Questions on Lectures


If you can answer the following questions, you will probably do well on the lecture questions in the exam:


In preparation for Test #4 (final exam):


Describe the historical progression of attitudes toward mental illness.  What was the Enlightenment, and how did views of mental illness change after this period in history?


Describe and define the medical model of mental illness.


What is “general paresis,” and how is it related to syphilis?


What did the Swiss psychiatrist, Emil Kraeplin, develop?


What is DSM (the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association)?  Describe the five axes of DSM, the kinds of mental disorders they classify, and the kinds of information they assess.


What is the “diathesis-stress” model of mental illness?


Describe definitions of mental illness and underlying assumptions about mental illness provided by each of the following four perspectives:  1) the Freudian/psychoanalytic perspective, 2) the behavioral perspective, 3) the biological perspective, and 4) the humanistic/normative/cultural perspective.


Describe three commonsense criteria of mental illness.


Describe the symptoms of each of the following kinds of mental illness: schizophrenia, depression, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder.


What did Kraeplin’ term, dementia praecox, refer to?


What is the prevalence of schizophrenia?


Describe the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?   Which are more readily controlled by anti-psychotic drugs?  Which symptoms (negative or positive) suggest a worse prognosis for recovery?


Describe the following subtypes of schizophrenia: paranoid, catatonic, disorganized, and undifferentiated.


Describe the case of the Genain quads.  When did each of the sisters develop schizophrenia?  How did the environmental stresses differ for the four sisters?  How did treatment and recovery differ for the four sisters?  What does the case of the Genain quads tell us about the “nature” and “nurture” of schizophrenia?


What does the word etiology mean?


Describe several kinds of evidence that implicate biological factors in the etiology of schizophrenia (e.g., behavior genetic evidence, studies of the brains of schizophrenic and nonschizophrenic individuals, drug effects, etc.)


What are “florid” symptoms?


How effective are anti-psychotic (neuroleptic) drugs?


What kinds of family dynamics aggravate schizophrenic symptoms?


Describe electroconvulsive shock therapy.  What is it used for, and how effective is it?


What is psychosurgery?  What is a prefrontal lobotomy?   How effective are psychsurgeries as a treatment of mental illness?  What are the ethical problems with psychosurgery?


Describe common drug therapies for schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.  What are the “pluses” and “minuses” of drug therapies?


Describe Freudian psychoanalysis.  What is the goal of psychoanalysis?  Define the terms, transference and counter-transference.   What do neo-Freudians in the “object relations” tradition hope to accomplish during therapy?


Describe behavioral therapies such as systematic desensitization, implosion, flooding, and aversion therapies.  How do these therapies differ from Freudian approaches?


Describe cognitive therapies such as Ellis’s rational emotive therapy and Beck cognitive therapy for depression.  How do these therapies try to change patients’ thoughts and behaviors?


Describe Roger’s client-center therapy.  What is the goal of this kind of therapy?  What does “unconditional positive regard” refer to? 


Describe the issues addressed by existential therapies.  What are the goals of existential therapy?


In general, how effective is psychotherapy?  Is psychotherapy more successful in treating some mental disorders than others?


What are some common processes and goals that are present in most kinds of “talking therapies”?


Describe four schools of psychology: 1) the behavioral/learning perspective, 2) the biological/genetic/Darwinian perspective, 3) the Freudian/psychodynamic perspective, and the humanistic/existential perspective.


What assumptions do each of the four perspectives make about whether human nature is good, neutral, or evil?


What assumptions do each of the four perspectives make about determinism versus free will?


What assumptions do each of the four perspectives make about how malleable or fixed human behavior is?


What assumptions do each of the four perspectives make about


How do each of the four perspectives define mental health and mental illness?



In preparation for cumulative questions:


What is the difference between “group level explanations,” “individual level explanation,” and “mediating variables”?


Describe the philosophical positions and doctrines of the British associationist philosophers, Descartes, and Kant.


