Abnormal Psychology

Topics: Abnormal psychology, Mental disorder, Psychology, Medicine / Pages: 3 (843 words) / Published: May 20th, 2014
Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
Maci Judd
Psy/410
Barbara Burt
April 8, 2014

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
The task of defining abnormality is not a simple one. The biggest difficulty in this task is the fact that what may be normal to me, could be completely abnormal to you. The reasons for different opinions on normality could be related to age, gender, economic class, culture, religion, and many more. For example if I were to say that at my job “Jack soiled himself and was in need of a complete outfit change”, you would most likely assume that Jack is an infant or toddler, not my manager right? This example would demonstrate the idea that age can affect whether particular incidents are normal or abnormal. Abnormal psychology focuses on the definition, classification, explanation, and treatment of abnormal behavior (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The science of abnormal psychology has gone through an always changing evolution in its one hundred year old history. Areas of focus evolved into six core concepts that enabled a more accurate definition of the field. Understanding the origins of psychopathology is of major significance to understand the full scope of abnormal psychology. Abnormal psychology attempts to treat those suffering from various disorders through the theoretical models of abnormality and distinct evolution. Even though the science of abnormal psychology is relativity young many forms of mental illness have been recorded throughout history. Stories from biblical times describe suffering similar to contemporary illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia (Bark, 1988; Kahn, 1975, as cited by Hansell & Damour, 2008). One of the earliest known explanations for mental illness in primitive cultures was animism, predicated on belief in the power of the spirit world (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Animism is the view that mental issues were associated with the possession by a

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