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Psychology 46-355 Abnormal notes (ch 1)

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CHAPTER 1 • Abnormal (p4) – Behavior defined by Norm Violation, Statistical Rarity, Personal Discomfort, and Maladaptive Behavior. • Norm Violation (p4) – Going against a set of ‘norms’ that society has set. Disadvantage – It enthrones conformity as the ideal pattern of behavior and thereby stigmatizes the nonconformist. • Statistical Rarity (p5) – Abnormality is any substantial deviation from a statistically calculated average. One has only to measure the person’s performance against the average performance…if it falls outside of the average range, it is abnormal. Disadvantage – this approach has no values. It lacks any system for differentiating between desirable and undesirable behaviors. • Personal Discomfort (p6) – If a person is distressed over their thoughts or behaviors, then they may require treatment. It makes people judges of their own normality, rather than subjecting them to the judgment of the society or the diagnostician. Disadvantage – it gives us no standard for evaluating the behavior itself. • Maladaptive Behavior (p6) – Here the question is whether the person, given that behavior pattern, is able to meet the demands of his or her life. ex: hold down a job, deal with friends and family, pay the bills on time, etc. If not, the pattern is abnormal. Disadvantage – n/a. • Deviation from an Ideal (p6) – Behavior deviating from the ‘ideal’ Disadvantage – A person who falls short of an ideal does not necessarily merit the label ‘abnormal’. Psychological theories are as relative to time and place as social norms, and they change even more quickly.. • Medical Model (p9) – (disease model) Abnormal behavior is comparable to disease: each kind of abnormal behavior, like each disease, has specific causes and a specific set of symptoms. It also implies that abnormal behavior is biogenic – resulting from some malfunction within the body. • Psychological Perspectives (p9) - Psychodynamic Perspective –AB issues from unconscious psychological conflicts originating from childhood. Behavioral Perspective – primary cause of AB is inappropriate learning, whereby maladaptive behaviors are rewarded, and adaptive behaviors are not rewarded. Cognitive Perspective – AB is an outgrowth of maladaptive ways of perceiving and thinking about oneself Humanistic-Existential Perspective – AB results from a failure to accept oneself, to take responsibility for one’s actions, and to pursue personal goals. Interpersonal Perspective – AB as the product of disordered relationships. Sociocultural Perspective – AB as the product of broad social forces. Also examines the biases that can influence diagnosis. Biological Perspective – AB in terms of its biological components. 1 • Exorcism (p11) – the accepted cure for possession. Involved coaxing or forcing the evil spirits out of their victim. It involved a widespread variety of techniques, from the mild to the brutal (submerged in water, whipped, starved etc). • Hippocrates (p11) – Greek physician. Set out to prove that all illness, including mental illness, was due to natural causes. His achievement was three-fold: (a) He set himself with the novel task of actually observing cases
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