaming others for their mistakes. The child with ODD is often angry and resentful. ODD onset typically occurs before the age of 8 and has a slightly higher prevalence among boys. The developmental psychopathology of ODD depends on a multitude of factors and interaction of the individual’s contexts. There are many stage-salient issues that affect the outcome of ODD including the relevance of the treatment and interventions at the child’s age of presentation. For example, early stages of presentation intervention are mainly targeted towards the parenting of the child whereas later stages of presentation intervention are targeted towards the individual itself. The transactions between multiple holistic domains such as genetics, parental responses, and selfregulation affects the further developmental trajectories of ODD. The prevalence of ODD tends to decline in mid-childhood as the individual finds their place within their peers and schooling system, however it again tends to increase in adolescence where new conflicts with parents emerge, as well as transitioning into high school and new friendship groups. However, over 70% of children diagnosed with ODD no longer have symptoms by age 18. Furthermore, it has been found that the lifetime prevalence of ODD is estimated to be only 10.2%. It seems that the majority of children diagnosed with ODD will eventually experience discontinuity of the symptoms. Discontinuity of ODD can be as simple as ‘outgrowing’, an increase in protective factors as the individual develops, and how early the onset of symptoms were within the individual. However, continuity of ODD symptoms can also occur. Continuity of these symptoms can be further broken up into homotypic and heterotypic continuity depending on symptoms present throughout development. Homotypic continuity occurs when the type of problems and symptoms are similar across time. In the case of ODD, homotypic continuity would occur when there are other externalising symptoms present. For example, ODD was associated with an increased risk of later substance abuse disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Heterotypic continuity occurs when problems or symptoms change in type but are due to the same underlying problem. An individual presenting with ODD can have an increased risk of internalising disorders such as adult depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophreniform disorders, and mania. Continuity of ODD symptoms is much more persistent in individuals with an earlier onset and comorbid cases. In fact, of those with lifetime prevalence of ODD, 92.4% meet criteria for at least one other lifetime disorders. Depending on various environmental interactions of an individual’s context and holistic domains, ODD symptoms and diagnosis can either be discontinued, as the majority experience, or further associate itself with other externalising or internalising disorders as a consequence of homotypic and heterotypic continuity. 3. One of the key concepts of the developmental psychopathology framework is that clinical disorders can be conceptualised as lying on the extreme end of a continuum. Traditionally, autism has been diagnosed using categorical approaches. The recent DSM-5 promotes a more dimensional approach. Describe categorical and dimensional diagnostic approaches, discuss how they apply to the classification of autism spectrum disorders and real-life implications of the broader phenotype of autistic-like features. Categorical Classification – Specific groups or categories of symptoms that reflect psychiatric syndromes – Based on clinical judgements – For example, DSM-5, ICD-10 Dimensional Classification – Normality to pathology or description of severity – Based on multivariate statistical procedure – For example, the Child Behavior Check List (CBCL) 4. Diagnostic classification systems differentiate subtypes of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Moreover, ADHD symptoms show continuities and discontinuities in their presentation over time. Define ADHD and identify different ADHD presentations. Discuss the real-life implications of differences in presentations and changing symptom expression across development from early childhood to early adulthood among people with ADHD. 5. Define the developmental psychopathology framework. Discuss how it conceptualises typical and atypical development. In doing so, explain the concepts of reorganisation and hierarchic motility. Use anxiety (or ADHD or ODD) as an example. Developmental psychopathology is the study of developmental processes that contribute to, or protect against, psychopathology. Psychopathology is a term that refers to the study of mental illness or the manifestation of behaviours and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment. The developmental psychopathology framework conceptualises that definitions of mental illness disorders are not exact ‘truths’ but are based on a developmental trajectory of their own. Changes throughout an individual’s entire context can manipulate these developmental trajectories and influence factors of typical or atypical development. To understand the differences between typical and atypical development an individual must have a comprehensive understanding of normal childhood and its associated developmental milestones. An individual cannot just define atypical development as some form of maladaptive behaviour as everyone experiences some form of maladaptive behaviour throughout their lives. Consequently, an individual must also have the skills to differentiate between age-appropriate and age-inappropriate behaviour and an understanding that change is possible at every point in development. The developmental psychopathology framework is not a theory, but rather an approach to understand the development of psychopathology over the life span. It examines the developmental processes that protect from, or contribute to, psychopathology while using an integrative approach. The developmental psychopathology framework uses multiple theoretical perspectives to increase the understanding of the development of the whole person and where normal development has gone awry. Human development unfolds over time and occurs across all psychological and biological processes. When something goes wrong in one of these processes, or contexts, there is an increased risk of atypical development. These contexts encompass an individual and include their biological context, for example genetics and brain structure, their individual context and psychological variables within each person, their family context and interaction between the parent and child, and their social and cultural contexts. Each context interacts with each other and becomes factor in the child’s typical or atypical development. A change in any of these contexts, at any time, can affect the outcome of development. Furthermore, the developmental psychopathology is based on several general principles that further conceptualise the pathways of typical and atypical development. The first principle is that of an organizational perspective. Two concepts of the organizational perspective are reorganization and hierarchical motility which are basically the idea that everything we have learnt throughout development is assimilated into later abilities. Reorganization is the increased specialization of existing abilities across and within all domains; hierarchical motility occurs at each reorganization where previous structures are specifically carried over and incorporated into evolving new structures over time. These concepts can provide some insight into the pathways of psychopathological development. Using anxiety as an example we can gather that, holistically, anxiety can affect things such as relationships, learning, and physical health. Hierarchical motility occurs when, for example, anxiety starts to impact school attendance, this in turn will impact on the individual’s learning. A reorganization of this impact on learning will cause the individual to then feel behind within the class thus creating further anxiety that they aren’t on the same level as their peers and affecting their relationships with other classmates as they don’t feel like they belong. Hierarchical motility and reorganization can occur as a somewhat snowball effect in either contributing to, or protecting from, further atypical development.


