Perspectives on Psychological Disorders 1. Identify the criteria for judging whether behavior is psychologically disordered. There is a fine and somewhat arbitrary line between normality and abnormality. A psychological disorder is a harmful dysfunction in which behavior is judged atypical, disturbing, maladaptive, and unjustifiable. 2. Describe the medical model of psychological disorders, and discuss the bio-psycho-social perspective offered by critics of this model. The medical model assumes that psychological disorders are mental illnesses that need to be diagnosed on the basis of their symptoms and cured through therapy. Critics argue that psychological disorders may not reflect a deep internal problem but instead a growth-blocking difficulty in the person's environment, in the person's current interpretation of events, or in the person's bad habits and poor social skills. Psychologists who reject the "sickness" idea typically contend that all behavior arises from the interaction of nature (genetic and physiological factors) and nurture (past and
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