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34 Cards in this Set

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the central nervous system's physiological and emotional response to a serious threat to one's well-being


the central nervous system's physiological and emotional response to a vague sense of threat or danger

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

also called free-floating anxiety: a disorder marked by persistent and excessive feelings of anxiety and worry about numerous events and activities

Sociocultural theory on GAD

develops in people who are faced with ongoing societal conditions that are dangerous (people in highly threatening environments are indeed more likely to develop the general feelings of tension, anxiety, and fatigue

Humanistic theory on GAD

arises when people stop looking at themselves honestly and acceptingly (repeated denials of their true thoughts, emotions, and behavior make these people extremely anxious and unable to fulfill their potential as human beings

Cognitive theory on GAD

caused by dysfunctional ways of thinking

Biological theory on GAD

caused chiefly by biological factors


a persistent and unreasonable fear of a particular object, activity, or situation; more intense and persistent and the desire to avoid the object or situation is stronger

Specific phobia

a severe and persistent fear of a specific object or situation (usually animals, heights, enclosed spaces, thunderstorms, and blood)


an anxiety disorder in which a person is afraid to be in public situation from which escape might be difficult or help unavailable if panic-like or embarrassing symptoms were to occur

Behavioral explanations of phobias

Two factor theory; classical conditioning and modeling

Stimulus generalizatoin

responses to one stimulus are also Behavioral evolutionary (humans have a predisposition to develop certain fears)

Social anxiety disorder

a severe and persistent fear of social or performance situations in which embarrassment may occur

Panic disorder

persistent concern about panic attacks, worry about consequences of panic attacks

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

obsessions = intrusive and repetitive thoughts or images that produce anxiety

Compulsions = repetitive, ritualistic act that serves to reduce the anxiety or obsessions

Cognitive explanation for OCD

"control" and "neutralize" thoughts; intolerance of uncertainty

Behavioral explanation for OCD

compulsions are learned (learns that this behavior is done in this way reduces their anxiety)

Biological explanation for OCD

Low levels of serotonin, overactive orbital frontal cortex and caudate nucleus

Body dysmorphic disorder

Preoccupation with imagined or slight physical defect in a normal appearing person (spend hours trying to hide the imagined defect)


Affective symptoms: sadness, dejection, excessive and prolonged mourning, sense of worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness

Cognitive symptoms: pessimism, guilt, inability to concentrate, loss of interest, suicidal thoughts

Physiological symptoms: changes in appetite and sleep, loss of sex drive, fatigue

Behavioral symptoms: social withdrawal, low energy, psychomotive retardation or agitation

Major Depressive Disorder

2 weeks of 5 of more symptoms, which must include sad/depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure

Bipolar disorder

presence of manic episode; distinct period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood lasting 1 week with 3 or more symptoms

Type I Bipolar

presence or history of manic episodes

Type II

presence of a hypomanic episode (don't last long; 4-5 days; less severe) and a depressive episode

Cognitive behvaior explanations of depression

Reinforcement model: people experience depression because there re insufficient reinforcers in their environment and too many punishments

Cognitive model: automatic thoughts (we engage in negative thoughts that are automatic; don't realize we are thinking these thoughts)

Negative triad: negative thoughts focus on self, world and future

Sociocultural explanations for depression

stressful life events

biological explanations for depressoin

neurotransmitter dysregulation: mania = low levels of serotonin, high levels norepinephrine

depression = low levels of both

Brain abnormalities: lower metabolic activity in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, high metabolic activity in amygdala

Genetics: short allele of certainty transporter gene (5-HTTLPR)


intentional, direct, and conscious effort to end one's life (10th leading cause of death in the U.S.)

Gender differences in suicide

women attempt 3x more often

men complete 4x more often (use more lethal means like guns)

Age differences in suicide

40-50 range attempt suicide most

Ethnic difference

Native American men are more likely to commit suicide

Retrospective analysis

once someone commits suicide, a psychologist will dive into that person's life to see if they can back track and identify warning signs that can predict that person committing suicide (interview family members, friends, significant others, look for notes, interview the person who attempted suicide but didn't complete)

Indirect suicidal thoughts

"I just want out"

"Who cares if I'm dead anyway"

Direct suicidal thoughts

"I wish i were dead"

"If X happens/doesn't happen, I'll kill myself"