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Basic Structure of Neuron

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Neuron is the basic unit of our Nervous System. In this lecture we will discuss about Neuron and basic structures of a Neuron. Further we will discuss about three basic types of the neuron and how to memorize them easily.

Careers in Neuroscience

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Careers in Neuroscience

Careers in Neuroscience (Video Lecture) as part of video series on the course of Physiological Psychology. Recommended book is Foundations of Physiological Psychology by Neil R. Carlson

How to write an Abstract in Research

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How to write an Abstract in Research

Selection of Research Topic

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Selection of Research Topic

How to Write a Research Proposal?

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How to Write a Research Proposal?

 

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

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ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

Written by Durre Sahar

Senior Psychologist, Special Education

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition that affects children and adolescents and can continue into adulthood for some. The ADHD is also called hyperkinetic disorder or neuro-behavioural disorder. It is characterized by inattention, restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. These symptoms are disruptive and create social environmental problems for the child. The behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child’s ability to function at school and at home.

The ADHD is defined as,

“the ADHD is a common condition that affects the children which is characterized by inattention, restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity”

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD. Some experts, though, say ADHD may occur in 8% to 10% of school-aged children.

It may further be defined as,

“the ADHD is a psychiatric disorder of the neuro developmental type in which there are significant problems of attention, hyperactivity, or acting impulsivity that are not appropriate for a person’s age”

Children with ADHD generally have problems of paying attention or concentrating. They can’t seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD.

CLINICAL DESCRIPTION OF ADHD

DSM -5 divides ADHD criteria into two groups. The inattention group consists of symptoms reflecting lack of attention to details, difficulty sustaining attention, failure to listen, organizational problems, distractibility, failure to complete activities and forgetfulness. The hyperactivity-impulsivity groups consist of excessive behaviour, squirming, difficulty remaining seated, inappropriate noise / vocalization and difficulty waiting. Children must meet six of the inattention symptoms or six of the hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms to qualify for ADHD diagnosis. Furthermore, the symptoms must present in two or more situations.

Biederman (1991) suggests two other subtypes of ADHD based on occurring diagnosis, ADHD with major depression symptoms (as many of ADHD cases, Barkley, 1991). These subtypes represent child have emotional difficulties superimposed on their inattention-hyperactivity problem. The delineation of ADHD subtypes suggests that children with should routinely be evaluated for related conduct, mood or anxiety. The presence of an associated problem may require more intensive inattention and may signal increased risk for negative long-term outcome.

MANIFESTATION OF ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

The children who meet only inattention criteria in a 6 month period are coded as being predominantly inattentive type with those who meet only hyperactivity-impulsivity criteria in a 6 months period are coded as being predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type. Children who meet both the inattention and the hyperactivity-impulsivity criteria are coded as being combined type. Hence, ADHD is coded in DSM – IV as having few some types, depending on whether the predominant features are inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity or both.

The child with ADHD frequent shifts from one activity to another. He fails to complete his given chore. He feels difficulty in organizing tasks and activities. Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem and addictions.

APPEARANCE AND FEATURES OF ADHD

Despite the apparent existence of ADHD subtypes, certain features are common across many ADHD children. Perhaps the most common feature is difficulty sustaining attention during relatively long, group oriented or repetitive tasks. In some cases, the child is distracted by extraneous stimuli, but in other the child simply loses interest and fails to persist with the task.

The features listed below are often seen but are not universal. Some features may be diagnostically relevant or required. There are two types of features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as defined the following. The common features are typical of the disorder and occasional features appear frequently but are not necessary seen in a majority of cases.

  1. Common Features
  2. Occasional Features

 

  1. COMMON FEATURES

The common features are related to attention problems as like over activity, restlessness, inability to sit still, fidgeting, constant movement, impulsivity, adoption of acting as opposed to reflective style, interrupting others, difficulty waiting for turn, blurting out answer.

The common features in children are generally grouped into three categories as defined the following.

