Psychology, in the simplest of terms, can be called the science of behavior and mental processes. The study of this subject includes the study of various psychological theories and practices that have evolved through the 20th and 21st centuries. Various methodologies of research are introduced to the students and their understanding is tested in the form of psychology assignments. These assignments require the students to undertake extensive research and demonstrate an understanding of the various areas of psychology like learning and memory, social psychology, sensation and perception, emotion, development, and psychopathology.
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Online Psychology Assignment Sample by AssignmentHippo
Psychological Abnormality – Case Study – Samantha (AC 2.1 & 3.1)
Samantha is a 36-year-old woman with one child aged seven. She is happily married to Dan, a successful portfolio manager. They met when Samantha worked in finance. The family is well off, although Dan’s long working hours mean that he gets to see less of his family than they would like. Samantha does not work; she does not have to. She puts much energy into her daughter and is a loving, devoted, and strong mother. As a young girl, she worked hard to become a professional ballet dancer but did not make it. Sam was told she did not have the look and had grown too tall. Although most people considered her beautiful and extremely attractive, with the look of a professional model – Samantha hates her image. She views herself as being tall and too curvy.
Friends, family, and colleagues will swear of Dan’s devotion to his wife and daughter. In his spare time Dan will organize fun days for the family aside from the annual holiday, and when possible, frequently takes Samantha on breaks away. Lately, Samantha has been feeling neglected by Dan, assuming that he has other reasons for always working late. Samantha often thinks the worst of any given situation, being caught up in a spiral of negative thinking – being half empty, rather than half full as they say. She had an unhappy childhood; her mother was an addict and suffered from depression, committing suicide when Samantha was eight years old. Samantha was raised by her aunt, who was very cold and austere. Her family originally came from the Caribbean, whilst Dan’s are from England.
Recently, Samantha has been feeling depressed and has begun drinking heavily to numb the pain she feels inside. She indulges in shopping sprees to make her feel good and lift her spirit. However, Sam is hiding this habit and getting into debt. At times she finds it hard to sleep. When Sam does sleep, she dreams about her mother and believes her mother is trying to tell her something, trying to reach out to her. In addition, Samantha has been experiencing mood swings of extreme highs and lows, displaying erratic behavior that is incomprehensible to others and makes some people feel uncomfortable. Her aunt says she is behaving just like her mother did. She needs to get a grip of herself and “fix-up”. Samantha is fraught with anguish and worries that history might be repeating itself.
Last night, Dan found evidence of Samantha’s spending when he looked over the household accounts. He was more upset that she had kept the state of her finances away from him, than the actual spending itself. Samantha opened up to Dan about the way she has been feeling; she knows she needs help but fears she would be wrongly assessed due to her ethnicity. They talked for hours, well into the night. This morning Dan made an appointment to see Dr. Harrison, a psychologist with a private practice based in Harley Street. Samantha’s first session is next Tuesday and Dan is taking the day off to attend with her.
Psychology is the study of human behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Abnormal psychology can be defined as abnormal thoughts, feelings and behavior that might or might not present a mental illness. Although the number of behaviors can be classified as abnormal, this branch of psychology suggests studying abnormality in the clinical context. Although, there has been a long tradition of research and debate to understand psychology yet due to cultural variations and approach it is yet to be defined in a most acceptable manner. There might be different conditions or multiple causes that lead to abnormal psychology. However, the debate is still on to describe what is abnormal. There has been a long history of fights between the biological school of thought and philosophical school of thought regarding abnormal psychology that gives rise to dualism in mind and body issues. There have been different approaches to classify this disorder and in an abnormal category, there can be subnormal, supernormal, or paranormal. Abnormal psychology as described previously deals with abnormal behavior based on this there can be two types of behaviors. While one is maladaptive another is adaptive. Behaviors are maladaptive when it is evident that the individual has some problem with the behavior and he/she is stress as well as lacks the strength to cope with the environment. Abnormal psychology mostly studied under clinical psychology that tries to understand this abnormality and treat psychological conditions. Although abnormal psychology can be studied under clinical psychology, contemporary practice models avoid such usage of words like an abnormality. Psychopathology is another term that is similar to abnormal psychology but it is related to psychiatry where the pathology or the disease process is studied from a biological perspective. Thus one definition of abnormal psychology is an abnormality in behavior that is not socially acceptable at different layers of the environment surrounding an individual.
There are different approaches by which the psychological changes of a human being can be studied. As defined by the world health organization, health is defined as the health status of an individual based on physical, social, and mental it implicates the psychological abnormality can have a minimum of three perspectives to be studied. Physical perspective is known as the medical model or biological model of health. From the lens of the biological model of health abnormal brain functions leads to abnormality in the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that compel the clients to behave abnormally. Neurotransmitters help in communication between the neurons through synapses. Research has shown serotonin low level can cause anxiety and depression as well as obsessive compressive disorder. Similarly, addiction can lead to an imbalance in dopamine production that can also cause abnormal behavior. These two hormones can play a crucial role in brain function and abnormal psychology as shown by Samantha. Therefore, a brain analysis, as well as biochemical tests to know the concentration of these hormones, can lead to the identification of such depressions. Secondly, hormonal disturbances such as high/low estrogen and progesterone can cause depression and anxiety too.
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Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Rector, N. A. (2015). Abnormal psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
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Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Psychology Assignment
How far can Facebook overuse be considered an addiction?
