Agonists and Behaviour: Pramipexole
Dopamine agonists in the treatment of depression

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Biological Psychology Leave a Comment

An agonist is a chemical messenger that binds to the receptor sites of neurons and activates them to create a response. In this post, we’ll look at how the drug pramipexole is an agonist of the receptor sites for dopamine. Since dopamine has been linked to depression, we can also understand why this might be another option for treatment.  Depression …

Ketamine and PTSD
How an antagonist of glutamate may help treat PTSD

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Biological Psychology Leave a Comment

Agonists and antagonists are chemical messengers that affect the process of neurotransmission. They bind to specific receptor sites of neurotransmitters and this can affect brain function and behaviour. Ketamine is one antagonists of the receptor sites of the neurotransmitter, glutamate. In this post we’ll learn more about antagonists, how they work, how ketamine may help PTSD and a key study …

Ketamine: An antagonist used in the treatment of depression

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Biological Psychology Leave a Comment

Ketamine is the newest drug in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). But how does it work? In this post, we’ll look at how ketamine is an antagonist of the neurotransmitter glutamate and why this can help fight depression. For years serotonin has been the main focus of causes and cures for depression. As low levels of serotonin and …

Exam Question Bank: Paper 2: Abnormal Psychology

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Assessment (IB), Revision and Exam Preparation 11 Comments

Disclaimer: These questions are not IB “official” questions and are written with our best guess as to what the probable exam questions may look like. Not every possible question is covered but rather a wide sample of questions has been asked so you can get an idea of the types of questions that may appear. READ MORE  IB Psychology Exam Question …

Key study: “On being sane in insane place” (Rosenhan, 1973)

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Qualitative Research Methods Leave a Comment

Rosenhan’s famous study attempted to demonstrate the unreliable nature of psychiatric diagnosis in the 1970s and how poorly patients were treated in psychiatric hospitals. While his methods were a little suspect, the study seemed to make the point Rosenhan was hoping for.  Background Information One of the most influential studies conducted investigating the difficulties in defining normality and abnormality, and …

Key Study: Clinical bias and the effects of labelling on diagnosis (Temerlin, 1968)

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Clinical bias can affect the validity and reliability of diagnosis and one thing that can cause clinical bias is when a patient is labelled with having a particular disorder. Labelling theory usually refers to how a label can affect the individual being labelled, but it is also used to explain how others can treat someone based on their label. Effects …

Key Study: Confirmation bias: why psychiatrists stick to wrong preliminary diagnoses (Mendel et al. 2011)

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Clinical bias can affect the validity and reliability of diagnosis. One example of a clinical bias that could have an effect is confirmation bias. While the use of classification systems could reduce the influence of clinical bias, it might also lead to it. Clinical bias is a general term that refers to any cognitive bias that can affect the diagnosis …

The sociocultural approach and diagnosis in Abnormal Psychology

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Social and Cultural Psychology Leave a Comment

Making an accurate diagnosis of a psychological disorder like depression or PTSD is very important. However, it’s not always easy and culture is one factor that can influence the validity and reliability of diagnosis.  Culture and Reporting Symptoms One factor that may affect diagnosis is culture. In particular, people from different cultures may report their symptoms differently. For example, a …

Socio-cultural Etiology of PTSD: Socioeconomic status

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Biological Psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social and Cultural Psychology Leave a Comment

When you are writing an essay on etiologies, keep it simple to begin with. Find one basic etiology (brain abnormalities, appraisals or socioeconomic status) and explain how and why that’s linked with PTSD. Use simple studies to begin with, and then later in your essay explore the interactions of bio, cog and socio-cultural influences. Etiology – Socioeconomic status A common finding …

Cognitive Etiology of PTSD: Appraisals

Travis Dixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 2 Comments

You can prepare for Paper 2 – Abnormal Psychology – by getting ready to answer any question from just the “Etiologies of abnormal psychology” topic. If you are using this strategy, you need to make sure you can explain biological, cognitive and sociocultural etiologies.  Etiology – Cognitive appraisals (and re-appraisals) Cognitive Appraisal: In the context of PTSD, cognitive appraisal refers …