November 5, 2013
• What is abnormal behaviour?
• How are disorders diagnosed?
• Examples of some clinical disorders
Defining Abnormal Behaviour?
• Statistical deviance?
o Can be deviant in positive ways (success in athletics, science, business etc.)
• Cultural deviance?
o Different cultures might have different ideas of what is considered
“Can there be a onesize fitsall definition of diagnosing clinical disorders
if there is so much variation between cultures?”
• Causes distress?
o Life events can cause distress ▯major tragedy, death of a loved one, earthquake
o Antisocial personalities/sadistic ▯they are not distressed, but we are
o Behaviour that is different from what is typical; considered culturally deviant;
either causes distress to the person suffering/causes dysfunction to maintain a
American Psychiatric Association: “behaviour that leads to distress,
disability or an increased risk of death, pain, or loss of freedom.”
• Psychopathology is bizarre (not always!)
Psychiatric Hospital Study
• How hard is it to convince a psychiatrist that you are insane?
• How is it to convince him/her that you are sane?
• Rosenhan (1973)
o Went to psychiatric hospital complaining of ‘hearing voices’
o After admission, behaved normally
o Psychiatrist never declared them sane (but “in remission”)
Mean = 19 days in hospital
Normal behaviours seen as evidence of disorder
o Moral of the Study
Psychiatric labels can be stigmatizing
Clinical disorders can be difficult to detect
• Its bizarre (not very often)
• Its enduring (nope)
• It has a single cause (Wrong, again) o Diathesis Stress Model
Manifestation of disorder is function of…
• 1. Diathesis: inherited susceptibility
• 2. Stress: environmental triggers of events
Classifying Psychological Disorders
• Diagnosis done through DSM V
o American Psychi