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Restlessness
  1. INATTENTION

A child with ADHD:-

  • Is easily distracted.
  • Does not follow directions or finish tasks.
  • Does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking.
  • Does not pay attention and makes careless mistakes.
  • Is forgetful about daily activities.
  • Has problems organizing daily tasks.
  • Avoids or dislikes activities that require sitting still or a sustained effort.
  • Often loses things, including personal items.
  • Has a tendency to daydream.

2. HYPERACTIVITY

A child with ADHD:-

  • Often squirms, fidgets, or bounces when sitting.
  • Does not stay seated as expected.
  • Has difficulty playing quietly.
  • Is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (Inteens and adults, this is more commonly described as a sense of restlessness).
  • Talks excessively.
  • Is often on the go.
  • Difficulty in gaining different tasks.

 3. IMPULSIVITY

A child with ADHD:

  • Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn.
  • Has impatience.
  • Difficulty in delaying.
  • Blurts out answers before the question has been completed.
  • Often interrupts others.
  • It causes sometime accidents.

4. RESTLESSNESS

A child with ADHD has restlessness. He performs all his tasks given to him with bizarre behaviour. Many children with ADHD have difficulties with compliance and any social behaviors being restless.

  1. OCCASIONAL FEATURES

The occasional features are more common in boys and their onset is prior to age 4, although the diagnosis may not be made until child enters the school. The physical problems including higher injury risk, motor coordination problems aggressive and antisocial behaviour are included in the occasional features.

In addition to showing poor sustained attention, ADHD children frequently manifest difficulty with impulse control. This leads to the behaviours such as interrupting others, difficulty waiting for turn and poor performance on tasks requiring waiting or thoughtful decisions.

A third common feature of ADHD is overactivity, which may be more prevalent in younger children with ADHD. The overactivity is particularly noticeable in situations requiring the child to sit or to remain in same place for an extended period of time. At these times, ADHD children tend to squirm, stretch, change position, make noises, play with anything, reach and stand.

On tasks that are interesting, unstructured and involve shifts of focus to choose activity or immediate reinforcement, behavioural difference between ADHD children and normal children may be unnoticeable. Thus, an ADHD child may appear focused at home or in a video game but is quite inattentive and disruptive at school. These situation differences suggest that behavioural data must be gathered from multiple servers in multiple setting in order to diagnose ADHD.

Recently more attention has been given to the persistence of ADHD through out adolescence and adulthood, as many as 30-50% of children with ADHD show symptoms persisting through adolescence and into adulthood. From 50-80% of children with ADHD continuation meet ADHD criteria in adolescence. Behavioural symptoms such as impulsivity, inattention, immaturity oppositionality / defiance, social-skills deficits and distractibility often end into adolescence. However, symptoms of hyperactivity decline. Elevated rates of academic failure, antisocial personality, substance abuse, criminal behaviour and depression have been reported in adolescents and adults who were diagnosed with ADHD as children, although the risk of these negative long term outcomes is probably limited to the ADHD and CD subtype. These negative outcomes are less prevalent in adults than adolescents.

Hechtman (1991) reviews literature supporting three types of ADHD outcome, normal functioning (probably fewer than half of children), moderate disability (serious concentration, social and emotional. Low self-esteem, anxiety and irritability, perhaps as high) and significant disability (major depression, substance abuse, antisocial behaviour), those with co-occurring CD or Mood Disorder diagnoses are particularly at long term risk. Factors related to more adult outcome are higher IQ, internal locus of control, better social skills, family SES, supportive family and good health (Hechtman, 1991).

ASSOCIATION OF ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

ADHD is associated with a plethora of medical, behavioural, cognitive and academic disorders, children with ADHD frequently do poorly in school and they are more likely to have physical problems than other children. They have increased difficulties with peer acceptance and they are more likely to be anxious and depressed.

50% children of ADHD are associated with conduct disorder (CD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). The symptoms are seen before the age of 7 in these children. Their learning ability is affected by hyperactivity and impulsivity. These children are group oriented and repetitive tasks are difficult for them. .

