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Abnormal Psychology (Psyc 3390) Chapter Summaries- Ch 1-18

Course Code
PSYC 3390
Mary Manson

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Abnormal Psychology Chapter
Chapter 2: Historical and Contemporary Views of Abnormal Behaviour
Demonology, Gods & Magic
Many religions believed in demonic possession
Exorcism was often the form of removing those demons from a person
Considered the father of modern medicine
Did not believe in demons
Classified all mental disorders into 3 categories
Phrenitis (brain fever)
Four elements of the material world
Four elements combined to form four essential fluids of the body
Blood (sanguis)
Blie (choler)
Black bile (melancholer)
Considered dreams to be important in understanding a patients personality
Early philosophical Conceptions
Plato stated that people who commit a crime that are afflicated with a disease should only pay for
the damage and not be punished for the crime
Conversion Disorder in DSM-IV-TR
Can be dated back to 1900 B.C.E. in ancient egypt
Was theorized to be caused by wandering of the uterus until Willis (1621-1675) theorized that it
resulted from a disorder of the brain
Also known as ―Depression‖
Abnormality during the middle ages
First mental hospital was established in Baghdad in 792 C.E.
Mass Madness
―The widespread occurrence of group behavior disorders that were apparently cases of hysteria‖
Uncontrollable urge to dance caused by being bitten by a tarantula or wolf spider
This later spread to the rest of the world and was known as Saint Vitus dance

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A condition in which people believed themselves to be possessed by wolves and imitated their
Exorcism and Witchcraft
Exorcism was performed by the gentle ―laying on of the hands‖
Physical possession was known as ―mad‖
Spiritual possession was known as ―witch craft‖
Toward Humanitarian Approches
Johann Weyer wrote a book called ―The Deception of Demons‖ which was a step-by-step
rebuttal of ―The Hammerer of Witches‖ (a witch hunting guide book). His book showed how
most people who were being tortured, burned and killed because they were witches were actually
really sick in the mind or body.
His work was banned from the church and he was scorned by his peers
The establishment of early Asylums and Shrines
Asylums – sanctuaries or places of refuge
Many of these were not pleasant places but just storage places for the insane
The people lived and died amid incredible filth and cruelty
The first Asylum was established in Spain in 1409- the Valencia mental hospital
Many hospitals up until the early 1700‘s treated their patients as ―non-humans‖
The philosophy of treatment involved the belief that the patients needed to choose rationality
over insanity
Humanitarian Reform
Pinel‘s Experiment
In 1792 Pinel was given the chance to test his theory that mental patients should be treated with
kindness and consideration
Chains were removed and patients were put into clean, well ventilated, sunny rooms and given
the chance to exercise
All harsh treatments were stopped
The experiment was a great success: ―Rendering even the most furious more tractable ‖
He had also issued orders forbidding the staff from beating patients
Tuke’s work in England
About the same time as Pinel, William Tuke established a pleasant country house where mental
patients lived, worked and rested in a kindly, religious atmosphere
In 1841 Hitch introduced trained nurses into the wards and put trained supervisors at the head of
the nursing staff (these innovations were quite revolutionary at the time)
This changed the public attitudes toward the mentally disturbed
Moral Management in North America
Moral management (moral being ―well-being‖ or ―morale‖)
This was wide ranging method of treatment that focused on a patient‘s social, individual, and
occupational needs
This achieved a high degree of effectives (without the use of antipsychotic drugs)
These techniques were eventually abandoned by the later part of the 19th century for many
different reasons
One reason was due to the rise in the mental hygiene movement and due to the advances in
biomedical science
Mental Hygiene Movement

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Advocated a method of treatment that focused almost exclusively on the physical well-being of a
hospitalized mental patient
The patients received no help for their mental problems
Dix and the mental hygiene movement
Dorothea Dix (1802-1887)
The champion of the poor and ―forgotten‖ people in prisons and mental institutions
Raised awareness of the deplorable conditions for the jailed and mentally ill from 1841 – 1881.
Credited for establishing 32 mental hospitals
The military and the mentally ill
The first medical treatment for mental disorder due to war was started by the Confederate Army
in the American Civil War
Mental Hospital Care in the Twentieth Century
The movement based on the idea that psychiatric patients would benefit from the opportunity to
lead more ―normal‖ lives in the community, while relying on general hospitals for short-term
care for their mental health problems.
This may have caused more problems for psychologically disturbed persons and for many
The Eugenic Movement
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the eugenics movement gained
popularity throughout Canada and the US. The movement based on the belief that crimes, STDs,
unwanted pregnancies and other social problems were largely a result of mental retardation and
other forms of psychopathology.
It was believed that these disorders were primarily hereditary
This lead to sterilization of people deemed ―mentally defective‖
1928 – Alberta passed a Sexual Sterilization Act and began sterilizing people
This act was later strengthened so that it was not necessary to obtain consent from the person or
from his or her parents
A similar act was then passed in BC in 1933
Mental Hospital Care in the Twentieth Century
- Begins with continued period of growth in asylums
o House mainly severe disorders
- Lengthy hospital stays with little effective treatment
o Harsh, punitive and often inhumane treatment
- 1946: Mary Jane Ward publishes The Snake Pit; calls attention to patient‘s plight and
need for community care
- Influences need for reform in 50‘s and 60‘s
- Movement enhanced by scientific advances in latter half of century and development of
effective medications
o Lithium for manic depressive disorders
o Phenothiazines for schizophrenia
- Society comes full circle by late 20th century; mental hospitals close and return patients to
community in international movement called deinstitutionalization, which was based on
the following ideas:
o Community based care, day treatment hospitals and outreach programs
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