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Chapter 1 - Chapter 1 I The Concerns of Abnormal Psychology...

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Chapter 1 I. The Concerns of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology is defined as the scientific study of strange or unusual behavior. It includes description, explanation, prediction and control of such behavior. 1. Describing abnormal Behavior Psycho-diagnosis : An attempt to describe, assess, systematically draw inferences about a person’s psychological disorder. Diagnosis: To label an illness. The label, however, may be too general, or descrive current conditions. 2. Explaining Abnormal Behavior : Psychologists identify causes of abnormal behavior. Explanation varies with orientation. 3. Predicting abnormal Behavior : If a source of a patient (or clients’s) difficulty is known, predictions can be made about behavior, but this may not always be true. 4. Controlling Abnormal Behavior : Abnormal behavior may be controlled through therapy (biological or psychological), which modifies a client’s (or a patient’s) behavioral, affective (emotional) or cognitive state. II. Defining Abnormal Behavior 1. Statistical Deviation This criterion equates normality with behaviors that occurs most frequently in the population. Abnormality is defined in terms of less frequently occurring behavior. This method fails to consider cultural values or creative behavior, which is less frequent. 2. Ideal mental Health Criterion This view stresses looking at deviation from some positive goal. Humanistic psychologists suggest self-actualization (reaching one’s highest potentials). Psychoanalysts suggest balance of psychic forces. Others suggest reaching maturity . 3. Multicultural Perspective Cultural universality of abnormal behavior states certain types of illnesses are seen in all cultures. **Cultural relativism is defined as the belief that life style, cultural values and worldviews effect the expression and determination of
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deviant behavior. Cultures vary on what they consider to be normal or abnormal behavior.
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