Whether your application is business, how-to, education, medicine, school, church, sales, marketing, online training or just for fun, PowerShow. And, best of all, most of its cool features are free and easy to use.
Abnormal Psychology By Saul McLeodupdated August 05, Abnormal psychology is a division of psychology that studies people who are "abnormal" or "atypical" compared to the members of a given society.
The definition of the word abnormal is simple enough but applying this to psychology poses a complex problem: The concept of abnormality is imprecise and difficult to define.
Examples of abnormality can take many different forms and involve different features, so that, what at first sight seem quite reasonable definitions, turns out to be quite problematical.
Definitions of Abnormality Statistical Infrequency Under this definition of abnormality, a person's trait, thinking or behavior is classified as abnormal if it is rare or statistically unusual. With this definition it is necessary to be clear about how rare a trait or behavior needs to be before we class it as abnormal.
For instance one may say that an individual who has an IQ below or above the average level of IQ in society is abnormal. The statistical approach helps to address what Psy 410 historical perspectives of abnormal meant by normal in a statistical context.
It helps us make cut — off points in terms of diagnosis. However, this definition fails to distinguish between desirable and undesirable behavior.
For example, obesity is a statistically normal but not associated with healthy or desirable. Conversely high IQ is statistically abnormal, but may well be regarded as highly desirable.
Many rare behaviors or characteristics e. Some characteristics are regarded as abnormal even though they are quite frequent. Who decides what is statistically rare and how do they decide?
For example, if an IQ of 70 is the cut-off point, how can we justify saying someone with 69 is abnormal, and someone with 70 normal?
This definition also implies that the presence of abnormal behavior in people should be rare or statistically unusual, which is not the case.
Instead, any specific abnormal behavior may be unusual, but it is not unusual for people to exhibit some form of prolonged abnormal behavior at some point in their lives, and mental disorders such as depression are actually very statistically common.
Violation of Social Norms Under this definition, a person's thinking or behavior is classified as abnormal if it violates the unwritten rules about what is expected or acceptable behavior in a particular social group. Their behavior may be incomprehensible to others or make others feel threatened or uncomfortable.
Every culture has certain standards for acceptable behavior, or socially acceptable norms. Norms are expected ways of behaving in a society according to the majority and those members of a society who do not think and behave like everyone else break these norms so are often defined as abnormal.
There are a number of influences on social norms that need to be taken into account when considering the social norms definition: Culture Different cultures and subcultures are going to have different social norms.
For example, it is common in Southern Europe to stand much closer to strangers than in the UK. Voice pitch and volume, touching, direction of gaze and acceptable subjects for discussion have all been found to vary between cultures.
Context and Situation At any one time, a type of behaviour might be considered normal whereas another time the same behaviour could be abnormal, depending on both context and situation. For example, wearing a chicken suit in the street for a charity event would seem normal, but wearing a chicken suit for everyday activities such as shopping or going to church, it would be socially abnormal.
Historical Context Time must also be taken into account, as what is considered abnormal at one time in one culture may be normal another time, even in the same culture.
For example, one hundred years ago, pregnancy outside of marriage was considered a sign of mental illness and some women were institutionalised, whereas now this is not the case Age and Gender Different people can behave in the same way and for some will be normal and others abnormal, depending on age and gender and sometimes other factors.
For example, a man wearing a dress and high heels may be considered socially abnormal as society would not expect it, whereas this is expected of women With this definition, it is necessary to consider: The most obvious problem with defining abnormality using social norms is that there is no universal agreement over social norms.
Social norms are culturally specific - they can differ significantly from one generation to the next and between different ethnic, regional and socio-economic groups. In some societies, such as the Zulu for example, hallucinations and screaming in the street are regarded as normal behavior. Social norms also exist within a time frame, and therefore change over time.
Behavior that was once seen as abnormal may, given time, become acceptable and vice versa. For example drink driving was once considered acceptable but is now seen as socially unacceptable whereas homosexuality has gone the other way.
Until homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder by the World Health Organization WHO but today is considered acceptable.
Social norms can also depend on the situation or context we find ourselves in. Is it normal to eat parts of a dead body? In a rugby team who survived a plane crash in the snow-capped Andes of South America found themselves without food and in sub-freezing temperatures for 72 days.
In order to survive they ate the bodies of those who had died in the crash. Failure to Function Adequately Under this definition, a person is considered abnormal if they are unable to cope with the demands of everyday life.
They may be unable to perform the behaviors necessary for day-to-day living e. For example, a person who has the obsessive-compulsive disorder of hand-washing may find that the behavior makes him cheerful, happy and better able to cope with his day.Abnormal psychology is the branch of psychology that studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion and thought, which may or may not be understood as precipitating a mental disorder.
Explaining abnormal behavior. Cultural and historical variations. Perspectives of Abnormal psychology. The classification of abnormal behavior is changing. Revisions are in the works for the official method for classifying psychological disorders, known at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or DSM.
The fifth version of this classification system, or DSM-V, is scheduled to be released in the coming years. Psychology is the scientific study of how we think, feel and behave.
In this lesson, you'll get an overview of the five major perspectives that have guided modern psychological research. In this lesson, you'll get an overview of the five major perspectives that have guided modern psychological research.
We recognize that each student has unique circumstances and different needs. That's why we have designed two types of courses -- Online and Teacher-Led -- . Abnormal psychology is the branch of psychology that studies unusual patter of human behaviour and thoughts which may or may not be understood as precipitating mental disorder.
This branch of psychology deals with behaviour in a clinical context. 1/28/ 1 1 Historical Perspectives on Abnormal Behavior Chapter One Overview to Understanding Abnormal Behavior 2 Class Objectives Historical Perspectives.