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Behavior that is culturally inappropriate, is accompanied by subjective distress and involves a psychological impairment and him (inability to cope with life's demands)
- the key concept here is that the behavior seems at odds with culture expectations of appropriateness and propriety.
- for example: a person does something that others find disturbing, puzzling, or irrational.
Abnormality along the Continuum
Continuum Model of Abnormality:
- Abnormality should be viewed along a
. No clear line between normal and abnormal
.Requires subjective decisions about when a person has a disorder or not
- 3. The context or circumstances surrounding a behavior influence whether a behavior is
- viewed as Abnormal.
- Behavior seems at odds with cultural
- expectations of appropriateness and propriety (something others find
- disturbing, puzzling, or irrational).
- Both the behavior itself and the
- context in which the behavior is displayed is
- Cultural relativity: the judgment of another person's normality will depend on the values and traditions of the culture in which he
- or she lives.
What is Abnormal Behavior?
- Abnormal behavior usually includes the
- following three characteristics:
3. Psychological Disability or Impairment
This perspective argues that:
Different cultures may utilize different standards in the definition of abnormality.
The norms of society must be used to determine the normality of behavior.
In other words: behaviors can only be abnormal relative to cultural norms.
- Another concept related to this is gender
- relativism or gender role expectations – In which behavior can only be defined
- as abnormal if they violate expectations of the an individual based on his or
- her gender.
Gender role expectations influence the labeling of behaviors as normal or abnormal
- Negative internal emotions or experiences
- which are real to the individual but cannot be observed directly by other
- Behaviors or feelings that cause the
- individual distress.
- 1. unhappiness,fear, apathy, guilt
- 2. visual and auditory experiences
- 3. physical aches and pains
Limitations to Subjective Distress in the Determination of Abnormal Behavior
- Some individuals who display symptoms of
- abnormal behavior may deny any subjective distress
- Manicstates – May deny feeling any distress and often may report that they feel
- AntisocialPersonality – Experience little remorse or distress associated with their
- antisocial behavior
Individuals who are unable to function adequately in their social roles can be considered to have a psychological disability, impairment, or dysfunction.
- Does the behavior prevent normal daily
- Psychological disability can be considered to be analogous to a physical disability – an
- application of the disease model of
- abnormal behavior.
Limitations to Psychological Impairment in the Determination of Abnormal Behavior
Eating Disorders, such as Bulimia
- Not all individuals who display symptoms
- of abnormal behavior experience difficulties in their social functions.
What is Mental Health?
Individuals with good mental health tend to share several attributes:
- 1. able to function effectively and to find
- satisfaction in life
- 2. have lasting and emotionally gratifying
- 3. likely to make a realistic appraisal of
- their own talents and shortcomings
- In sum, good mental health leaves a person open to many alternative ways of
By What Name Shall We Call It?
- Many terms have been used to refer to
- abnormal behavior:
2. mental illness
3. behavior disorder
4. emotional disturbance
- There is a tendency for any term used in
- reference to these phenomena to acquire a derogatory meaning.
- Mental disorders are
- easier to label than to explain and understand.
The current system for identifying and
diagnosing psychological problems is the following:
- The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
- of Mental Disorders, Fourth Editions, Text Revision or DSM-IV-TR
What is a Mental Disorder?
- Mental Disorders are clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndromes are patterns that involve one or more of the following:
- A. Present distress (for example, painful symptoms)
- B. Disability (that is, impairment in one or more important areas of functioning
- C. Significantly increased risk of suffering, death, pain, disability, or important loss of freedom
- Excluded from the definition are syndromes are behavioral patterns that are merely:
- A. Expectable and culturally sanctioned responses to particular events (such as the death of a loved one)
- B. Deviant political, religious, or sexual behavior
- C. Conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society
The Scientific Study of Abnormal Behavior
The Case Study
Consistency and agreement between clinicians in use of a diagnostic label
The Case Study
- An in-depth study of an individual person
- These types of studies have provided a rich source of ideas about the nature and
- causation of abnormal behavior
Case studies cannot be used to "prove" a theory
Can be used to make more general inferences about the sources of psychopathology.
- 1. Selective choices for both the cases
- themselves and for the information reported in regards to a case study
- 2. Findings cannot be generalized to anyone
- other than the person being studied
- The study of the incidence or prevalence
- of a disorder in a population
- Looks at the frequency and distribution
- of a disorder, or a group of disorders in a population
Also referred to as normative research
- Data collected through this research
- method can provide important information about public health trends and risks
- across different elements of the population
- Epidemiological studies focus on three
- types of data:
- Prevalence rates –
- The proportion of the population that has the disorder at a given point or
- period in time.