The ADHD differentiates from anxiety disorder. It also differentiates from learning disorder and expected with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

The large but incomplete overlap between ADHD and CD (Conduct Disorder) suggests that subtypes of ADHD may exist in addition to those recognized by DSM – IV. Several authors have noted the heterogeneity of the ADHD population, which argues for the importance of delineating ADHD subtypes.

Abnormal Psychology: Past and Present

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By Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad Abbas

Learn How to do Basic APA Formatting in a Few Minutes

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By Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad Abbas

Use of Statistics in Psychology

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Use of Statistics in Psychology

Use of Statistics in Psychology

By Ahmed Mujtaba Owaisi

Statistics is the branch of mathematics which deals with the organization, analysis and interpretation of a group of numbers. Use of statistics in Psychology is essential for conducting any research. The term Statistics is derived from a Latin word “Status” which means government or a state. Initially statistics was used by the states to collect data about their public including population, income, and to impose taxation etc. Statistics is essential for research in social sciences because it consists of various techniques to organize, summarize, and interpret the data. In simple words, statistics enables us to get information from the data. According to Agresti and Finlay (1997) statistics is a methodology used by a researcher to collect, interpret and draw conclusions from a collected data.

How statistics help a Researcher:

Statistics is essential for conducting a research in the field of psychology and social sciences. It helps the researcher in various ways as follows

  • The most important part of a study is to select a sample size which represent the population of the study, statistics is used to determine the size of the sample.
  • What kind of data is required for the study
  • Which techniques will be used to analyze the data
  • How to draw conclusion from the analyzed data
  • What is the significance of the findings of the study and how much uncertainty is there in the findings?

In this way statistics enables a researcher to design, describe, analyze and make inferences from his research.

There are various functions of statistics. It helps the researcher to present his findings in an easy to understand way. For example, when a researcher say that 200 people of a city suffer from some specific kind of allergy, it is not clear for the reader to draw conclusion from it. Further it can be stated that 200 people from a city with a population of 200000 suffer from the illness. It makes better sense about the findings for a reader. Further with the use of statistics the researcher report that 0.1 percent of the population of the city suffer from the illness. It better explain the findings in a clear manner. Meanwhile statistics enables the researcher to make comparisons and to draw conclusions from the data with the use of various statistical techniques. He can see difference in terms of gender, education, socioeconomic status and so on with the use of statistics. Furthermore, statistics enables the researcher to represent complex information and a large number of data in a simple way by using diagrams, graphs and tables. As the term statistics was first used by the states, it helps the government to make policies to implement for the benefit of their public.

Where Statistics Work:

Use of Statistics in Psychology

In order to make statistics work properly the researcher should consider the following points.

  1. Statistics only work with numbers.

Statistics is a branch of mathematics which deals with numbers only. It does not work with qualitative information (in words). In order to make it work properly we convert the information into numbers. For example Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a common inventory in psychology used for the assessment of depression. It consists of a four point Likert scale (ranging from 0-3), in research we use the numbers to draw conclusions by using statistics.

  • Various external factors can affect the findings of the study. In this regard it is important for the researcher to minimize or exclude the external factors which may affect the findings of the study. For example, we want to study the grades of students in specific class and we should focus on various factors including the role of teacher, class and examination hall environment, and various other factors.
  • There are also chances of two major types of errors known as type-I and type-II error which on behalf of the researcher affect the findings of a study in a negative way. In this regard the researcher should be careful in the interpretation of the findings and also exclude any chance of biasness on his behalf.
  • The use of statistics in any study is pre-planned on the basis of synopsis or initial framework of the study which is determined by different factors including literature review. For example, a researcher studying the phenomenon of depression will initially include different demographic variables in his study including gender, age, education, family type, grades etc.
  • The process of data collection in statistics is also predetermined according to the needs of the study. Various methods are available to determine sample size which better represent the population.
  • Statistics is useful for related variables only. It does not work with the variables which do not have any relationship at all. In simple words, you can see the correlation between depression and academic performance, difference in the level of depression among male and female population but in case of variables which are not associated, you cannot use statistics. For instance, statistics will not work when you will try to study IQ and internet surfing duration which both are not related with each other.

