Understanding Abnormal Psychology

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Abnormal Psychology
Jessica Lewis
PSY/410
Karen Wood
June 18, 2012

Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal psychology is a very important branch of psychology. This study of psychology helps in understanding what behaviors are considered normal and what behaviors are not normal. To begin to understand exactly what abnormal psychology is about one must know a little bit about the history of abnormal psychology. One must also understand the different theoretical models that are associated with abnormal psychology. These are a couple of very important aspects to understanding abnormal psychology.

“Abnormal psychology is a division of psychology that studies people who are “abnormal” or “atypical” compared to the members of a given society” (www.simplypsychology.org). This can be very difficult to do because abnormal behaviors cannot exactly be defined within just one category. To determine what an abnormal behavior is the culture along with many other aspects must be examined. There are certain areas that must be looked at to determine if an individual’s behavior is to be considered abnormal. These areas include statistical infrequency, Violations of social norms, Failure to function adequately, and deviation from ideal mental health (www.simplypsychology.org). Statistical infrequency is basically if the individual’s behavior is seen as rare or statistically unusual. Violation of social norms is basically if the individual’s behavior violates what is expected or acceptable in that particular social group. Failure to function adequately is basically if the individual cannot cope with the everyday demands of life. Deviation from ideal mental health is basically if the individual’s behaviors suggest that they are not in a healthy mental state.

The first of the theoretical models that will be discussed is the psychosocial model. This model was developed by Erik Erikson. “Erikson’s psychosocial model involves eight stages of human development across the lifespan”...
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