Abnormal Psychology - Models of Psychology

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Abnormal Psychology
Gabriela Baldovinos
PSY 410
September 17, 2010
Adam Yerke

Abnormal Psychology
In psychology there are many broad areas of study that identify by the process or development of the human body and mind. In the area of Abnormal Psychology the terminology would be define, interpret to the full understand of the concepts and areas within the field of psychology. In depth the abnormal psychology would examine the origins of abnormal psychology with the challenges of the definition. In term abnormal psychology would be briefly overview on how abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline. Lastly abnormal psychology would be analyzed the psychosocial, biological, and the social cultural theoretical models within the field as far as the development of abnormal psychology. Body

The definition of abnormal psychology is Abnormal psychology is a branch of psychology that deals with psychopathology and abnormal behavior. The term covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation and many more. Counselors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists often work directly in this field. The origins of Abnormal Psychology are the subdivision of psychology and it is basically the study the abnormal behavior and experience, and partly understood states like hypnosis and dreams. Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

At times, it is adequate to classify certain terms by nothing more than their logical antecedents, such as defining darkness as the absence of light. Yet, the more ambiguous or culturally predicated terms—such as abnormal—require an explanation that entails concise, observable terminology rather than simply elucidating the state of opposing deficiency (i.e. normal). To that end, the scientific characterization of abnormality rests upon five criteria: 1) help seeking; 2) irrationality/dangerousness; 3) deviance; 4) emotional distress and; 5) significant impairment (Damour & Hansell, 2008). The first three criteria are best used as indicators or correlates than directly linked markers of abnormality, given their circumstantial nature. The last two are more useful and functional from a scientific standpoint, thereby making them the preferred, present-day diagnostic tools of psychopathology. For, even though emotional distress and significant impairment can occur outside the realm of psychopathology, psychopathology rarely occurs without emotional distress or significant impairment. These criteria act collectively as a working definition that is generally useful from a clinical standpoint but not universally applicable in every situation. Notwithstanding, a full comprehension of the breadth and scope of modern-day abnormal psychology must take into account the origins of psychopathology and the development of abnormal psychology into a scientific discipline, in light of the psychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models of psychology.

Origins of Abnormal Psychology
Even though the field of abnormal psychology, as a scientific discipline, has existed for a little more than 100 years, the explanations used to account for abnormal behavior go back beyond Biblical history (Damour & Hansell, 2008). The earliest rationalization for mental illness was the animistic/spiritual approach, which was built upon the belief that the metaphysical, spirit world can affect the corporeal, observable world. The real-world exhibition of this belief system on the subject of psychopathology entailed the use of trepidation or the practice of boring holes in a live person’s skull to let out the contributory evil spirit. This “medical procedure” was found to take place as early as 3000 B.C. in Peru and Bolivia as well as in the pre-Hispanic Aztec and Incan civilizations (Shieff, Smith & Wadley, 1997). It was Hippocrates in 460 B.C. who first proposed a purely biological explanation of abnormal behavior. He argued that an...
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