Use of Statistics in Daily Life:

Why Psychology Students Study Statistics

          There are a number of uses of statistics in our daily life as well as statistics in psychology. For example, it is used by researchers to conduct various studies in order to examine various variables. Statistics is also useful because it enables the researcher to specify the required information and sample size in order to waste his time and energy.

We all use various weather forecasting applications like accuweather. These applications provide us prediction about the weather of today and upcoming days with a high level of accuracy. This forecast about weather is also available because of the use of statistics in which they analyze the weather in previous days and current day which enables them to predict the weather in upcoming days.

When any medicine is made to treat any illness its effectiveness is first determined with the use of statistics. Pharmacists make drug does and effectiveness graphs by using statistics to determine the level of effectiveness of the drug to treat the illness as well as to determine the proper dose for the human beings.

          Statistics is also used by media for various purposes. For example, before elections newspapers and TV channels collect data from the public to predict the results of any election by showing the percentage of public which support different political parties.

Governments also use statistics for various purposes to collect data about their public. For example, census is used by the governments to collect data about the population of their citizens. In current scenario the whole world is fighting with the dangerous disease known as COVID-19. The data of people affected by the disease as well as the prediction of the level of danger of the disease in upcoming days is the best example of the use of statistics.

          In the field of Psychology, we use various types of scales, inventories and psychological tests to examine various factors like depression, anxiety, procrastination, IQ, and personality factors etc. The reliability and validity of these tests is also determined with the use of statistics.

Furthermore, statistics is also used by business markets for various purposes. When any company launches any product in the market, it determines the response of the customers with the use of statistics. It also enables them to make further improvements in their products by considering the likelihood of their customers. Statistics is also used by police, hospitals, schools, banks and various other sectors.

Meanwhile there are also some limitations of the use of statistics. These limitations include:

  • Statistics work only with quantitative data which consists of numbers. In order to make statistics work with qualitative data we need to convert the data into numbers.
  • Statistics is a branch of mathematics but still it has some limitations. It provides us with an estimation not with accurate results. Furthermore, it deals with social sciences which deals with human beings. We cannot predict the behavior of human beings with 100% accuracy but it provides the findings with maximum accuracy.
  • Statistics work only with a sample of population while it does not work with an individual. In this regard when studying any variable of psychology, the use of statistics will enable us to examine the variable in the public as a whole not among individuals.
  • Sometimes the findings of any statistical results may lead the readers to some confusing information. For example, if any newspaper or media report that in any specific institution 33% of the administrative staff is suffering from depression. This finding may be very big at initial stage for the reader that a high majority of the administrative staff is suffering from depression. But the administrative staff of that specific institution consists of only three members and only one of the staff is suffering from depression it will provide us with the clear image of the findings.

Use of Statistics in Psychology

The use statistics in psychology is to conduct research in the field. We study various variables with the help of statistics. Most of educational programs in psychology have thesis as an essential requirement of the degree and all these thesis have some statistical analysis which are done with the use of statistics. We determine the sample size, measure the correlation between different variables, and assess the role of gender and other factors with the use of statistics. Further statistics enables us to measure the effect of one or more independent variables on some dependent variables through regression analysis. Mediation and moderation analysis are also conducted with the use of statistics. Psychologists develop scales and tests to measure different factors with the use of statistics. In short statistics is essential to conduct research in almost every field of social sciences including psychology, economics, education, media studies, political science, commerce, and so on.

Planning an Interview in Psychology

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Planning an Interview in Psychology

In psychology, an interview is used to get various types of information in order to facilitate the process of clinical assessment. The process of planning an interview is an important approach which is based upon different factors including the purpose of the interview and which questions are appropriate to obtain the desired information. Planning is also important because it enables the interviewer to ask appropriate questions and also to keep the sensitive topics in mind including minorities, gender and other controversial topics.

