Factors for Abnormal Behavior.

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1.To what extent do biological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behavior? •Biological
Genetic predisposition (e.g. depression, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa) •Imbalance of neurotransmitters (anorexia nervosa and depression – serotonin, schizophrenia – depression •Hormones (anorexia nervosa: cortisol, orexin)

Cognitive
Cognitive theorists believe that abnormality is caused by unrealistic, distorted or irrational understanding, perceptions and thoughts about oneself, others or the environment. Abnormal behavior is also caused by difficulty in controlling thought processes or using them to control actions • A depressed mood can lead to depressed thoughts

Depressed cognitions, cognitive distortions, and irrational beliefs produce disturbances in mood •Sociocultural
Members of society that break social and cultural norms are defined as abnormal • Labeling people as abnormal establish clear norms of reality and appropriate behaviour (conformity) •In order to keep their definition of reality, the family, general practitioners and psychiatrists conspire against the “insane” by imprisoning and degrading them as human beings • Social identity theory: People who are not included in the in-group are defined as abnormal •Abnormal behaviour violates moral or ideal standards or differs from commonly accepted beliefs or ways of thinking. It is a way to find a dispositional cause of disruptive behaviour instead of situational factors (fundamental attribution error). Instead of saying “evil”, “bad” or “crazy”, we say “anti-social personality disorder” or “schizophrenia”. •What is abnormal in one culture (e.g. strange visions, speech and behaviour) might be regarded as special or sacred in another culture (e.g. shamanism) •Supporting evidence

•Different countries have different tools for diagnosis (e.g. DSM IV-TR in United states, CCMD-3 in China) •Homosexuality was considered to be abnormal until DSM-III (1980). It is still considered abnormal in many countries. •The existence of culture-bound syndromes (emics)

•Gender differences in mental health (which may be due to differences in social expectations) •Cultural variations in the prevalence of certain disordersChallenging evidence
The universality (etics) of some disorders (e.g. eating disorders, depression and behaviours associated with psychosis – e.g. delusions and hallucinations) •Inuit tribes have linguistic distinctions between “shaman” and “crazy people” in their society (Murphy 1976) •Many people voluntarily seek help because of their problems

3.Examine the concepts of normality and abnormality
Normality: Being within limits of “normal” functioning. •Abnormality: Marked strangeness as a consequence of being “abnormal”. • People who are not included in the in-group are defined as abnormal •Abnormal behaviour violates moral or ideal standards

Abnormal behaviour differs from commonly accepted beliefs or ways of thinking •What is abnormal in one culture (e.g. strange visions, speech and behaviour) might be regarded as special or sacred in another culture (e.g. shamanism) •Abnormality defined by the APA as behavior that causes distress, loss of freedom, physical or emotional pain, increased risk of death or injury to self or causes a disability of some sort •7 Criteria for Abnormal Behavior (Rosenhan & Seligman, 1984) •Suffering

Maladaptiveness
Irrationality
Unpredictability
Vividness and unconventionality
Observer discomfort
Violation of moral or ideal standards
6 Characteristics of Mental Health (Jahoda, 1958)
Efficient self-perception
Realistic self-esteem and acceptance
Voluntary control of behavior
Accurate perception of the world
Sustaining relationships and providing affection
Self-direction and productivity
Evaluation
Actually applying these criteria means most people would be considered abnormal •Normalness is culturally determined
DSM vs....
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