Behaviourist Approach

 The behaviourists did not give importance to the internal causes of behaviour. For them the only thing that matters is the external conditions that determine the pattern of reinforcement. The behaviour is considered to be a product of complex stimulus-response combinations. They advocate that the complex learning, which is stored in human brain in the form of S-R connections, should be the chief concern.
Learning is based on certain observable manipulations of stimuli and responses. The classical conditioning of Pavlov emphasized learning as a product of the pairing of responses with stimuli. As you know a neutral stimulus and a potential stimulus (UCS), if paired together change the situation in such a manner that the previously neutral event (now CS) alone evokes the same response that was produced by the potent stimulus. This approach has been extended to explain and treat many abnormal behaviors including irrational fears.
Skinner emphasized on the operant conditioning, which focuses on responses and reinforcements. Operant conditioning is a process of learning in which behaviour that leads to satisfying consequences or rewards is likely to be repeated. Skinner refused to accept internal motivational forces or traits. Analysis of stimulus conditions controlling behaviour is crucial for explaining behavioural phenomena.
 People also learn by observing others. Much of our social learning is based on observation without any direct reward or reinforcement administered to the learner. This kind of learning is also called modeling or observational learning. You may recall the pioneering studies by Bandura, which show that observational learning can account for the learning of many novel responses.
The incentives and reinforces are important in determining what a person does in a particular situation. Social learning approach of Bandura does not propose traits or depositions. It uses the condition of learning and cues in the situation of determining the pattern of behaviour. The causes of behaviour are located in the current condition that control present behaviour. The emphasis is on what people are doing in the current situation rather than motives, drives or conflicts in one’s personal history.

What is Impulse?

Deferred gratification, also known as impulse control, is an example of this, concerning impulses primarily relating to things that a person wants or desires.
In recent years, studies have linked impulsiveness to higher risks of smoking, drinking and drug abuse. People who attempt suicide score highly on measures of impulsivity, as do adolescents with eating problems. Aggression, compulsive gambling, severe personality disorders and attention deficit problems are all associated with high impulsiveness, a problem that affects an estimated 9 percent of Americans, according to a nationwide mental health survey completed last year.
Now researchers have begun to resolve the contrary nature of impulsivity, identifying the elements that distinguish benign experimentation from self-destructive acts. The latest work, in brain research and psychological studies, helps explain how impulsive tendencies develop and when they can lead people astray. A potent combination of genes and emotionally disorienting early experiences puts people at high risk, as do some very familiar personal instincts.
“What we’re seeing now,” said Charles S. Carver, a psychologist at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., “is a rapid convergence of evidence indicating that when the prefrontal cortical areas of the brain, the brain’s supervisory management system, are not functioning well, this interferes with deliberative behavior, and the consequences are often unpleasant.”
Few experts dispute that impulsiveness pays off in some situations and, perhaps, had evolutionary benefits. When life is short and dangerous, and resources are scarce, there is a premium on quick response. In studies of baboons and monkeys, researchers have found that animals that are impulsive as adolescents often become dominant as adults, when they moderate their confrontational urges.
In humans, impulsive behavior typically peaks in adolescence, when the prefrontal areas of the brain continue to develop, or soon after, in the young adult years, when it is culturally expected that people will test their limits, psychologists have found.
Yet new research suggests that a taste for danger or conflict is not enough to produce persistent, ruinous impulsivity.

What is Insight Therapy?

. The goal of these therapy is to help an individual discover the reasons and motivation for their behavior, feelings, and thinking so that they may make appropriate changes and thus improve their mental health.
These therapies may all be described as insight orientated: psychoanalysis, analytical psychology psychodynamic therapy person-centered therapy.

What is Latency Period?

The latent period is a time of exploration in which the sexual energy is still present, but it is directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions. This stage is important in the development of social and communication skills and self-confidence

What is Intelligence?

