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PSYC 3140 (267)

Abnormal Psych Ch 1

7 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3140
Joel Goldberg

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Ch 1 Looking at Abnormality Mental hygiene movement started by Clifford Beers in order to have better treatment of the insane Hincks and Clark founded the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene which increased mental health care in respect to the diagnosis treatment and prevention of mental illness Study of abnormal psychology study of people that suffer mental emotional and physical pain resulting in a psychological or mental disorder known as psychopathology 7 of people 20 or older were mentally diagnosed in 2004 and accounts 50 of physical billings and results in more use of hospital beds than cancer 11 Defining Abnormality Abnormalities may appear different to different people since the context that a behavior appears in may consider it abnormal or not Different theorists have defined being abnormal in many ways perhaps a deviation from society violating a cultures gender roles or the unusualness of the behavior discomfort of the person presence of a mental illness and maladaptive behaviors Cultural Relativism An idea that no universal standards or rules exist for labeling a behavior as abnormal abnormality is only based on cultural norms An example is how different cultures deal with bereaved people people who died some cultures remain in sorrow for long periods whereas others do not Having the idea of cultural relativism may not be a good way to label people as abnormal since it can lead to exclusions of certain cultures ie during the Holocaust or slaves in US who were labeled as having drapetomania which was thought to be a sickness that caused them to desire freedom Unusualness Behaviors that are rare are considered abnormal and things that are typical are not Unusualness is hard to define what is considered abnormal for 2 reasons 1 It is hard to define a cut off point to how rare a behavior has to be to be considered abnormal 2 behaviors that could be considered abnormal may have a positive impact in society and people would object to labeling them as abnormal label something as being gifted and not abnormalPeople that have rare hobbies create joy to themselves without causing harm to others so instead of being labeled as abnormal they are known as eccentrics they have unusual taste but still function well in society Discomfort Behaviors should only be considered abnormal if the person finds discomfort and wants to rid it of their behaviors this does not account for if the behavior goes against societal norms
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