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Abnormal Psych Exam One

Abnormal Psych Exam One - Chapter 1 1 Introductions and...

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Chapter 1 1. Introductions and Historical Overview Psychopathology – the field concerned with the nature, development, and treatment of psychological disorders Stigma – refers to the pernicious beliefs and attitudes held by a society that are ascribed to groups considered deviant in some manner. A stigma has 4 characteristics 1. A label is applied to a group of people that distinguishes them from others (eg. Crazy) 2. The label is linked to deviant or undesirable attributes by society (eg. Crazy people are dangerous) 3. People with the label are seen as essentially different from those without the label, contributing to an “us” versus “them” mentality (eg. We are not like those crazy people) 4. People with the label are discriminated against unfairly (eg. A clinic for crazy people can’t be built in our neighborhood) Abnormality – disability, distress, violation of social norms, dysfunction; abnormality is base don the presence of several characteristics at one time; the DSM-IV-TR definition of mental disorder is perhaps the best current definition because it includes many components, none of which can alone account for mental disorders 1. Personal distress – a person’s behavior may be classified as abnormal if it causes him or her great distress; NOT all abnormal behaviors cause distress. 2. Disability – impairment in some important area of life. Disability alone cannot be used to define abnormality, because some, but not all, disorders involve disability 3. Violation of social norms – social norms are widely held standards (beliefs and attitudes) that people use consciously or intuitively to make judgments about where behaviors are situated on such scales as good-bad, right-wrong, justified-unjustified, and acceptable-unacceptable. (ex. OCD – repetitive rituals, schizophrenia – conversations with imaginary voices). Social norms vary a great deal across cultures and ethnic groups, so behavior that clearly violates a social norm in one group may not do so in another 4. Dysfunction – behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunctions that are supported by our current body of evidence and formally recognizes our limits. “harmful dysfunction” has 2 parts: (1) a value judgment (“harmful”) and (2) an objective, scientific component (the “dysfunction”). Dysfunctions are said to occur when an internal mechanism involved in mental disorders are largely unknown; thus we cannot say exactly what may not be functioning properly. 2. History of Psychopathology – at different periods in history, explanations for mental disorders have been supernatural, biological, and psychological Demonology – the doctrine that an evil being or spirit can dwell within a person and control his/her mind. Behavior was ascribed to supernatural causes. Disturbed behavior reflected the displeasure of the gds or possession by demons. Let to exorcism treatment – the ritualistic casing out of evil spirits.
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