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Western University
Psychology 2310A/B
Rod Martin

Tutorial Week 1: How do we define “Abnormality”?  How we define abnormality is fuzzy, not clear cut Terminology Abnormal Psychology  A sub area of psychology, looking at the study of human behaviour; abnormal means something that deviates from the norm, different from how others act  Many people would be outside the range of normal but would not be considered abnormal such as exceptional athletes  Abnormal relates to a more negative than positive way Psychopathology  Biological/medical view of things, not all types fit neatly in to this view such as gambling Mental Illness  Favoured by the general population  Illness, having a psychological disease  In favour because it combats stigma, if someone has a mental illness its more understandable for their lifestyle, they cannot be blamed for what they do Psychological Disorder  DSM – diagnostical manual for diagnosing psychological disorders  Breakdown of functioning: accounts for biological, psychological, social factors Insanity  Not used anymore by professionals, used to mean mental illness Psychotic, Neurotic  Used to be technical, not used anymore  Psychotic – schizophrenia, bipolar  Neurotic – anxious, used more for personality disorders “Lunatic,” “idiot”  Used to be terms used, now seen as derogatory Some Case Examples … Diverse types of problems included in “abnormal psychology” What characteristics do they all have in common?  Distress – most have distress but not all; ex: bi-polar disorder patients are not in distress while in their „abnormal‟ manic state Difficulties in defining “Abnormality” No necessary and sufficient characteristic Necessary = all people with “abnormality” have the characteristic Sufficient = no people without “abnormality” have the characteristic Some characteristics of “Abnormality” Statistical Infrequency  Outside the statistical norm?  Not all infrequent behaviour is unhealthy; ex: being gay,
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