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Lecture 2

PSY240H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Abnormal Psychology, Strange Behaviour, Blood Test

Course Code
Hywel Morgan

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Lecture 2 – psy240
- What is abnormal behaviour?
oNot average behaviour
oAbnormal behaviour presumes that there is normal behaviour
oNormal means average, that most of us behave that way
oEccentric behaviour is not clinically abnormal
oSome behaviours are also acceptable up until a certain age
- Psychopathology
oMental illness is easy to recognize but difficult to define
oDSM is a system in which people who are experts in their field made, but they
cannot define issues
oThere is a lot of symptom overlap between illnesses they have categorized
Sometimes it’s difficult to define something because it looks like
something else
Biology has test, psychology has tests too, but they are less definitive (you
can’t do a blood test and look for depression)
oIt is easy to recognize because you can see when someone is depressed
DSM 4 said it has to be a sad affect over a long period of time (weeks)
DSM 5 said it doesn’t have to be over a long period of time (get to
it sooner rather than later)
oHas to be really intense
It’s normal to be sad because then you have happy
- Abnormal behaviour can include a single occurrence of a strange behaviour (like a
suicide attempt) over a long period of time (having to wash your hands 20 times a day)
What is abnormal behaviour ?
- There are 4 criteria that we have used in the past that we continue to use
oStatistical criteria
We want to quantify it
We want to get to the point where we have blood tests and such for this
We want to quantify and use numbers
Using a scale from one to 10
Applying a number to a behaviour
oThis is self report
There can be subjective bias
Takes away that abnormal behaviour is behaviour that deviates from the
There are cultural norms, and this doesn’t take into account cultural norms
Everything is variable which makes statistical criteria hard
You can think and do something one day and change it the other

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Behaviour is variable and therefore its difficult to measure, or difficult to
You have unfavourable and favourable behaviours
Drug use/addiction unfavourable behaviours but most people
have participated in them, which is why it is detrimental to them
Age of onset changes things
It is persistent, significant, and not normal for that persons age
oCultural norms
Cultural norms can be different
There are certain behaviours that are distinctive to be desirable or
Some people praise hallucinations and delusions and these are key
behaviours in schizophrenia
oBut you can’t having relationships in this state
Cultures also look towards phobias
DSM, and ICD don’t always overlap, DSM is intended for a western
Substance abuse differs between cultures
Western cultures have more substance abuse than eastern cultures
Content of abnormal behaviour may differ also
The content of delusions and hallucinations may be complex and
more technically driven
In general, most cultures agree that behaviours that reduce, interfere or
disrupt the individuals personal and social adjustment are abnormal
They render you dysfunctional
oCan’t go to class, can’t take tests, can’t get out of bed
oYou can’t cope, you can’t interact, you can’t do things
You’re withdrawn & other people can’t relate to you
Cultural norms are often situationally defined
It’s not okay to be naked in class, but it’s okay to be naked in the
change room
oDevelopmental norms
You can be naked when you’re a kid
Normal to be a little aggressive, but then you are scolded for it
Children reach milestones
Like language
If you haven’t reached the developmental milestones, its not a
disaster, it’s a bell curve
Some children develop quicker than others
Just because you’re a child genius, doesn’t mean that you will continue to
be the smartest out of everyone (normally you equalize as you get older)
Generally development is in different progressions
oFrequency, intensity, duration
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