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Chapter 1

PS280 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Emil Kraepelin, World Health Organization, Intellectual Disability

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John Stephens

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Abnormal Psychology: Chapter 1
Psychopathology: The field concerned with the nature and development of abnormal behaviour,
thoughts, and feelings
What is abnormal behaviour?
Abnormal behaviour: Includes characteristics such as statistical infrequency, violation of norms,
personal distress, disability or dysfunction and unexpectedness. Individuals need to have several
of these characteristics in order to have abnormal behaviour
•Statistical infrequency is abnormal behaviour that is infrequent in the general population. For
example alternating episodes of depression and mania
•Violation of norms is whether the behavour violates social norms or threatens or makes anxious
those observing it. For example verbal and physical attacks towards one spouse. Cultural
diversity can affect how people view social norms
•Personal distress is personal suffering; behaviour is abnormal if it creates great distress and
torment in the person experiencing it. For example self-consciousness and distress about being
evaluated by others
•Disability or dysfunction is impairment in some important area of life because of an
•Unexpectedness is a surprising or out-of-proportion response to environmental stressors can be
considered abnormal. For example we would expect a person to be sad if they lost a love one to
cancer. We would not expect a person to laugh after being sexually assaulted
Clinical psychologists typically have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree, which entails four to seven years
of graduate studies
Psychiatrists hold an MD degree and have had postgraduate training, in which they receive
supervision in the practice of diagnosing and psychotherapy. Psychiatrists can prescribe
psychoactive drugs, whereas psychologists can’t
•In Canada there are approximately:
–3,600 practicing psychiatrists
–13,000 psychologists and psychological associates

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–11,000 nurses specialize in the mental health area
History of psychopathology
Demonology; The doctrine that an evil being, such as the devil, may dwell within a person and
control his or her mind and body
Exorcism: Treatment often caused by the belief of abnormal behaviour caused by possession.
Exorcism included the casting out of evil spirits by ritualistic chanting or torture
Trepanning: The making of a surgical opening in a living skull by some instrument. A way of
treating conditions such as epilepsy, headaches, and psychological disorders attributed to demons
within the cranium
Hippocrates was the father of modern medicine
•Separated medicine from religion, magic, and superstition
•He rejected the prevailing Greek belief that the gods sent serious physical diseases and mental
disturbances as punishment and insisted instead that such illnesses had natural causes and should
be treated like other, more common maladies, such as colds and constipation
•Insisted that illnesses had natural causes thus should be treated like other illnesses
Somatogensis: The notion that something wrong with the soma, or physical body, disturbs
thought and action
Psychogenesis: The belief that a disturbance has psychological origins
-He classified mental disorders into three categories: mania, melancholia, and phrenitis
-Hippocrates conceived mental health as dependent on a delicate balance among 4 fluids of the
1. Blood: changeable temperament
2. Black bile: explanation for melancholia (deep sadness)
3. Yellow bile: irritability and anxiousness
4. Phlegm: sluggish and dull
•People turned to demonology to explain disasters
•Led to an obsession with the devil – ‘witches’ blamed and persecuted
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