August 23, 2011
Historical Perspectives in Abnormal Psychology
The idea or concept of abnormal psychology came about over 100 years ago. Over the last 100 years or so the definition of abnormal psychology has been rounded into certain core concepts that will be discussed later in the paper. The main definition of abnormal psychology is hard to pin point, however the core concepts give a structured outline of what abnormal psychology is.
There are six core concepts in abnormal psychology these six concepts help to better understand who is abnormal and why. The first of the six concepts is the significance of context that defines and helps understand an abnormality. The second is the range among normal and abnormal behavior. The third core concept is cultural and historical comparisons in defining and classifying abnormality, (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The fourth is the advantages and limits of a diagnosis. Principles of multiple causality makes the fifth concept, and the sixth is the connection relating to mind and body, (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
The definition of abnormality has changed considerably with the times. An example that the text gives is that homosexuality was thought to be a mental illness in the United States up until 1973, (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The six core concepts discussed earlier are the concepts that have held true throughout the 100 years of abnormal psychology.
There are various criteria’s for defining and recognizing abnormality, non however are full proof. There are five criteria that are used and they are, help seeking, irrationality or dangerous, deviance, emotional distress, and significant impairment, (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The first three are only sometimes reliable in identifying abnormal behavior, however they are usually incorrect. Emotional distress and significant impairment are definite markers of abnormal behavior.... [continues]
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