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Lecture 1

PSY240H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Psychopathology, Cultural Relativism, Abnormal Psychology

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Norman Farb

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Lecture 1
Standards For What Is Normal and Abnormal can be found :
1. Cultural relativism:
oNo universal standards or rules for labelling a behaviour as abnormal
o behaviors can only be abnormal relative to cultural norms.
oGender is imp in culture
2. Unusualness of behavior
oConsider a rare behaviour, the person demonstrating it, and the situation (context)
in which it occurs.
3. Discomfort of the person exhibiting the behavior
oBehavior is only abnormal if the individual suffers as a result and want to be rid
of the behavior.
4. Mental illness
oIs the behaviour caused by an identifiable disease?
oImplies that a physical process, clearly different from a healthy one, underscores
a specific pattern of behaviours and symptoms (e.g., schizophrenia)
5. Maladaptiveness
oThe 3Ds:
Dysfunction Does the behaviour prevent normal daily functioning?
Distress Does the person suffer distress?
Deviance Is the behaviour highly unusual?
oAbnormality as Harmful Dysfunction
Categorical versus Dimensional Classification of Mental Illness and DSM-V
Dimensional Question “How depressed are you?” “I am depressed X
Categorical Question: “Are you depressed?” Either Yes or No
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