Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

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Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

Abstract
In the following paper, abnormal psychology will be discussed in length. The origins of abnormal psychology will be discussed, including the challenges to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. There will also be a brief overview of how abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline. Finally the biopsychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models, will also be analyzed in relation to the development of abnormal psychology.

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal psychology, also known as psychopathology, is the subfield of psychology devoted to the study of mental disorders (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The subfield also aims to understand the nature, causes, and treatment of these mental disorders (Pearson Higher Education, 2010). Abnormal psychology has come a long way in regard to how it is defined, viewed, and even treated. There are many challenges when it comes to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. Over time, abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline. When it comes to the development of abnormal psychology, there are many theoretical models in which we can study as well. Origins of Abnormal Psychology

It is difficult to define abnormality, and the scientific characterization of abnormality depends on five criteria: help seeking, irrationality/dangerousness, deviance, emotional distress, and significant impairment (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Help seeking, irrationality/dangerousness, and deviance are more indicators to abnormal behavior because they tend to be circumstantial. On the other hand, emotional distress and significant impairment are more useful from a scientific standpoint, and therefore are preferred in modern day diagnosis. Individuals can experience emotional distress and significant impairment outside of mental disorders, but mental disorders do not often occur without...
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