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PSY 280 Lecture 1 Note

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PSY 280
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DefiningAbnormality: - Psychology is inherently political What is “normal?” Ways of defining ‘abnormal’: - something outside of the social norms in a circumstance - use ourselves and our opinions to decide whether it is abnormal or not 1. statistically anomalous (rare/doesn’t happen often) 2. defying social norms/culturally unacceptable 3. suffering/personal distress 4. frightening/dangerous 5. misperceiving reality 6. maladaptive 7. harmful to self Abnormal behavior - a psychological dysfunction associated with distress of impairment in functioning that is not typical nor culturally expected Appropriate labels/terminology - psychological disorder - person-first language - person with Schizophrenia v. Schizophrenic - important to remember that they are a human being before a psychological disorder Case of CJ: - how old is he? (age matters) (normal: very young & very old) - why is he there? (scared of something/locked in) - is he sober? - does he have any pre-existing conditions? (sick/other disorders/psychological maturity/physical ailment) - how often does this happen? - does he sleep walk? - is he on a medication that may affect his mental state/makes him sick? - is there a toilet in the closet? - are we talking about a human being? (new puppy) - is he modeling someone else’s behavior? - was there a recent traumatic event? - important to get CJ’s explanation (what is his response when found doing it?) Historical approaches to defining abnormality: - major psychological disorders have existed - in all cultures and across all time periods - causes and treatment of abnormal behavior vary - across cultures and time periods - depended on prevailing paradigms or world views - influential historical approaches include: - Supernatural Model - early medical models (e.g., “Humors”) - The Reform Movement The Supernatural
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