Further, planning enables the interviewer to allocate proper time to different topics and also to target purpose of the interview. For example, job interviews are based upon some important and relevant skills and knowledge of the candidate.

Structures of an Interview

In this regard, the first step of planning an interview is the structure of interview. There are three main structures of an interview.

  1. Fully Structured Interview
  2. Semi Structured Interview
  3. Unstructured Interview

Planning an Interview in Psychology

  1. Fully Structured Interview:

In a fully structured interview all questions of the interview are predefined and all questions are asked from the respondent regardless of their answers in previous questions.

  1. Semi-structured Interview:

In a semi-structured interview some questions are planned earlier while the other questions are based upon the responses of the planned questions.

  1. Unstructured Interview:

An unstructured interview is an exploratory interview in which only a few or no questions are properly structured.

There may be different sub-structures of the interview with the main purpose to obtain maximum information in a given time. It is also important for the interviewer to have some control over the interview. Interview structures and checklist enable the interviewer to answer various aspects to gain maximum information from the interview process. For example, the participant may lead the interview to another track, therefore it is important that the interviewer should know that the responses and questions of the interview lead to which way?

Have the participant intentionally or accidentally lead you towards any irrelevant topic? If yes, then how will you make the interview process on track again? Furthermore, how you worked on the interview? Have you given proper importance to each and every aspect of the interview or neglected some aspects by giving much importance to others? Have you clarified any term which may be confusing for the client?

Planning an Interview in Psychology

Forming Relevant Questions for Interview:

It is important to for questions of interview which fulfill the objective of the interview. There are some important points in this process

  1. First you need to clear the goals of interview
  2. How and what information do you require?
  3. For what purpose you will use that information?
  4. Will the direction of interview be affected with the responses of the participant?
  5. Are you asking important information or some irrelevant information because of curiosity?

Benefits of Forming Relevant Questions:

  1. It enables the interviewer to design specific questions to obtain required information
  2. It serves as a guideline for the interviewer to remain on track
  3. If the interviewer decides to probe any response, the formulation of relevant questions enables him to think about the direction of response of the participant and also how to take him back to track.
  4. It also enables the interviewer to decide open or close ended questions regarding different information.

Questions of the Interview:

Planning an Interview in Psychology

There are different types of questions the interviewer use to get information from the participant. These questions can be classified into three categories. First category is open-ended questions. These questions are asked to explore some specific information from the participant. These questions are very useful for various reasons, they provide information about the vocabulary or the participant and also provide detailed information about different events in a chronological order. While there is also a disadvantage of these questions because these respondent may lead the interviewer to some irrelevant information. Second type of the interview questions is the close-ended questions. These questions are also important because they provide specific information to the interviewer by saving the time of the interview process but they do not provide much detailed information as compared to the open-ended questions. Therefore, in most interviews a combination of both of these types of questions is used to obtain maximum information about the participant.

The third type of the interview questions is the probing questions. These questions are used for various reasons including the search for inconsistencies in the previous responses, to clarify the reasons of specific responses to the questions asked earlier, and also to help the participant to talk about some difficult topic.

Stages of an Interview:

            The interview process consists of three stages. There is specific purpose of every stage which focuses on different skills of the participant. For instance, in the main body of the interview process active listening is very important while in the opening phase rapport building is essential.

Stage One: Opening of the Interview:

The first phase consists of these points

  1. Introduction of the Interviewer
  2. Define your role as an interviewer
  • Methods used to collect information
  1. Inform about the duration of the interview
  2. Start with rapport building and easy questions then move towards difficult questions

Stage Two: Main Body of Interview:

The second stage consists of the following points

  1. It consists of main themes to explore the responses of the participant.
  2. Moving from general to more specific questions
  • Starts with easy questions before exploring most difficult or sensitive information.

Stage Three: Ending Phase

  1. Gradually move towards the ending of the interview rather than an abrupt ending.
  2. If suitable, ask the participant if he has any question for you.
  • Thank the participant for his interest.