AP7_Lecture_Ch01

AP7_Lecture_Ch01 - Abnormal Psychology: Past and Present...

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Comer,  Abnormal Psychology , 7e Northampton Community College Abnormal Psychology: Past and Present Chapter 1
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2 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e Abnormal Psychology:  Past and Present What is abnormal psychology? The field devoted to the scientific study of  abnormal behavior to describe, predict, explain,  and change abnormal patterns of functioning Workers in the field may be: Clinical scientists  Clinical practitioners 
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3 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e What Is Psychological Abnormality? Many definitions have been proposed, yet none is  universally accepted Most definitions, however, share some common  features: “The Four Ds” Deviance  – Different, extreme, unusual, perhaps even bizarre Distress  – Unpleasant and upsetting to the person Dysfunction  – Interfering with the person’s ability to conduct  daily activities in a constructive way Danger  – Posing risk of harm
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4 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e Deviance From what? From behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that differ  markedly from a society’s ideas about proper functioning From social norms  Explicit and implicit rules for proper conduct Examples? Judgments of abnormality also depend on specific  circumstances (i.e., social context)
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5 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e Distress According to many clinical theorists, behavior,  ideas, or emotions usually have to cause  distress before they can be labeled abnormal Not always the case Examples?
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6 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e Dysfunction Abnormal behavior tends to be dysfunctional –  it interferes with daily functioning Culture plays a role in the definition of  abnormality as well Dysfunction alone does not necessarily  indicate psychological abnormality
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7 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e Danger  Abnormal behavior may become dangerous to  oneself or others Behavior may be consistently careless, hostile, or  confused Although cited as a feature of psychological  abnormality, research suggests that being  dangerous is the exception rather than the rule
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8 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e The Elusive Nature of Abnormality Ultimately, each society selects general criteria for  defining abnormality and then uses those criteria to  judge particular cases Szasz argues that, because of the influence of culture, the  whole concept of mental illness is invalid, a myth of sorts Deviations called “abnormal” are only “problems of living” Societies invent the concept of mental illness to better control or  change people who threaten social order
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9 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e The Elusive Nature of Abnormality
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course 830 340 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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AP7_Lecture_Ch01 - Abnormal Psychology: Past and Present...

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