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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - What is Abnormal Behaviour?

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Hywel Morgan

PSY240H5 – Introduction toAbnormal Psychology Lecture 2 – January 13, 2014 What isAbnormal Behaviour? - Easier to recognize than define - There is not normal/average behaviour that we don’t consider abnormal or pathological o There are behaviour that people don’t display, that we don’t consider abnormal or pathological Statistical Criteria - Abnormal behaviour is behaviour that deviates from the statistically normal (or average) o 1 standard deviation: 66% of the population are within the norm (within normal parameter) - DSM 5 – tried to define abnormal behaviour statistically; it failed o Deviation from the norm – how to you define how deviant you need to be? In statistics, we use standard deviation but it is arbitrary - Example: Empirically measuring memory/emotions o Measuring sad:Asking, “on a scale from 1-10, how sad are you? - Normative standard – taking statistics, gathering a large amount of data from people, and found that what most people do o The middle of the bell curve is what most people do o We found normative standards, of people on either side of the curve, are referred to as the outliers - How we have strived to define abnormal behaviour is by using this statistical criteria o The way people behaviour in the outlier, is abnormal (not average) - There are behaviours that don’t meet the norm, and don’t consider pathological (not on DSM) and something we don’t seek treatment - It disregards not average desirable behaviours o If you are above average when measuring IQ, it is not on DSM ▯ gifted o 1 standard deviation below normal IQ, (below 70-75 or below) is on DSM IV referred to as mental retardation and on DSM 5 it is referred to as intellectual disability - *On DSM, they have included common behaviours that are unfavorable (excluded abnormal behaviour that are favourable, but included normal behaviours that are unfavorable) o Example: Extraordinary IQ is not on DSM o Example: Caffeine addiction is the most common form of drug abuse (coffee in the morning) and DSM says get therapy – “Mentally ill” - There are different aspects of the populations, cultures, societies, and environments o What is abnormal in one environment, may not be considered abnormal in another environment Cultural Norms (culture, society, situation) PSY240H5 – Introduction toAbnormal Psychology Lecture 2 – January 13, 2014 - There are cultural differences in what is normal; norms for cultures, societies and situations - There are certain behaviours that are distinctive and severe enough to be abnormal in most societies and environments - Within a culture, there are societies with different situations in which normal and abnormal behaviour occurs o Schizophrenia ▯ almost all cultures and societies consider this to be abnormal (there are certain cultures that consider some symptoms and delusions/hallucination are considered desirable as a religious experience) - There are different cultural norms that depend on age o Example: Prof says, “I don’t like you” and smack you at the back of the head ▯ Abnormal behaviour. But a two-year old behaving this way, isn’t considered abnormal behaviour. Developmental Norms - Although we have seen caution about using statistical criteria, they can be useful for measuring developmental progress - We do have statistical criteria for developmental norms ▯ Statistical Milestone - By certain age, children are expected to have develop certain behaviour, based on the concept of average o Example: by the age of 2, a child is expected to know how to speak (telegraphic speech ▯ two/three word sentences) o Children that develop the ability to speak at 24 months ▯ normal o But statistically at 12 months ▯ abnormal (but desirable) Frequency, Intensity, Duration - This is the most common way we currently determine what abnormal behaviour is - We use these three criteria as empirical measurements (statistical criteria) - Frequency o Example: Is pulling out a single hair from your head considered abnormal?  If it occurs once ▯ not abnormal  Occurs regularly ▯ may be considered abnormal o The absence of a behaviour may also be considered as abnormal - Intensity o Sadness is normal; but a strong intensity of that feeling would be considered as abnormal (so sad you wanted to take your life away) - Duration o If you felt sad for an entire week, that is pathology (one of the changes in DSM 5) o Death in the family? DSM 4 says you should be sad for a week, but DSM 5 says no you shouldn’t be sad for a week Summary: PSY240H5 – Introduction toAbnormal Psychology Lecture 2 – January 13, 2014 - It is not easy to define abnormal behaviour; we’d like to collect statistics but it doesn’t work 100% of the time - DSM tried to statistical define, but there are exceptions Etiological Models ofAbnormal Behaviour - How can abnormal behaviour be understood? - Etiological model refers to a frame of reference o How can it be understood? o What causes behaviour? o Where do the variables come from? - There are two main models conceptualizing where the infinite variables come from o Variables that are generated internally (within the self) and variables that are generate you externally (environmental)* - These modelS typically refer to as paradigms (ways of conceptualizing) o Medical-disease (or biological) paradigms o Environmental paradigms - Picking a paradigm influence your interpretation o
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