Rebecca Jones Abnormal Psychology What is abnormality and what do people define as abnormal? The word abnormal has changed its definition over many years.In the 1600’s it was not unusual for women would be burned at the stake, accused of being witches, which in other words meant that they simply did not conform to the norms and values of traditional society. Today, the word abnormal is defined as a difference in a person’s behaviour, being seen as unusual or unnatural from an outsider’s point of view. Standards of abnormal behaviour differ upon various cultures or society’s, it is determined by the society’s norms and values and whether or not the person’s behaviour is acceptable. Another example of abnormal definitions changing over time would be to discuss how for many centuries the practice of severely beating young children in order to show discipline was considered normal and acceptable behaviour, however, if a teacher were to discipline a child with such brutality today, it would be classed abnormal and cruel.Abnormal psychology, also called psychopathology, is the scientific study of psychological disorders; there are numerous disorders which can negatively affect every aspect of an individual’s life, such as the way people feel, think, speak and behave, most of these now being referred to as medical disorders.Studies in abnormal psychology are conducted by experts, mainly clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers, however, psychological experts may face certain problems when attempting to define abnormality, as the concept of abnormality is very concise and difficult to define. Definitions of abnormality can take many different forms, and are determined depending on the individual assessing the ‘abnormal behaviour’. It has been criticised that abnormality is seen as undesirable, such as the abnormal behaviour that requires medication and treatment, but there are certain traits in a person that are seen as most desirable, such as being extremely intelligent or in some cultures having the ability to contact spirits and hearing voices, however, in other cultures having this kind of ability can also be seen as abnormal. There are many different models used to explain the nature and treatment of mental health illnesses. The five major schools of thought are the biological approach, the behavioural approach, the psychodynamic approach, the cognitive approach and the humanistic model. Firstly, the biological (medical) approach assumes that mental health illnesses resemble physical illnesses and can therefore be treated in the same way. This assumption comes from the fact that physical illnesses are caused from disease producing germs, biochemical imbalances or changes to the nervous system; it is assumed that the same can be said for mental health illnesses too. The behavioural approach denies the view that abnormal behaviour stems fromgenetics; instead it suggests that abnormal behaviour is a result of the environment, and that our actions are largely influenced by life experiences.The psychodynamic approach was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th Century and has had a huge influence on the way abnormal psychology is analysed. The basic assumption of this approach is that the roots of mental disorders are psychological. Freud (1906) suggested that abnormal behaviour is caused by unresolved conflicts in the unconscious mind and are the result of failure of defence mechanisms to protect the ego from repression, anxiety or denial. This approach stresses that many adult problems stem from conflicts in earlier years, such as infancy or childhood. The cognitive approach has relatively similar ideas to the behavioural approach; expressing that certain behaviour is caused by the way a person interprets their environment before they react to it. The humanistic approach focuses more on the person as a whole. This approach suggests that people are able to make their own choices, and strive to
Definition of Psychology (1.1)
Definition of Philosophy (1.2)
“The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.” (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/psychology, 2014)
“The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/philosophy?q=Philosophy, 2014)
Theorists/Philosophers Before 1879…
A range of models is used to explain the concepts of normal and abnormal behaviour alongside difficulties related to diagnosis of mental health illnesses. This evaluation will discuss how behaviour is explained by the biological and cognitive models.
The concepts of normal and abnormal behaviour are social constructs whose definitions differ over time and across cultures. Social norms change over time, impacting upon which category behaviour is placed. For instance, homosexuality was previously…
One of the key issues in the Psychology of Abnormal Behaviour is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD. OCD is a mental health condition where you will have obsessive thoughts and behaviours (Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2007). It is estimated that 3% of the UK population have the condition although some may not even be aware they suffer from it. People who suffer from OCD will have persistent thoughts until a task is carried out to reduce anxiety levels (Comer, 2004)…
This assignment is a critical evaluation of the engagement and psychosocial assessment of a client living with psychosis in the community. It provides a critical and analytical account which encapsulates assessments, psycho education, problem solving, implementation and evaluation of strategies used. I will also use Gibbs (1988) model of reflection to reflect on my assessment process and how learning can be taken forward in terms of my own…
To be normal is conforming to constituting a norm, standard, level, type or social norm. The norm is the average or typical behaviour or characteristic of the population. Norms are different for different populations and can change with time and conditions. In behaviour, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. Psychologists and social scientists as statistically have defined abnormal behaviour in different ways, culturally, in terms of psychological adequacy and in terms…
Nature of Psychology Check List
Can you define the difference between behaviour and mental processes?
Can you list three differences between psychology and psychiatry?
Can you name and briefly describe five areas of specialism in psychology? (e.g. clinical psychology)
What is Psychology?
Explain behaviourism and who was the founder of this theory??
Can you Explain how psychology rooted…
1: Definitions of Mental Illness
Deviation from Social Norms
Social norms are the unwritten rules of behaviour for a situation. If people break social norms, their
Behaviour is said to be deviant. This in turn could be a symptom of a mental illness. For example,
schizophrenics often show inappropriate levels of emotion i.e. laughing at a death.
Y: We expect people to behave in a certain way. If they do not, this helps us to help them seek
Discuss the biological approach in psychology. Refer to at least one other approach in your answer. (12 marks)
The biological approach focuses on both the physiological and evolutionary aspects which explain human behaviour.
The causal level of analysis incorporates physiological explanations, such as the effect of nerves and hormones on behaviour. According to biological psychologists, behaviour is controlled by the nervous system, which consists of the central nervous system (the brain and the…
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGY
The following paper consists of an explanation, of what the history of psychology taught us
about the human behaviour. This explanation consists of summarising the different
perspectives in psychology. Each perspective is trying to view the human mind and behaviour
from a different angle, i.e. the biological perspective tries to analyse the human behaviour by
understanding the biological and physical structure of the brain and the nervous…
will be a basic psychological interaction
betwixt counsellor and client. However there will be clients who present for
therapy who will have one or more major impediments in functioning as a
social being. Such prospective clients might have been wounded by life
experience, perhaps acutely anxious, institutionalised, influenced by
psychotropic medicines, suffering cognitive malfunction because of brain