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Chapter 1- Looking at Abnormality.docx

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PSYC 353
Richard Yi

PSYC353 9/4/12 Ch. 1: Looking at Abnormality Continuum Model of Abnormality - No clear line btwn normal and abnormal - Requires subjective decisions on whether person has a disorder ex. Taking marijuana- there is no clear line. Whether b/c of depression, health issues (medicinal marijuana), rebellious behavior Ways to Determine what is Ab/Normal 1. Cultural Relativism- no universal standards or rules for labeling a behavior as abnormal a. Behaviors can only be abnormal relative to cultural norms i. Ex. In many cultures family members sleep together in one room and in same bed, not normal in the states b. Gender Role Expectations: How are men expected to act and how are women encouraged to act c. Pathologizing (treat as abnormal) Behavior and Social Control i. Drapetomania (Cartwright 1851)- induces negro to run away from service, seeking freedom ii. Dysaesthesia Aethiopis- negros break, waste, and destroy everything b/c don’t want to work iii.Ananchia (Rush 1800s)- form of insanity of being unhappy w/ new political structure iv. Psycopathic (Boston Psychopathic Hospital 1900s)- “hypersexual” working class women delayed/ foregone marriage 2. Unusualness of Behavior 3. Distress- discomfort of person exhibiting behavior, behavior is only abnormal if individual suffers as a result of the behavior and wishes to be rid of them a. Ex. Ted Bundy murderous sociopath who regretted nothing, so doesn’t fit distress criteria b. But people aren’t always aware of problems that behavior may create for themselves or others 4. Mental Illness- implies a disease process (like hypertension- high blood pressure) a. no medical test to identify “mental illness,” psychological diagnosis is a label for a set of defined symptoms (no definite yes/ no, just diagnosis) Four D’s of Abnormality Maladaptive = abnormal - Dysfunction- not able to maintain relationships, or complete work, etc. - Distress- feels bad about problem, wants help - Deviance (unusual)- does it deviate from norm - Danger- is there danger to person or others Historical Perspectives - Biological Theories- similar to physical disease, breakdown of some systems of the body - Supernatural Theories- divine intervention, curses, demonic possession, personal sin - Psychological Theories- mental disorders as result of traumas - Ancient Theories- o Stone age- spirit possession, trephination (drill hold in skull to release spirit) o Ancient China- Balancing Ying and Yang  Emotions controlled by internal organs o Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome- natural theories  Four humors: blood, yellow bile, black bile, phlegm (healthy person had all 4 humors in natural balance • if had slightly more of one in system then reflect
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