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Ch1slideswithnotes - Understanding Abnormality: A Look at...

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1 Understanding Abnormality: A Look at History and Research Methods
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2
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3 DO YOU THINK ANY OF THESE BEHAVIORS ARE ABNORMAL? Having a “lucky” seat in an exam? Being unable to eat, sleep, or study for days after the breakup of a relationship? Breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of being trapped in an elevator? Refusing to eat solid food for days in order to stay slim? Washing your hands thoroughly after riding a bus? Believing government agents monitor your phone calls? Drinking a six-pack of beer daily to be social after work?
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4 ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR: Distress Impairment Risk to self or other people Socially and culturally unacceptable behavior •Distress = the experience of emotional or physical pain. •Impairment involves reduction in ability to function at an optimal or even average level. •Risk = danger or threat to well-being of a person. •Our final criterion for abnormality is behavior outside the norms of the social and cultural context in which it takes place.
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5 What Causes Abnormality?
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6 Causes of Abnormality disturbances in intimate relationships problems in extended relationships political or social unrest discrimination toward one’s social group Sociocultural traumatic life experiences learned associations distorted perceptions faulty ways of thinking Psychological genetic inheritance medical conditions brain damage exposure to environmental stimuli Biological
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7 Causes of Abnormality Three dimensions of the causes of abnormality: biological psychological sociocultural Social scientists use the term BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL to characterize the interactions among these three dimensions.
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8 Biopsychosocial Perspective Diathesis-Stress Model: The proposal that people are born with a predisposition (or "diathesis” ) that places them at risk for developing a psychological disorder if exposed to certain extremely stressful life experiences. •Related to the biopsychosocial approach is the diathesis-stress model.
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9 Abnormal Psychology Throughout History
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10 Three prominent themes in explaining psychological disorders recur throughout history: The mystical The scientific The humanitarian Mystical explanations attribute abnormality to possession by evil or demonic spirits. This theme was prevalent during prehistoric times and again in the Middle Ages. •The scientific approach looks for natural causes, psychological, or physical disturbances within the person. This theme had its origins in ancient Greece and Rome, and it has predominated since the 19 th Century. Humanitarian explanations view abnormality as the result of cruelty, nonacceptance, or poor living conditions. This theme predominated during the reform movements of the 18th Century and is still evident in contemporary society.
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11 Prehistoric Times: Abnormal Behavior as Demonic Possession Trephining Exorcism Trephining: The drilling of a hole in the skull, presumably as a way of treating psychological disorders during prehistoric times, although it also
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2009 for the course PSYC 37 taught by Professor Rezec during the Summer '08 term at Saddleback.