Lecture 1: Introduction — Deﬁnitional and Historical Conditions
What is Abnormal Behaviour? !
-digit span (neuropsychological test)!
•test to determine what your working memory is like, it’s a mental sketchpad, e.g. when
someone gives you their number and you write it in this mental sketchpad !
•someone will say some numbers, you have to say them back in the same order without
writing them down!
-statistical infrequency !
•one way in which we deﬁne abnormality !
•for any task, there will be an average that shows up in a bell curve!
•in digit span, most people will get 5 or 9 and the average is 7!
•if someone gets less than 2 correct, that is statistically infrequent (less than 0.1% of
population) — lots of methods of psychology use this method of comparing someone to
the normative values to see if there is something abnormal going on !
•if someone gets over 12 correct, that is statistically infrequent but you will not lock them
up and put them in an asylum — incomplete way to deﬁne abnormality but it is useful !
•Nick, a single 24 year old grocery clerk said he had a problem with shit !
•referred to mental health clinic by counsellor who had been seeing him for 6 months!
•over 3-4 years, Nick had low sexual activity and became sexually frustrated !
•goes to public washrooms, turns oﬀ water to toilets, waits for a man whom he ﬁnds
sexually attractive, waits for man to use toilet, takes the poop home in a bag, warms it and
then plays with it, masturbates to orgasm; once a month — feels guilty and concerned
because this is not socially acceptable !
•homosexual but doesn’t stay in gay bars for too long unless someone approaches him,
limited circle of friends!
•attraction for washrooms since early adolescence and some of his earliest sexual
encounters were in washrooms !
•loner as a kid, socially isolated because he felt diﬀerent from others since he liked boys,
ﬁrst sexual activity was group masturbation at age 10, homosexual activity since age 11 !
•says he is depressed but no associated symptoms of depression, no psychotic symptoms
•would be diagnosed with a fetish — something inanimate that lets you complete the
sexual response cycle; e.g. watching porn lets you complete the cycle !
-does his situation meet any of the following conditions? !