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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY240H1
Professor
Martha Mc Kay
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter I: Looking at Abnormality Clifford Beers: - Became paranoid of developing epilepsy after witnessing his brother’s conditions which subsided after his failed suicide attempt and was replaced by other paranoiahospitalized - Began a movement for humane treatment of the mentally ill after releasing Clarence Hincks: - Founder of the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene 1918 with Dr. C.K. Clarke (Canadian Mental Health Association)revolutionized mental health care (diagnosis, treatment, and prevention) - Had recurred episodes of depression 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 (psychopathology). Julia: Began hallucinating at the age of 15-17, wader in a sort of haze, foreshadowing the delusional world Jamison: Extremely depressed, incapable of joy or enthusiasm Defining Abnormality (some arguments): 1. Deviation from cultural or societal norms is the only criterion for labeling a behavior as abnormal 2. Behaviours are abnormal if they violate a culture’s gender roles, which are expectations for the behaviour of an individual based on gender 3. More objective standards: the unusualness, the discomfort of the person, the presence of mental illness, the maladaptiveness Cultural Relativism: No universal standards or rules exist for labeling behaviour as abnormal; abnormality is only relative to cultural norms Bereavement: Western countries are to mourn for a while then move on; Japan maintains emotional bonds with the deceased; Egypt encouraged to mourn excessively; Romantic Age (western), grieve = significance of the relationship Criticism: Dangers arise when societal norms are allowed to dictate what is normal and abnormal (Ex. Holocaust, branding of political dissidents in U.S.S.R., drapetomania of the slaves to desire freedom) Unusualness: Unusual or rare behaviours are abnormal; has some ties to the relativist criterion Criticism: (1) Deciding how rare a behaviour must be to call it abnormal is subjective; (2) Many rare behaviours are positive for the individual and for society (Ex. Eccentrics with rare hobbies like Gary Holloway) Discomfort: Behaviours should be considered abnormal only if the individual suffers discomfort and wants to be rid of the behaviours. (Avoids the problem of using societal norms) Removal of homosexuality as a psychological disorder: Gay men and lesbians argues that their sexual orientation causes no discomfort. Criticism: (1) People are not always aware of the problems their behaviours create for themselves or for others; (2) Some behaviours cause great discomfort in others only Mental Illness: A clear, identifiably physical process that leads to specific behaviours or symptoms, should show up on some sort of biological test Criticism: No biological tests are available to diagnose abnormalities, mental health problems are due to a number of factors not one (when giving a diagnosis, it is simply a label for the symptoms) Maladaptiveness: Behaviours and feelings that cause people to suffer distress and prevents them from functioning in daily life (Used by majority) - 3Ds: dysfunction, distress, deviance - Seem to capture what we mean as abnormal Criticism: (1) Still calls for subjective judgments; (2) culture and gender can still influence the expression of those behaviours, the ways of expression, the willingness to admit, and the types of treatments that are deemed acceptable Harmful Dysfunction (Jerome Wakefield): Mental disorders involve a harmful failure of internal mechanisms to perform their naturally selected functions - Something inside the person is not working as it is expected to - Not all dysfunction leads to disorder, only when it cases some harm to the person as determined by the standards of that person’s culture Categorical: Qualitatively distinct syndromes, you either is or is not (Ex. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Pregnancy) Dimensional: A continuum from normality to abnormality (Ex. BMI) Positive Psychology: The study of positive emotion, positive character and positive institutions and the study of the conditions and processes that contribute to optimal functioning (To study the ways people feel joy, show altruism, and create healthy families) - Seek to help achieve high levels of functioning/full functioning - Intended to supplement knowledge of human suffering, weakness and disorder  Psychology should address suffering and harness happiness Diathesis-Stress Model: Diathesis: A vulnerability or predisposition to developing a mental disorder (Ex. Genetics, neurobiological, sociocultural, etc.) Stress: The trigger that causes a disorder to those with a diathesis Historical Perspectives: 1. Biological Theories: Abnormal behaviours are similar to physical diseases caused by the breakdown of systems in the body. Cure: Restoration of the body to good health Ancient China: the balancing of Yin and Yang; human emotions were controlled by internal organs (the flow of the vital air) Ancient Egypt: ascribes mental functioning to the brain; the wandering uterus Ancient Greece: Hippocrates believed in the four humours of blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile, diseases are caused by the imbalance of these humours Middle Ages Pre-11 century: physical illness and injury are causes of abnormality 2. Supernatural Theories: Abnormal behaviours are results of divine intervention, curses, demonic possession, and personal sin. Cure: Religious rituals, exorcisms, confessions, atonement Stone Age: drill holes in the skulls of people (trephination) to allow the spirits to depart Post-11 th century: the Church blamed the breakdown of feudalism on heresy and SatanismWitch Hunt 3. Psychological Theories: Abnormal behaviours are results of traumas, such as bereavement, or chronic stress. Cure: Rest, relaxation, change of environment, herbal medicines Plato: argued that madness arose when the rational mind was overcome by impulse, passio
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