What is behaviorism?


What is determinism?


Describe the difference between experiments and correlational studies.  Define the following terms: independent and dependent variables, random assignment, extraneous variables, control group, statistical significance.   What are the strengths and weaknesses of experiments and correlational studies?


What are the main parts of the central and peripheral nervous system?  What are the main parts of the brain?  Describe the main structures of the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.  What are the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, and what functions are located in each lobe?  What is the limbic system, and what does it control.  What did Flourens discover using the technique of ablative surgery?  Describe Fritz and Hitzig’s early work on electrical brain stimulation.  What is the “Bell-Magendie Law”?   Describe split-brain research and the differing functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain.  What are the main parts of nerve cells (neurons)?  What are the action and resting potentials of axon’s?  What is the refractory period of a nerve cell?  Describe place and temporal codes in nerve cells.  What is the synapse?  What are neurotransmitter substances and how do they work?


Describe the basic functions and parts of the eyes (visual system) and ears (auditory system).  Trace the flow of information from the eyes to the visual cortex.  Describe the evolutionary “war” between moths and bats and what it says about the nature of perception.


Describe classical conditioning.  Define the following: US, CS, UR, CR, generalization, semantic generalization, spontaneous recovery.  What are the contiguity and contingency theories of classical conditioning, and describe some evidence that supports one theory over the other.  What are “taste aversions,” and why are they an unusual kind of classical conditioning?   Describe the case of little Albert.


Describe operant conditioning.  Define the following: reinforcement (positive, negative, partial, continuous, primary, secondary), punishment, schedules of reinforcement (fixed and variable, ratio and interval), shaping.  What is the “partial reinforcement effect”?    When is punishment effective, and when is it not effective?  What is “latent learning”?  Describe Thorndike’s early “cat puzzle box” experiment and his “law of effect.”


What are modeling and observational learning?


Describe the characteristics of human language.  How does human language differ from animal communication systems?  What is the Whorfian hypothesis?


Describe various theories of emotion: the commonsense view of emotion, the James-Lange theory, the Schachter-Singer two-component theory, LeDoux’s theory about two brain pathways for emotional information.   What are basic emotional expressions that can be judged in others’ faces?   What was Darwin’s theory about the origins of emotional expressions?  What is the “facial feedback hypothesis”?


Describe the basic genetics of birth and development.  What are common biological disorders in babies?  Describe Piaget’s stages of cognitive development in children.  Define the following terms: conservation, egocentrism, accommodation, assimilation.  Describe Erik Erikson’s stages of identity formation and “identity crisis.”


Who developed the first IQ test?  What do the terms “reliability” and “validity” refer to?  Are intelligence tests reliable and valid?  Describe different theories of intelligence.


What is the difference between long-term and short-term memory?  Describe different kings of memory (e.g., semantic memory, procedural memory, episodic memory).  What are mnemonic devices?  What is the “serial position effect”?


What is the difference between “algorithms” and “heuristics”?


Describe Freudian, trait, and social learning theories of personality.   Define the following terms from Freudian theory: psychosexual stages, oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, Oedipus complext, penis envy, castration anxiety, cathexis, libido, regression, fixation, defense mechanism, id, ego, superego.   What are the central assumptions of trait theory?  What are the “Big Five” personality traits?  Describe research on the consistency of personality (e.g., moral behavior, anxiety) across situations.  What are the central assumptions of social learning theories of personality.


What does behavior genetic research say about the “nature” and “nurture” of personality?  How do twin studies and adoption studies inform us about genetic and environmental effects on personality?  What does the word heritability refer to?  What is the difference between common and unique environmental effects?  Which is more important in producing individual differences in personality?


What is social psychology?  Describe the “central message of 20th century social psychology.”  Describe research on obedience, conformity, emergency interventions and the bystander effect, social facilitation, groupthing, and attitudes.