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Canada (161,487)
Psychology (1,951)
PS280 (52)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

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John Stephens

Psychopathology Field concerned with the nature and development of abnormal BehaviourThoughts or cognition Feelings or emotionsWhat is abnormal behaviourAbnormality usually determined by the presence of several characteristics at one time such as Statistical infrequencyViolation of normsPersonal distressDisability or dysfunctionUnexpectednessStatistical Infrequency A behaviour that occurs rarely or infrequentlyA 14year old boy wetting his bed andMental retardation IQ70 occur infrequently as do most mental disordersDiscussion point Is statistical infrequency a good enough marker to determine if a behaviour is abnormalConsider elite athletic abilityConsider the flip side of mental retardationintellectual giftedness IQ 130Violation of NormsA behaviour that defies or goes against social norms it either threatens or makes anxious those observing itAntisocial behaviour of the psychopath violates social norms and is threatening to others But violation of norms needs to be considered in reference to prevailing cultural norms What is the norm in one culture may be abnormal in anotherDiscussion point A prostitute violates social norms but does this mean that shehe would necessarily meet diagnostic criteria for a mental disorderPersonal DistressA behaviour that creates personal suffering distress or torment in the person This criterion fits many of the forms of abnormality such as depression but some disorders do notnecessarily involve distress Psychopaths are often not distressed by their behaviour although these behaviour clearly impact others in a negative wayHunger and childbirth cause distress but is this abnormalDisability or DysfunctionA behaviour that causes impairment in some important area of life eg work personal relationships recreational activitiesExamples of exceptionsBeing short if you want to be a professional basketball playerTransvestism is not necessarily a disability although it is currently diagnosed as a mental disorder if it distresses the personDiscussion pointWhy would transvestism without distress not be considered a disability Most transvestites are married lead conventional lives and usually crossdress in private Unexpectedness
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