Essentials of Abnormal Psychology
Chapter 1 Summary
Psychopathology is a field of psychology that focuses on the scientific study of psychological disorders. Psychological disorders can be defined into three specific abnormalities. First is a psychological dysfunction. A psychological dysfunction is a cognitive, emotional or behavioral breakdown in function. The text uses an example of a 16-year-old girl who faints at the sight of blood (Durand & Barlow, 2010). Second, a psychological disorder can be associated with the person becoming very upset and emotionally distressed and entering the manic state of abnormal behavior. However, some individuals actually enjoy being in the manic state of abnormal behavior, which is why there are more concepts into defining a psychological disorder. Third, a psychological disorder can be considered abnormal because it occurs infrequently; some sort of behavior that occurs out of the social norms. In order to seek professional mental help for specific abnormalities, one would seek a trained professional such as Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Psychiatric social workers. For example, clinical and counseling Psychologist studies at the graduate level for 5 years. This enables them to qualify to conduct research and prepare treatment of they specific types of psychological disorders. Psychiatrists must earn a M.D degree and study psychiatry training in order for them to investigate the causes and reasoning behind psychological disorders and later recommends treatment. These particular professionals can also become scientist- practitioners.
Scientist- practitioners use the scientific method and research scientific data to evaluate and expand their work. The three basic categories that Scientist-practitioners research falls under are clinical description, causation and treatment/outcome. The text defines Clinical Description