PSY 410 Week 1 - The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology Individual Paper
PSY 410 Week 1 - The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology Individual Paper
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Running head: HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 1 The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology Pedreed Anjahal University of Phoenix PSY/410 Facilitator: Maria Neely, MA, M.Ed. June 20, 2011 HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 2 The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology Throughout history abnormal psychology has been at the forefront of behaviors and personalities. During earlier centuries various techniques performed by psychologists and therapists were implemented to help cure people suffering from psychological abnormalities. Mental illness encompasses the realm of abnormal psychology. However, normal behavior is compared to abnormal behavior, thus creating a list of behaviors society deems as normal. Many factors affect behaviors, psychosocial, biological, medical, and sociocultural. The development of these theoretical models explains the aspects and causes of normal and abnormal behaviors. Factors which cause psychopathology can come from various life events and experiences. Theorists address the core concepts of normal and abnormal behaviors through studies and research of cultural, historical relativism, multiple casualties, and connections between mind and body. The question remains, once a mental disorder is identified, what measures society can use to understand and explain the causes of the behavior (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The Origins of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology that is also known as, psychopathology is the study of mental illness. Behavior can be defined, classified, explained, and treated (Hansell & Damour, 2008). However, years of studies, research, and observation helps to give society a better understanding of abnormal human behaviors. Within the past 100 years abnormal psychology has developed significantly through progress, changes, and controversy. Nonetheless, several concepts remain key factors. Most important, identifying what is normal and abnormal is a question that peaks the curiosity of professionals, parents, theorists, and society. Some interesting facts about abnormal psychology are the challenges faced when determining normal from abnormal. The core concepts help to give direction and understanding to the actions of a person’s behavior. HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 3 Commonly used criterion for defining abnormality is help seeking, irrationality, dangerousness, deviance, emotional distress and significant impairment (Hansell & Damour, 2008). However, normal behaviors one would assume are the opposite of abnormal behaviors. The distinction among the two is easily set apart, but normal behaviors may become abnormal under various circumstances. Society has a classification of normal behaviors just as it does for abnormal behaviors. Normal behaviors consist of a classification of specific and expected behaviors (Dupre, 1998). Normal behaviors are contrary to help seeking, irrationality, dangerousness, deviance, emotional distress, and significant impairment. In essence, people who act normal adhere to life’s daily expectations. Physically, mentally, and emotionally normal people are grouped by the commonality of the environment. Psychosocial, biological, medical, and sociocultural are still significant factors in the development and maintenance of normal behaviors. The differences between normal and abnormal is both are at the opposite end of the spectrum, but the belief still remains that language, social skills, and daily living is an approach used through normalization helping a person who is not normal to reach a normal state of life. Abnormal Psychology a Scientific Discipline In the beginning, abnormal psychology was handled in a less discrete and inhumane way. People who had mental illnesses received mistreatment. In earlier centuries a person diagnosed with a mental illness under common practices experienced beatings, tied up by ropes, balls and chains. However, centuries later a schoolteacher named Dorthea Dix’s raised millions of dollars to establish mental institutions (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The treatment of people with mental illnesses simply had the wrong approach in earlier centuries; this history of patient treatment enhanced the growth and evolution of abnormal psychology as a scientific discipline. In addition, theorists and psychologists such as Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical model developed a HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 4 broader spectrum of psychodynamic orientation and dominate today’s studies in abnormal psychology (Myer, Chapman & Weaver, 2009). Not to mention Skinner’s behavioral analysis, Bandura’s social cognitive theory, Adler’s individual psychology, Jung’s analytical psychology, Erikson’s postFreudian theory, and many more have made major contributions to the evolution of abnormal psychology. Theoretical Models and Abnormal Psychology Subsequently, different theoretical models such as psychosocial, biological, medical, and sociocultural play a significant role in offering different explanations and treatments for abnormal behaviors. The theoretical models each have an important contribution to give to the studies of abnormal psychology. In previous years explanations and the treatment of disorders relied on one theory or concept, known as reductionism. However, today a combination of a variety of theories and concepts makes diagnosing and treatment easier and more identifiable. For example, Erikson’s psychosocial approach. The psychosocial model simply means life is a series of lessons and challenges. Freud, although wellknown for many other theories he expressed a strong concern with the biological and medical aspects of human behavior and development. Ivan Pavlov classical conditioning model referred to behavioral abnormalities such as phobias derived from a conditioning process (New World Encyclopedia, 2010). Moreover, the sociocultural model believes behaviors occur from the role that society and culture plays in a person’s life (New World Encyclopedia, 2010). The basis of sociocultural focuses on society’s labeling, rules, laws, social network, family structure, communication, cultural, and religious beliefs (New World Encyclopedia, 2010). In light of the theoretical models the evolution of abnormal psychology grows at a significant pace. Although the study of abnormal psychology helps professionals to address behaviors, the average person has the HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 5 capabilities of identifying various behaviors that constitute abnormalities; this is beneficial for people to receive the help that is needed. Conclusion In essence, the origins of abnormal psychology began centuries ago. Identifying normal from abnormal is addressed by appropriated actions and expectations. During earlier centuries the treatment for people who had mental illnesses was inhumane and noneffective. However, the legacy of the history of abnormal psychology paved the way for twentieth and twentyfirst century theorists, therapists, and psychologists. The approach today is highly appreciated and more feasible in understanding, diagnosing, and treating abnormal behaviors. The history of abnormal psychology is important to know. Today development of theoretical models helps support the psychosocial, biological, medical, and sociocultural approaches that affect the lives of millions. Although normal is perceived in various perspectives, abnormality seems to receive the most feedback. References Dupre, J. (1998). Normal People. Social Research, summer 98. vol. 65 issues 2, p 221248, 28 p; Reading level (Lexile): 1440 Hansell, J., Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal Psychology. (2 ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley th Meyer, R.G., Chapman, L.K., Weaver, C.M. (2009). Case studies in abnormal behavior. (8 ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon New World Encyclopedia. (2011). Abnormal Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 6
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