[Crash Course] Psychology XXXVI&XXXVII Biomedical treatments & Social thinking

Client perceptions, Clinician perceptions, Outcome research.

Effectiveness: whether or not a given therapy works in a 'real world setting'.

Efficacy: whether a therapy works better than some other, comparable intervention, or a control.

Instill hope, Gaining new perspective, Genuine empathy, Trusting caring relationship, Offer clear and positive communication.

Biomedical therapies: aim to physiologically change the brain's electrochemical state with psychotropic drugs, magnetic impulses, or even electricial currents and surgery.

Pharmacotherapy, is by far the most widely used, that's the one way where you just take drugs. -Antipsychotics, use to treat schizophrenia, and other types of severe thought disorders. -Anxiolytics, usuallt worked by depressing activity in the central nervous system. -Antidepressants, use to treat depression, but also a number of anxiety disorders. -Mood stabilisers, effective in smoothing out highs and lows of bipolar disorder.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): involves sending a brief electrical current through the brain of an anesthetised patient. -Resulting seizure beneficially alters neurotransmittter activity in areas of the brain associated with moods and emotions. -Electrical pulses modify stress hormone activity in the brain. -Re-activiate previously dormant or suppressed neurons, or possibly stimulate the growth of new ones in key brain regions, helping the brain regain some level of lost functioning.

Social psychology: focuses on the power of the situation. Examines how we think about, influence, and relate to one another in certain conditions.

When we're trying to understand why people act like villains or heroes, one of the things we're really asking is, 'Did they do what they did becuse of their personality or the situation?'

Attribution theory: the theory that we can explain someone's behaviour by crediting either their stable, enduring traits— also known as their dispostion— or the situation at hand. But it can be surprisingly hard to tell whether someone's behaviour is dispositional or situational.

Fundamental attibution error: the tendency for observers, when analysing another's behaviour, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.

What we choose to believe can cause big consequences.

How persuation works: 1st step: central route persuasion: involves calling on basic thinking and reasoning to convince people. This is what's at work when interested people focus on the evidence and arguments at hand, and are persuaded by the actual content of the message. 2nd step: influences people by way of incidental cues, like a speaker's physical attractiveness or personal relationship. Peripheral Route Persuation happens more readily when you're not paying a ton of attention, which is why billboards and television ads can be scarily effective. So that's how politicians and advertisers and maybe bosses and teachers and pushy friends try to change our behaviour by chaning our attitudes. But it turns out that the reverse is true, too. Our attitudes can be affected by our behaviours. You might have heard about the phrase 'Fake it till you make it'.

The foot-in-the-door phenomenon: the tendency for people to more readily comply with a certain big request after they've first agreed to smaller, more innocuous requests. [Like Darth Vader didn't just go from 'Go get them Anakin', to dark lord overnight. He was slowly enticed to the dark side by a series of escalating actions and attitude changes. Do this favour for me, now run this errand, now kill these Padawans. Now blow the planet! What started this small actions went on to become big ones, suddenly transforming Vader's belief's about himself and others. There's plenty of experimental evidence that moral action really does strengthens moral convictions, just as amoral action strengthens amoral attitudes.]

Zimbardo's famous study 'Stanford Prison Experiment': The power of a given situation can easily override individual differences in personality. It sheds such a harsh light on the nature of power and corruption.

So, why does it seem so easy to rationalise a negative action or attitude and so hard to muster the positive ones? One partial explanation comes from American social psychologist Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance. Festinger's theory begins with the notion that we experience discomfort, or dissonance, when our thoughts, beliefs, or behaviours are inconsistent with each other. Basically, we don't like to confuse ourselves. It's kind of an iverted fundamental attribution error. Attributing a person's actions mainly to the situation instead of his personality. The point is that this mismatch between what we do and who we think we are induces tension— cognitive dissonance— and that we tend to want to resolve that tension.