Mary Whiton Calkins

1st woman to complete psych PhD requirements.. Harvard refused to grant degree… became first femae President of APA

Charles Darwin

Argued natural selection shapes behaviors as well as our bodies…. Evolutionary Psychology

John Locke

We are born on a blank slate… Tabula Rasa… our environment and experiences combine to make us who we are

Dorothea Dix

Fought to reform treatment of the mentally ill and remove stigma for those treated

SIgmund Freud

Psychoanalytical Approach… Exploring unconscious motivations, impulses, conflicts, and desires to understand human behavior

G. Stanley Hall

Developmental Psychologists- identified the period we call adolescence

Wlliam James

Father of American Psychology- wrote first psych textbook… Principles of Psychology

Margaret Floy Washburn

First woman award Psych PhD from Harvard- 2nd female president of APA

Wilhelm Wundt

Father of Modern Psychology- set up 1st lab in Leipziy, Germany to study human behavior… first to use empirical methods (scientific observation) to study human behavior

John B. Watson

Father of the Behavioral Psychology. Stated if it cannot be scientifically observed it should not be studied

Paul Broca

Idnetified Broca’s area for the formation of the speech located in the left frontal lobe

Michael Gazzaniga

Researcherwho works with the split-brain patients to better understand Brain Lateralization (fact that each hemisphere has unique functions)

Roger Sperry

Pioneer in Split-Brain surger

Carl Wernicke

Identified Wernicke’s Areawhich controls our ability to comprehend speech

Noam Chomsky

– Believed we are born with the language device
– Also though we share a “universal grammar”
– Believes in Critical Period Theory… If we do not learn language within a certain window of time.. usually by onset of puberty.. may never fully master language

