Textbook Notes (362,793)
Canada (158,054)
Psychology (1,851)
PSY240H5 (134)
Chapter 1

PSY240 chapter 1.docx

3 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Mississauga
Hywel Morgan

Jan 4, 2013 PSY240–Chapter1:ConceptsofAbnormality throughoutHistory - Mental illness similar to psychological abnormality except it implies a medical cause rather than a psychological cause Attempts at Defining Abnormality STATISTICAL CONCEPT - Behaviour judged as abnormal if occurs infrequently in population o Relative infrequency (ex. Mentally gifted = abnormal/exceptional, not bad) - Problem w/ statistical criterion: it’s not clear how unusual a behaviour has to be in order to be considered abnormal o Ex. Depression and anxiety are not statistically infrequent but still considered a disorder that needs treatment (same w/colds) PERSONAL DISTRESS - Distress not present for all people identified as abnormal o Individuals in society may also be distressed by behaviour - Distress under certain circumstances considered normal (e.g. family death) - Distress frequent but not essential feature of abnormality PERSONAL DYSFUNCTION - When behavior is clearly maladaptive (interferes w/ appropriate funct.) it is typically said to be abnormal - Definition of dysfunction not clear cut (harmful dysfunction = key notion) o Dysfunctions refer to “failures of internal mechanisms to perform naturally selected functions” (Wakefield) - To conclude that a given behavior is disordered “ requires both a scientific judgment that there exists a failure of designed function and a value judgment that the design failure harms the individual” (Wakefield) Defining Mental Disorders: The Case of Pedophilia - DSM-V incl. sexual attraction/behaviour toward early pubescent children (up from prepubescent in DSM-IV) - Takes into acct/ social norms and expert opinions - Raises question of cultural norms w/ child brides VIOLATION OF NORMS - Behaviour and thoughts of many psychologically disordered individuals run counter to what we might consider appropriate - Not everyone who violates social norms has a disorder (e.g. criminals) - Very few ppl suffering from psychiatric disorder R dangerous to others Jan 4, 2013 - Most serious flaw to this criterion: social norms vary over time and place - How we define abnormality = culturally relative (e.g. depression) DIAGNOSIS BY AN EXPERT - Identification of a psychological disorder in any specific individual is ultimately left to a professional to judge SUMMARY OF DEFINITIONS - To identify a person/behaviour as abnormal, no single criterion is either necessary (that is, must be present) or sufficient (enough on its own) - Some combination of these criteria is used, w/ one or more features having greater relevance depending upon the specific circumstances/ features of the client - Searching for criteria that will define any and all instances of disordered functioning (or abnormality), however, may be pointless Historical Concepts of Abnormality - Our own conceptualization of abnormality may seem so right to us only b/c it fits w/ our current world views and beliefs - Treatments that seem bizarre/ even cruel to us today may have helped sufferers b/c they believed that the procedures would be effective - Changes in the acceptability, treatment and theories of etiology of abnormal behaviour have reflected, and continue to reflect, the values of society at a particular time EVIDENCE FROM PREHISTORY - Trephination may have been intend
More Less

Related notes for PSY240H5

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.