Definitions of Abnormality and Models of Psychology

Psychological Disorders
To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
William James (1842-1910)


There are 450 million people suffering from psychological disorders (WHO, 2004). Depression and schizophrenia exist in all cultures of the world.


Defining Psychological Disorders
Mental health workers view psychological disorders as persistently harmful thoughts, feelings, and actions.
When behavior is deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional psychiatrists and psychologists label it as disordered (Comer, 2004).

1. . while in others it may lead to arrest. Deviant. In Western society this would be considered abnormal. Deviant behavior must accompany distress. Distressful & Dysfunctional Carol Beckwith In the Wodaabe tribe men wear costumes to attract women. If a behavior is dysfunctional it is clearly a disorder. 2. 3. Deviant behavior (going naked) in one culture may be considered normal.

Medical Medical Behavioral Behavioral Psychological Psychological Models Models Humanistic Humanistic Cognitive Cognitive PsychoPsychodynamic dynamic .

© 1997 The Art Institute of Chicago Dance in the madhouse. but an ailment of the mind. Dancer in a Madhouse. George Wesley Bellows. 1907. insisted that madness was not due to demonic possession. .The Medical Model Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) from France.

Neuroscience.a. Behavior Genetics. Nature Argument Includes: • How the body and brain work together • How the natural selection of traits promotes the perpetuation of one’s genes • How much our genes and our environments influence our individual differences . Evolutionary. Biological Model.Medical Model a.k.

. Prognosis: Forecast about the disorder. 3. 2. Etiology: Cause and development of the disorder. 4. 1.Medical Model When physicians discovered that syphilis led to mental disorders. Diagnosis: Identifying (symptoms) and distinguishing one disease from another. Treatment: Treating a disorder in a psychiatric hospital. they started using medical models to review the physical causes of these disorders.

The Biopsychosocial Approach Assumes that biological. . and psychological factors combine and interact to produce psychological disorders. socio-cultural.

The most recent edition. describes 400 psychological disorders compared to 60 in the 1950s.The American Psychiatric Association rendered a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to describe psychological disorders. DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision. Classifying Psychological Disorders . 2000).

hypertension or arthritis etc) also present? Are Psychosocial or Environmental Problems (school or housing issues) also present? What is the Global Assessment of the Axis V person’s functioning? . mood disorders [16 syndromes]) present? Is a Personality Disorder or Mental Retardation present? Is a General Medical Condition (diabetes. anxiety.Multiaxial Classification Axis I Axis II Axis III Axis IV Is a Clinical Syndrome (cognitive.

Multiaxial Classification Note 16 syndromes in Axis I .

Multiaxial Classification Note Global Assessment for Axis V .

Describe (400) disorders.” . Determine how prevalent the disorder is. Others criticize DSM-IV for “putting any kind of behavior within the compass of psychiatry. diagnoses by different professionals are similar.Goals of DSM 1. Disorders outlined by DSM-IV are reliable. 2. Therefore.

Cornell University Press. From L. Asylum baseball team (labeling) . NY. Elizabeth Eckert.Labeling Psychological Disorders 1. Critics of the DSM-IV argue that labels may stigmatize individuals. Gamwell and N. 1995. Madness in America. Middletown. Tomes.

Labeling Psychological Disorders 2. . Labels may be helpful for healthcare professionals when communicating with one another and establishing therapy.

Labeling Psychological Disorders 3. Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber) Elaine Thompson/ AP Photo . “Insanity” labels raise moral and ethical questions about how society should treat people who have disorders and have committed crimes.

Psychoanalytic Model Freud (1856-1939) Sigmund Freud and his followers emphasized the importance of the unconscious mind and its effects on human behavior. .

and defense mechanisms. which included the unconscious mind.Psychoanalytic Model In his clinical practice. Their complaints could not be explained in terms of purely physical causes. Freud encountered patients suffering from nervous disorders. . Freud’s clinical experience led him to develop the first comprehensive theory of personality. psychosexual stages.

Psychoanalytic Model  The id unconsciously strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. It operates on the morality principle. The ego operates on the reality principle. . demanding immediate gratification.  The superego provides standards for judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations. • The ego functions as the “executive” and mediates the demands of the id and superego. operating on the pleasure principle.


During these stages the id’s pleasure-seeking energies focus on pleasure sensitive body areas called erogenous zones.Psychoanalytic Model Freud believed that personality formed during the first few years of life divided into psychosexual stages. .

.Psychoanalytic Model Freud divided the development of personality into five psychosexual stages.

The Behavioral Model Behavioral Model Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Social Learning .

.Behavioral Model Watson (1913) and later Skinner emphasized the study of overt behavior as the subject matter of scientific psychology.

Behavioral Model-Classical Conditioning • Pavlov • NS+UCS UCR (Neutral Stimulus) (Unconditioned Stimulus) (Unconditioned Response) • CS CR (Conditioned Stimulus) (Conditioned Response) .

Operant Conditioning Reinforcement Positive Give something that is desired to increase or maintain behavior Negative Take away something that is NOT desired to increase or maintain behavior Punishment Positive Give something that is NOT desired to decrease or stop behavior Negative Take away something that is desired to decrease or stop behavior .

Behavioral Model-Social Learning Bandura's Bobo doll study (1961) indicated that individuals (children) learn through imitating others who receive rewards and punishments. Albert Bandura .

.Humanistic Psychology Maslow (1908-1970) Rogers (1902-1987) Maslow and Rogers emphasized current environmental influences on our growth potential and our need for love and acceptance.

He said that Unconditional Positive Regard is an attitude of acceptance of others despite their failings.Humanistic Model Carl Rogers also believed in an individual's self-actualization tendencies. .

. If the two descriptions were close the individual had a positive self-concept. Rogers asked people to describe themselves as they would like to be (ideal) and as they actually are (real).Humanistic Model In an effort to assess personality.

process. store and retrieve information • Study how we perceive. and solve problems.Cognitive Model • How we encode. think. Jean Piaget .

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