Lecture Notes (1) - Chapter 1: The Concerns of Abnormal...

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Chapter 1: The Concerns of Abnormal Psychology 15:00 Abnormal Psychology Scientific study aimed at describing, explaining, predicting, and treating (control) strange or unusual behavior The scientific study of human behavior that is rare, unusual, bizarre, distressing, harmful, or maladaptive. Psychodiagnosis Attempts to describe, assess, and systematically draw inferences about psychological disorders Therapy Systematic intervention aimed at modifying client’s behavioral, emotional, and/or cognitive state Definitions of Abnormal Behavior Conceptual Definitions – Deviation from what is considered normal or most prevalent in a sociocultural context o Statistical Deviation Statistical criteria equate normality with those behaviors that occur most frequently in the population. Abnormality is defined in terms of those behaviors that occur least frequently. o Deviations from ideal mental health o Multicultural Perspectives Practical Definitions – Based on pragmatic or clinical criteria concerning the effect of the behavior on the person exhibiting it or on others o Discomfort Physical/Psychological discomfort
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o Deviance Bizarre/unusual behavior Disorientation is confusion with regard to identity, place, or time. Hallucinations are false impressions—either pleasant or unpleasant—that involve senses. Delusions are false beliefs steadfastly held by the individual despite contradictory objective evidence. Delusion of Grandeur is a belief that one is an exalted personage, such as Jesus Christ or Joan of Arc. Delusion of Persecution is a belief that one is controlled by other or is the victim of a conspiracy. o Dysfunction Inability/loss of ability to perform one’s normal roles Integrated Definitions o Strupp and Hadley 3 part method for defining normality and abnormality Identified 3 vantage points from which to judge a person’s mental health: 1. That of society 2. That of the individual 3. That of the mental health professional Each “judge” operates from a different perspective, using different criteria. o Surgeon General’s and DSM-IV-TR Definition Abnormal behavior as behavior that departs from some norm and that harms the affected individual or others. Cultural Considerations in Abnormality
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Culture – Shared learned behavior transmitted from generation to generation o Culture is a powerful determinant of how behavior is defined and treated Cultural Universality – Origins, processes, manifestation of disorders are the same across cultures. o The assumption that a fixed set of mental disorders exists whose obvious manifestations cut across cultures Cultural Relativism – What is normal/abnormal may vary from culture to culture o The belief that lifestyles, cultural values, and worldviews affect the expression and determination of deviant behavior Sociopolitical Concerns in Abnormality Thomas Szasz Mental health is a myth:
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2009 for the course PSY 352 taught by Professor Kirstenbradbury during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Lecture Notes (1) - Chapter 1: The Concerns of Abnormal...

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