Textbook Notes (368,413)
Canada (161,874)
Psychology (2,971)
PSY240H1 (130)
S.Cassin (31)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 Looking at AbnormalityClifford Beersmental patient who suffered harsh treatment in a mental hospital started the movement for the reform of mentalhealth treatment called the mental hygiene movement feared he would be overcome with epilepsy and grew into despairdeep paranoia Clarence Hincksestablished an outpatient psychiatric clinic focused on humanizing mental health problems the mentally ill arent that abnormal normal people arent that normal Psychopathologythe study of abnormal psychology the study of people who suffer mental emotional and often physical pain as a result of some form of psychological or mental disorder Defining AbnormalityThe context or circumstances surrounding a behaviour influences whether a behaviour is viewed as abnormalex refusing to eat for a while may be for cleansing and penitence Some say the only way to label a behaviour as abnormal is to deviate from culturalsocial normsa parallel perspective says behaviours as abnormal is they violate a cultures gender rolesSome theorists focus on the unusualness of the behaviour the discomfort of the person exhibiting the behaviour the presence of mental illness the maladaptiveness of the behaviourCultural Relativism Cultural relativism perspectiveholds that there are no universal standards or rules for labelling a behaviour as abnormalbehaviours can only be abnormal relative to cultural normsIn Western cultures the norm for bereavement is to break emotional bonds with dead ones those who cannot do so as labelled abnormalin other cultures they believe we cannot and should not break psychological ties with dead loved onesOpponents of this perspective believe dangers arise when societal norms are allowed to dictate whats normal and abnormalex Hitler branded Jews abnormal and used this as justification for the Holocaust slaves in the US who tried to escape were labelled as having a mental illness Unusualness Unusualness of a behaviour depends in part on a cultures norms for that behaviourproblems that arise with this are choosing a cutoff for how rare a behaviour must be to be considered abnormal and some rare behaviours are actually positive ex amazing pianist Discomfort Discomfortbehaviours should be considered abnormal only if the individual suffers discomfort and wishes to be rid of the behaviours To some extent avoids the problems of using societal norms to label abnormality Ex homosexualityhomosexuals have argued their sexual orientation is a part of themselvescauses them no discomfort and they dont wish to altereliminate it Some therapists object to this because not all are aware of the problems their behaviours create
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