textbook notes for chp 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 1 Introduction: Definitional and Historical Considerations and Canadas Mental Health System Bretts Childhood Had difficulty in maintaining an erection when making love to his wife Had difficulty maintain an erection when making love to his wife He had a difficult childhood, his mother passed away when he was 6 and his father was a heavy drinker, diagnoses with manic depressive psychosis and could only afford to live in rundown neighbourhoods, thus he lived with his aunt for many weeks He managed to get to university with a loan, but then experienced bouts of sadness followed by manic elation (like his father) He was extremely nervous and self conscious He became a police, but his mood swings still bothered him In his thirties him and his wife wanted a family, but he was unable to achieve an erection He also became suspicious of his wife, for she was becoming more beautiful than ever One day she came home late, he was already drunk, he accused her of infidelity, she taunted him of his inability to make love, and he left and now is seeking professional help Psychopathology: the field concerned with nature and development of abnormal behaviour, thoughts, and feelings Another challenge of abnormal psychology is the need to remain objective What is Abnormal Behaviour? There is no single one definition that is adequate The best definition of abnormal behaviour includes such characteristics of; statistical frequency, violation of norms, personal distress, disability or dysfunction, and unexpectedness The following 5 characteristics provide a framework for defining abnormality Statistical Infrequency One aspect of abnormal behaviour is that its infrequent The normal curve, or bell shaped curve, places the majority o people in the middle in any characteristic (very few people are at either end or extremes) When someone is considered normal it is that he or she doesnt deviate much from the average This statistical infrequency is used explicitly in diagnosing mental retardation o When an individuals IQ is below 70 they are considered subnormal and considered mentally retarded But not all behaviours that are infrequent are abnormal (ex. great athletic ability) www.notesolution.comViolation of Norms Whether the behaviour violates social norms or threatens or makes anxious those observing it helps categorize it as abnormal There are exceptions to this also; criminals and prostitutes break social norms but are not considered abnormal or need to e studied within the domain of abnormal psychology Cultural diversity can affect how people view social norms o What is normal in one culture may be abnormal in another Personal Distress It can be considered abnormal if it creates personal suffering, great distress, and torments the person Again there are exceptions though o Psychopath (treat others coldheartedly and may continuously violate the law without experiencing any guilt, remorse, or anxiety whatsoever) o Also, not all forms of distress (hunger, or pain of childbirth) belong in this field Disability or dysfunction Another component of abnormality is disability or dysfunction Disability : impairment in some important area of life because of an abnormality o Ex. Work or personal relationships Ex. Bretts marital relationship Substance abuse also fits, as well as phobia (that can produce distress and disability) Disability applies to some but all disorders o Transvestism: cross dressing for sexual pleasure Unexpectedness Distress and disability are considered abnormal when they are unexpected responses to environmental stressors Ex. Hunger is an expected response to not eating Brett was experiencing some life stress, but many people do so without developing psychological problems The Mental Health Professions Clinical psychologist o Requires Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree (4-7 years of graduate study) In Canada, depending upon regulatory statues, a psychologist may have either a doctoral- or a masters-level degree In some jurisdictions psychologist is reserved for doctoral-level registrants where as masters level registrants are referred to as psychological associates there is no consensus among the provinces on the minimal academic requirements, the required length of supervised practise, and the timing of such practise www.notesolution.com
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