Chapter 12 Notes

Chapter 12 Notes - Chapter 12 Psychological Disorders...

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Chapter 12: Psychological Disorders Psychopathology - patterns of thinking and behaving that are maladaptive, disruptive, or uncomfortable for the affected person or for others Defining Psychological Disorders o What is Abnormal? There are several criteria for judging whether a person’s thinking emotions, or behavior are abnormal Deviance Straying away from the normality Statistical infrequency - unusual or rare This is poor criterion because it would define any rare quality or characteristic as abnormal, including creative geniuses and world- class athletic ability A related criterion is violation of social norms, the cultural rules that tell us how we should and shouldn’t behave in various situations, especially in relation to others o According to this, people behave in ways that are unusual or disturbing enough to violate social norms o Inadequate measure of abnormality because some norm violations are considered eccentric more than abnormal and it also varies in different types of societies and cultures Distress Abnormality can also be described in terms of personal suffering Causes to the person or others Inadequate criterion because people are sometimes distressed about characteristics that are not mental disorders Some people who suffer from psychological disorders experience little or no distress Dysfunction Impaired functioning o Having difficulty in fulfilling appropriate and expected roles in family, social, and work-related situations Also inadequate because some people’s dysfunction can be caused by physical illness, an overwhelming but temporary family problem, or other things that are not a psychological disorder o Behavior in Context: A Practical Approach Health practitioners and researchers have adopted a practical approach that combines aspects of all the criteria previously described Consider the content of the behavior (what the person does), the sociocultural context in which the behavior occurs, and the consequences of the behavior for that person and others They also recognize that the definition of behavior depends on age, gender, culture, and the particular situation and historical era in which people live
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This approach sees abnormality as including those patterns of thought, behavior, and emotion that lead to suffering and significantly impair people’s ability to function as expected within their culture Explaining Psychological Disorders o There have been many different explanations for psychological disorders o Each explanation of psychological disorders tends to influence a society’s attitudes and responses toward people who display them o The Biopychosocial Approach Most mental health researchers in Western cultures attribute the appearance of psychopathology to 3 main causes Biological factors Psychological processes Sociocultural contexts Biopychosocial approach - an explanation for mental disorders that sees
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2011 for the course PSY 0010 taught by Professor Joshuafetterman during the Summer '08 term at Pittsburgh.

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Chapter 12 Notes - Chapter 12 Psychological Disorders...

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