Hermann Ebbinghaus

– Study memory and forgetting by using strings of nonsense syllables and testing himself
– Ebbinghaus Retention Curve- The more one studies something the first day, the less time to relearn the following days
– Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve- Forgetting happens quickly at first then slows and levels off

Wolfgang Kohler

– Demonstrated animals experience insight just like humans
– Chimps figured out how to use a stick to reach fruit they wanted

Elizabeth Loftus

– False memory research
– Famous car study
– Famous lost at the mall study
– Helped shape our understanding of flaws of eye witness testimony because of the MISINFORMATION EFFECT

George Miller

– Capacity of short-term/working memory is approximately 5-9 chunks of info
” Magic number 7 + OR — 2 “

Solomon Asch

– Studied conformity
– Famous Line Study

Leon Festinger

Propossed the theory of cognitive dissonance

Stanely Milgrim

– Famous Blind Obedience to Authority using shocks
– 66% tested were wiling to give the highest shock
– Considered unethical today
– Wanted to try to understand why people would obey orders of evil leaders like Hitler

Phillip Zimbardo

– Stanford Prison Experiment
– Interested in studying how quickly people will adopt behaviors of an assigned role
– Stated the power of the situation can lead good people to do evil things
– Stated the power of the situation may also lead some to become heroes

Abraham Maslow

– Created Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs… illustrates our priority in having certain needs met on the way to realizing our full potential
– Called reaching our full potential- Self Actualization
– Humanist

Carl Rogers

– Humanist
– Interested in how we reach our full potential… persoanl growth
– Said we all need to recieve Unconditional Positive Regard… people we love to accept us for who we are… the good and the bad

Alfred Adler

– Neo-freudian
– Credited with the concept of Inferiority Complex

Karen Horney

– Spoke out against Frued’s portrayal of women as week and envious of men
– Neo-freudian

Carl Jung

– Neo-freudian
– Collective unconscious- we have a sharaed, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our special history
– Archetypes- Models of people or personalities

Hans Eyesenk

– Uses introversion-extroversion and stabiity-instability as two factors in decribing differences in peoples personality

Albert Bandura

– Social Cognitive Perspective
– Empasizes interaction of personality traits with our situations
– Believes we learn many of our behaviors
– Reciprocal Determinism


Key descriptions
– first approach
– focus on identifying basic elements of consciousness
– used introspection
Key people
– Wundt


Key descriptions
– focused on function/purpose of behaviors
– how mental operations help us adapt to our environment
Key people
– William James


– focused on perception… how we experience the world

Biological Perspective

– Emphasizes biological explanations of behavior


– Darwinian Perspective
– Examines how thought process and behaviors help ensure our survival as a species


Key description
– explains behavior in terms of unconscious conflicts, impuses, desires that drives behavior
– uses tools like dream analysis, free-association, hypnosis to tap into our unconscious thoughts and feelings
Key people
– Sigmund Freud


Key description
– almost all behavior is learned
– emphasizes learned behavior as result of our environment
– emphasizes behavior learned through positive and negative reinforcement and punishment
– Believes free will is not really factor in our behavior
Key people
– John B. Watson
– B.F Skinner
– Ivan Pavlov


Key description
– Examines how we interpret our environment as well as how we process information and remember events/info
Key people
– Ebbingaus


Key description
– Emphasis is on people & social development of an individual
– Stesses free will and choices
– Interested in understanding how we each reach our full potential
Key people
– Carl Rogers
– A. Maslow

Social- Cultural

– Examine how thoughts and behaviors vary in different cultures
– Examines how cutral, ethnic, religious, etc. impact how we think and behave


study of measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits

Developmental Psych

study of physical, cognitive, and social change through the ife span

Educational Psych

study how psychological processes affect anf enhance teaching and learning


Study of individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting


study of relationship between brain, nervous system, an behavior

Social Psych

study how we think about, influence. and relate to each other

Experimental Psych

conduct research in multiple areas to add new knowledge to the field of psychology