There are basically two camps on the theory of intelligence: those who believe in one unilinear construct of general intelligence, and those who believe in many different intelligences. Binet founded the French school of intelligence, in which intelligence tests were regarded as a practical means of separating the bright from the dull. Intelligence quotient (IQ) was regarded as simply an average of numerous dissimilar abilities, not as a real thing with definite properties that could be studied. Galton founded the English school of intelligence, in which it was believed that intelligence is a real faculty with a biological basis and could be studied using reaction times on simple cognitive tasks.
The English school took a huge step forward with Spearman’s invention of factor analysis. Using this technique, Spearman found that all tests of intelligence have positive correlations (loadings) on the general factor and called this factor general intelligence. However, Thurstone later disputed the prominence assigned to general intelligence by rotating the factors. In this way he found several primary mental abilities, instead of the one found by Spearman.

What is Diathesis Stress Model?

This theory is often used to describe the pronunciation of mental disorders, like schizophrenia, that are produced by the interaction of a vulnerable hereditary predisposition, with precipitating events in the environment. This theory was originally introduced as a means to explain some of the underlying causes of schizophrenia (Zubin & Spring, 1977).In the diathesis-stress model, a genetic vulnerability or predisposition (diathesis) interacts with the environment and life events (stressors) to trigger behaviours or psychological disorders. The greater the underlying vulnerability, the less stress is needed to trigger the behaviour/disorder.

Conversely, where there is a smaller genetic contribution greater life stress is required to produce the particular result. Even so, someone with a diathesis towards a disorder does not necessarily mean they will ever develop the disorder. Both the diathesis and the stress are required for this to happen.

The diathesis-stress model has been reformulated in the last 20 years as the stress-vulnerability-protective factors model, particularly by Dr. Robert P. Liberman and his colleagues in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation. This model has had profound benefits for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses.

It has stimulated research on the common stressors that people with disorders such as such as schizophrenia experience. More importantly, it has stimulated research and treatment on how to mitigate this stress, and therefore reduce the expression of the diathesis, by developing protective factors.

Protective factors include rigorous and nuanced psychopharmacology, skill building (especially problem solving and basic communication skills) and the development of support systems for individuals with these illnesses.

Even more importantly, the stress-vulnerability-protective factors model has allowed mental health workers, family members, and clients to create a sophisticated personal profile of what happens when the person is doing poorly (the diathesis), what hurts (the stressors), and what helps (the protective factors). This has resulted in more humane, effective, efficient, and empowering treatment interventions

What is Dysthymic Disorder ?

People who have Dysthymic disorder will often report that they don’t recall ever not feeling depressed, but they may be relatively functional in managing their life, although the symptoms are severe enough to cause distress and interference with important life role responsibilities. It is important to have a complete physical to rule out any physical illnesses that might be causing the depression.

Also, if the person has a chronic medical condition that appears to be the cause for the depression (such as any chronic debilitating condition), then the correct diagnosis might be a Mood Disorder due to a general Medical Condition, even if all the criteria for Dysthymic disorder are met. The question is whether the medical condition is physically causing the depression, rather than creating chronic psychological distress that is causing the depression.

Despite the long term nature of this type of depression, psychotherapy is effective in reducing the symptoms of depression, and assisting the person in managing his/her life better. Some individuals with Dysthymic disorder respond well to antidepressant medication, in addition to psychotherapy, so an evaluation for medication may be appropriate.

What is Mood Disorder?


English psychiatrist Henry Maudsley proposed an overarching category of affective disorder. The term was then replaced by mood disorder, as the latter term refers to the underlying or longitudinal emotional state, whereas the former refers to the external expression observed by others.

Two groups of mood disorders are broadly recognized; the division is based on whether the person has ever had a manic or hypomanic episode. Thus, there are depressive disorders, of which the best known and most researched is major depressive disorder (MDD) commonly called clinical depression or major depression, and bipolar disorder (BD), formerly known as “manic depression” and described by intermittent periods of manic and depressed episodes.