- Incidencerates –
- The number of new cases of the disorder that develop during a specified period
- of time.
- Risk factors –
- The conditions or variables that are associated with a higher risk of having
- the disorder
Requirements for Good Research
- Participant selection by chance from a
- larger population
- This is important, because the sample
- determines to what group(s) of people a given finding can be generalized or
Reliability of Measurement
- The extent to which a measure consistently yields the same results on repeated
The consistency of a test in measuring what it is supposed to measure.
- Interobserver reliability: The
- extent to which different observers (or raters) agree on the way they
- categorize or in some way quantify a given observation.
Psychological measurement is never as precise as physical measurement.
- Psychological measures only sample a
- small part of the domain of how a person acts, or thinks, or feels
Validity of Measurement
- A measure is valid if it measures what it
- purports (claims) to measure.
- The accuracy of a test is assessing what
- it is supposed to measure.
- Validity is difficult to determine in
- psychology, as much of what is of interest are constructs: hypothetical or theoretical concepts that cannot be measured directly
aggression; anxiety; intelligence
- A measure can be reliable, and yet not
- In a correlational study, the
- investigator investigates the association between two or more measures.
- Correlational coefficient (r) :a statistical measure of the direction and the strength of the relationship
- between two variables
hypothetical or theoretical concepts that cannot be measured directly
refers to the availability of some specific way of measuring the hypothetical construct
- Correlation can tell researchers
- something about the strength and direction of a relationship between variables,
- but correlations do not demonstrate
- Because of the lack of experimental
- control over the variables measured, there can be an unknown number of other
- variables that might contribute to any observed relationship.
- A research method in which conditions are
- manipulated in order to test the effects of the manipulations on various
- The researcher attempts to control
- The essence of the psychological
- experiment is that the people to be studied are randomly assigned to two or
- more groups:
Experimental group: Group on which the manipulation of interest is performed
- 1. Control group: Group that is treated similarly to the
- 2. Experimental group, except that no manipulation is performed.
A difference unlikely to have occurred by chance and therefore reflecting a real effect.
- 1. In psychological studies, a probability
- of chance findings five of 100 times (p = .05) or lower is accepted as a
- significant difference
- This effect occurs when an expectation of improvement is sufficient to
- cause improvement.
- 1. This effect is particularly relevant for
- pharmacological studies
- Type of experimental design in which
- both participants and researchers do not know whether a participant is in the
- experimental or the cotrol group.
Single-subject experimental designs:
- Experimental methods that do not rely
- on groups of participants, but rather use
- repeated measures from individual people.
a model or framework from which to view a phenomenon
Tools, probably of stone, were used to make a sizable hole in school, possibly with the intent of permitting entrapped ecape.
the belief that possession by demons or spirits explains abnormal behavior
episodes of apparent mass madness in which groups of people danced in the streets
dissociative identity disorder
rare dissociative reaction in which relatively separate and distinctive personalities develop within the same person
believe that abnormal behavior is caused primarily by biological factors
the belief that mind and body are separate and follow different laws
those whose mental problems were traceable to the phases of the Moon
severe disorder characterized by various mental symptoms as well as violating paralysis; caused by a syphilitic infection of the brain
malarial fever therapy
a treatment for general paresis that involved infecting the patient with malaria to cause a high fever
a condition that includes emotional arousal and physical symptoms that seem to have no organic basis
closely related to the phenomenon of hypnosis and derived from the techniques of Anton Mesmer
a trancelike state induced through suggestion and cooperative subjects
a lack of ordinary sensation in the skin when the body surface becomes insensitive to touch, pain, or heat
the whole of one side of the body became insensitive
involuntary muscular twitching, usually in the facial muscles
the ability to walk
glove or sleeve anesthesia
the insensitive area of the hand or arm correspondent with that which would be covered by a glove or sleeve
la belle indifference
hysterical patients, instead of being worried or depressed about their physical symptoms, appeared calm and indeed quite cheerful
a process something like self hypnosis
learning process whereby a formerly neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response as a result of pairing with an unconditional stimulus
stimulus that is naturally capable of elicting the unconditioned response
response that occurs naturally or innately to an unconditioned stimulus
an originally neutral stimulus that becomes capable of eliciting a condition response after repeated pairing with a unconditioned stimulus
a response that is elicited by conditioned stimulus after repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus
repeated presentation of a conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus where the frequency and strength of conditioned responses tend to decrease, eventually to zero
a brief reappearance of the conditioned response with occasional presentation of the conditioned stimulus
responding similarly to similars stimuli
narrowing the range of controlling stimuli for a response
type of learning in which the consequences of a response control its occurrence