PSY 4791 Lecture Notes - Brain Fever, Intellectual Disability, Humorism

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Published on 31 Jan 2013
Bretts Childhood
His recent inability to maintain an erection when making love to his wife was the immediate reason for his seeking
Brett didn’t have a happy childhood. His mother died suddenly when he was only 6 and for the next 10 yrs he lived
either with his father or with a maternal aunt. His father drank heavily and the mans moods were extremely variable;
he had even been hospitalized with a diagnosis of manic depressive psychosis
Brett often became depressed for no apparent reason and sometimes this was followed by periods of manic
He felt self conscious with ppl who he felt had authority over him and he was esp sensitive about his clothes which
were old compared to his peers
He entered the police academy and he had hopes that his badge and uniform would give him the instant respect that he
seemed incapable of earning on his own
He wondered if he was actually avoiding the responsibility of having a child
He attacked her both verbally and physically about her alleged infidelity and then got help
Psychopathology- the field concerned with the nature and development of abnormal beh thoughts and feelings
Challenge in studying abnormal psych is the need to remain objective
Abnormal psysh is most popular but it has one distinct disadvantage which is that all of us bring to your study
preconceived notions of what the subject matter is
Challenge is how to define it
Abnormal beh- patterns of emotion, thought and action deemed pathological for one or more of the following
reasons: infrequent occurrence, violation of norms, personal distress, disability or dysfunction and unexpectedness
Statistical infrequency
One aspect of abnormal beh is that its infrequent
Normal curve or bell shaped curve- places majority of ppl in the middle as far as any particular characteristic is
concerned; very few ppl fall at either extreme.
An assertion that a person is normal implies that he or she does not deviate much from the average in a particular trait
or beh patterns
Statistical infrequency is used explicitly in diagnosing mental retardation
When an indiv IQ is below 70 his or her intellectual functioning is considered sufficiently below subnormal to be
designated as mental retardation
Violation of norms
Consider whether the beh violates norms or threatens or makes anxious those observing it
Violation of norms is too broad and too narrow
Cultural diversity can affect how ppl view social norms. What is the norm in one culture may be abnormal in another
Personal distress
Personal suffering ; that is beh is abnormal if it creates distress and torment in the person experiencing it
But some disorders don’t involve distress
Disability or dysfunction
Disability –impairment in some important area of life cuz of the abnormality can also be a part of abnormal beh
It applies to some but not all disorders.
Ex transvestism (Cross dressing for sexual pleasure) is diagnosed as a mental disorder if it distresses the person but
isn’t necessarily a disability
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