Behavioral addictions have only been added to the accepted list of mental disorders (DSM-5) in 2010 (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). Thus far, only pathological gambling has been given a status as a formal psychiatric disorder (Andreassen et al., 2012). However, there has been increasing research devoted to the potential for other behavioural addictions to also be included within this definition. As Griffiths (1998) notes, the extent to which computer addiction might be considered a form of behavioural addiction in itself can be difficult to separate from the media hype that labels the use of new technology as an addiction. This essay will consider how far Facebook addiction might be considered as a behavioural addiction. First, the evidence for social media addiction will be considered. Secondly, the extent to which this first to a social model of addiction may be considered. Thirdly, the extent to which such behaviour fits to a neurological definition of addiction will be considered.
The extent to which Facebook overuse exists as a form of compulsive behaviour that bears some similarity to other forms of addiction has been demonstrated through a number of studies. Wolniczak et al. (2013) use an adapted form of the internet dependence questionnaire and demonstrate that Facebook dependence was present in 8.6 percent of a sample of 418 undergraduate university students in Peru. A significant prediction of Facebook addiction may be identified through self-report, where the user both engages in social networking too often, but simultaneously acknowledges that he or she engages in such behaviour, as shown by Machold et al. (2012). In Machold et al. (2012), 33 percent of the sample population felt that they engaged in Facebook too often. Similarly, Cabral (2008) identified that 49 percent of a sample of 313 social media users aged between 11 and 16 felt that they were using social media too much, with 64 percent using social media between 30 and 90 minutes a day. This was related to similar symptoms of addiction, such as the fact that 39 percent of users spent more time on social media than was intended, and 23 percent stated that they experienced withdrawal symptoms when they were unable to access social media regularly (Cabral, 2008). Olowu and Seri (2012) identified that of 884 Nigerian university students, aged between 16 and 30 years, 64 percent of those who used social media sites very often (34 percent) stated that they were unable to stop.
From this evidence, Facebook addiction might seem like a very real form of compulsive behavior that might lead to it being perceived as a kind of behavioral disorder. However, self-report methods may mean that the use of the sense of addiction may vary amongst users, and ‘being unable to stop’ can be meant as a turn of phrase rather than a true statement as fact. The extent to which Facebook addiction is perceived as compulsive by its users may be questioned when placed against the potentially more serious compulsion of gambling (Volkow et al., 2016). It may also be considered as significantly separate from other kinds of physiological dependences that contribute to drug or alcohol addictions, for which the term is more commonly applied because although it might result in some levels of harm, it is difficult to demonstrate it as holding the potential to result in self-destructive behavior in the same way that is documented for drug addiction or gambling (Machold et al. 2012). However, it has also been argued that some people who are addicted to substances are addicted in more than simply a physiological dependence upon the substance (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). Addiction might be defined in terms of compulsive or impulsive behavior associated with the practice and to an extent, Facebook addiction fits this model (Volkow et al., 2016).
In conclusion, Facebook might seem compulsive behavior, even to the extent of causing harm or conflict with other activities, but it cannot be considered an addiction in quite the same way as gambling or substance abuse. First, the extent to which compulsive behavior can be seen in terms of addiction can be questioned: for example, many people overeat, but we would not regard all such people as addicted. Secondly, the costs and benefits of Facebook addiction are not necessarily as fundamental as other forms of addictions: Facebook can take time away from other activities, disrupt sleep patterns, but does not necessarily result in self-destructive behavior that can be considered comparable to gambling. Participation is primarily in time, and although this can be costly in the sense that it takes time from other activities, it is not comparable to the costs of drug addiction or gambling. This is not to say that Facebook overuse cannot be compulsive, damaging, or harmful to the user, but simply that it appears, at present, to fall short of the more evidently self-destructive behavior of those with more firmly-established addictions.
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Cabral, J. (2008). Is generation Y addicted to social media? Future of Children, 18, pp.125-139.
Essig, T. (2012). The addiction concept and technology: Diagnosis, metaphor, or something else? A psychodynamic point of view. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(11), pp.1175-1184.
Griffiths, M. (1998). Internet addiction: does it really exist? In J. Gackenbach (ed.), Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal implications, San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press, pp. 61-75.
Griffiths, M. (2005). A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework. Journal of Substance Use, 10(4), pp.191-197.
Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2011). Online social networking and addiction—a review of the psychological literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(9), pp.3528-3552.
Machold, C., Judge, G., Mavrinac, A., Elliott, J., Murphy, A. M., & Roche, E. (2012). Social networking patterns/hazards among teenagers. Irish Medical Journal, 105(5), pp.151-2.
Olowu, A. O., & Seri, F. O. (2012). A study of social network addiction among youths in Nigeria. Journal of Social Science and Policy Review, 4(1), pp.63-71.
Satel, S., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2010). Singing the brain disease blues. AJOB Neuroscience, 1(1), pp.46-47.
Suen, V., Brown, M. R., Morck, R. K., Cribben, I., & Silverstone, P. H. (2017). Risk Tolerance, Impulsivity, and Self-esteem: Differences and Similarities between Gamblers and Non-Gamblers in a Pilot Study. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 4(4), pp.171-184.
Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & McLellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiology advances from the brain disease model of addiction. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(4), pp.363-371.
Wolniczak, I., Caceres-DelAguila, J. A., Palma-Ardiles, G., Arroyo, K. J., Solís-Visscher, R., Paredes-Yauri, S., … & Bernabe-Ortiz, A. (2013). Association between Facebook dependence and poor sleep quality: a study in a sample of undergraduate students in Peru. PloS one, 8(3), pp.59-87.