Clinical Psych

studies, assess, and treats people with psychological disorders

Counseling Psych

assists people with problem in day to day living and achieving better well being


use psych concepts and methods in the workplace to help companies/organizations select and train employees, boost morale and productivity, cope with issues related to their jobs


branch of industrial-org…. study how people and machines interact and design of safe and easily used machines and environments

Community Psychology

may work ina mental health or social welfare agency perated by the government or by a private agency. may help design, run, evaluate a mental health clinic

Applied Psych

psychoogists who use psychological principles to help people directly

Research Psych

conduct research, but do not work directly to treat patients


gathering and analyzing observed scientific evidence to support a hypothesis/theory

Psychologists vs Psychiatrist

psychiatrists are mental health professionals with a medical degree and the ability to prescribe medication for treatment

Nature vs Nurture

ongoing debate over which is more responsible for mental processes and behavior… genetics(nature) or environment(nurture)… how much is innate and how much is learned

Case Study

investigate behavior & mental process of specific person/situation
provides detailed, descriptive data and analysis


Obtain large samples of abilities, beliefs, behhaviors
Easy to administer, score, give statistical analysis

Naturalistic Observation

Careful observation of humans/animals in real-life situations
Provides descriptive data about behavior with wide applicability
Problem… loss of experimental condition


Only method that can establish a cause and effect relationship between variables
Must have IV and a DV to be experiment
Compares control condition and experimental condition

Correlation Study

Can establish a relatioship between 2 variables
But.. correlation does not mean causation

Correlational Coefficient

Statistical index indicates the strngth of relationship… the closer to 1 the stronger the relationship… doesnt matter if it is negative or postive


are often used to illustrates correlational relationships

Positive Correlation

2 variables change in same direction

Negative Correlation

2 variables change in opposite/different directins

Random Sample

All members of population to be studied has equal chance to be chosen for sample.. best way to try eliminate bias

The Larger The Random Sample

the better the chance to get a true representation of entire population

Random Assignment

best method for assigning members to control group and experimental group. all members of the sample must have an equal opportunity of being placed in the experimental group

Independent Variable

manipulated/change by the researcher

Dependent Variable

monitored for change as result of independent variable

Cofounding/ Extraneous Variable

variable other than IV that could possible affect the DV

Single-Blind Study

subjects are unaware who is a part of experimental and control conditions

Double-Blind Study

subjects & researchers do not know who is in experimental group & control group until after the experiment ends

Placebo Effect

response to believe that IV will have an effect rather than the actual effect

Experimental Group

recieve/participate the critical part of the experiment

Control Group

do not recieve/participate the critical part of experiment

Operational Definition

DV is defined in a way that specifically outlines what & how it will measured

Hindsight Bias

” I KNEW IT ALL ALONG PHENOMENON”… finding out something that has happened makes it seem inevitable


we tend to overestimate our knowledge or ability to control a situation

Statistical Oulier

data piont that is far from other results


repetition on of methods used in a previous experiment to see if same methods will yield same results


consistency with which results can be repeated


extent to which instrument measures or predicts what it is supposed to measure/predict

American Psychological Association (APA)

key principles
– Do no harm
– Participation is voluntary
– Participation must be debriefed… given details
– Anonymity of subject protected
– All studies… including animal studies must have a clear scientific purpose


mathematical average… most influenced by statistical outlier


middle number… better measure for comparison than mean if you have an outlier


Most frequently occurring number/can have more than 1 mode /can have no mode


difference between lowest number and highest number in set

Standard Deviation

how much scores vary around the mean of the data set…. tells how alike or different our scores are from the average


number of Standard Deviation away from the mean that a score lies

Normal Curve

ball shaped curve that represents data about how loss of human characteristics are dispersed in population

P-score of p < 0.05

is statistically significant… this means there is a greater than 50% chance that you results were not the result of chance

P-score of > 0.05

means there is more than 50% chance that your results were simply the results of chance

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