PSY240 Chapter 1
1. One of the criterion for abnormality are dysfunctional consequences to the individual, in
that he or she is unable to perform a natural function, it makes little sense to call
2. Using harmful dysfunction as a potential criterion for abnormal behaviour also creates an
interesting link between abnormal and evolutional psychology. In evolutionary theory,
prepubehaviour. This harms one’s ability to reproduce. If underlying reason as to why
they don’t want to reproduce is because of lack of inhibition, it is abnormal.
The Case of Pedophilia
Pedophilia: sexual attraction or behaviour towards prepubescent children
It may be defined as abnormal because :
Statistical concept: this is rare so can be seen as abnormal in context of statistical occurrence
Personal distress: May not cause distress to the person receiving said diagnosis so the need to
protect those who cannot defend themselves becomes an important criterion
Personal dysfunction: sexual attraction towards prepubescent children does not allow for sexual
reproduction so this may be viewed as dysfunctional
Violation of Norms
1.Violating social norms does not always mean that you meet the criterion for a mental disorder.
Norms vary based on your time and place.
2. Culturally relative: the norms of a particular culture determine what is considered to be normal
behaviour, and abnomality can be defined only in reference to these norms.
Diagnosis by an expert
1. Clinical psychologists: initially trained in general psychology and then receive graduate
training in the application of this knowldege to the understanding, dianosis and
amerlioration of disorders of thinking and behaviour. Heavy research background and
involves some psychological intervention.
2. Psychiatrists are trained in medicine prior to doing specialized training in dealing with
mental disorders. They use diagnosis, medical treatment and pharmacological agents to
treat mental disorders.
3. Psychiatric nurses have nurse training before completing psychiatric problems.
4. Psychiatric social workers attend to the influence of the social environment on
5. Occupational therapists may practice in Canada with a baccalaureate degree and field-
training experience. Focused on helping clients improve their functional performance. Summary of Definitions
-to identify a person as abnormal, no single criterion is necessary or sufficient. Many ways to
approach defining a person as such.
Historical Concepts of Abnormality
-such ideas are simply one aspect of the general views of the time, What has been seen as
evidence of madness has changed over the course of evolving societies.
- Supernatural causes: causes beyond the understanding of ordinary mortals ie. Influence of
-natural causes: causes that can be observed and examined
Evidence from history
- Trephination: bone regeneration operations done while person is alive
- Trephination may have been done to remove bone splinters or blood clots from blow to
- Stone Age people accepted demonic possession as a cause for madness. Egyptian
papri reveals that supernatural explanations as a cause for illness and magic and
incantations as treatment procedures.
Greek and Roman Thought
-Grecian era developed temples of healing that emphasized natural causes for mental disorders
and a greater understanding as to the causes and treatment of these problems.
- Hippocrates agrued all illnesses had natural causes, emphasisis on brain dysfunctions and
perhaps stress. He thought dreams were also important. He thought psychological functioning
resulted from the disturbances of bodily fluids or humours.
- Plato placed more emphasis on socio-cultural influences on thought and behaviour. He
thought dreams served to satisfy desires because the inhibiting influences of the higher faculties
were not present during sleep.
- Plato suggested treatment options similar to community care and psychotherapy. The Greeks
provided the first observations of clinical disorders and made the first attempt at classification.
Galen classified mental disorders as physical or mental.
The Arab World
- The Arabs continued the generally supportive and kind treatment towards the mentally ill
- Asylum: place of