Brandi Writing Assignment 2

Topics: Psychology, Psychiatry, Mental disorder Pages: 9 (1892 words) Published: April 25, 2015

Writing Assignment #2
Brandi Westmoreland
Abnormal Psychology
January 15, 2014
Mr. Richey

Writing Assignment #2
1. The four criteria that are used to define abnormal behavior are deviance, distress, dysfunction, and danger. Deviance is when there are thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that are different from what society deems as “normal” (Comer, 2011). This is known in abnormal psychology as deviance. When one’s behavior, thoughts, ideas and emotions reach a point at which they cause distress to an individual they are considered abnormal (Comer, 2011). When one’s behavior reaches a point at which they are not able to function properly, or when their daily functioning is hindered, this then becomes dysfunctional (Comer, 2011). Danger reaches a point when an individual’s behavior becomes dangerous to themselves or also to others (Comer, 2011). Comer, R. J. (2011). Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). New York , NY: Worth Publishers. 2. Each society has their own set of what is considered normal for that culture. These are beliefs or morals that are considered “normal”. It is hard to define what is “normal” and abnormal at times though because what may be considered normal for some clinicians may seem abnormal to others. I think that a lot of it has to do with interpretation. Yes, abnormality is universal, but the way in which it is interpreted is where the variation lies. An example of this would be in different cultures, the way in which psychological distress is described varies. When one thinks about disorders, schizophrenia is a disorder that all cultures are affected by, whereas taking ones life by committing suicide is considered abnormal, while in certain cultures when one commits suicide they are hailed as a martyr. Abnormal Psychology Over Time. (n.d. ). Retrieved from 3. The history of demonological approach to abnormal behavior came into play when there became a distrust in science back in the Middle Ages. The religious beliefs of people were also questioned, which then allowed for the demonological approach to dominate people’s lives. It was also during this time period that there were many people that started to believe in false beliefs, which caused large amounts of chaos. Due to the fact that this time period dealt with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, abnormal behavior became greater. According to Comer (2011), the cure was to perform exorcisms for the abnormal behavior (p.8). It was not until the Middle Ages were over that demonology seemed to lose the power that it had. Comer, R. J. (2011). Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). New York , NY: Worth Publishers. 4. The development of treatment centers started during the Renaissance period. It was in Europe that the first places that people were treated for mental disorders were at religious shrines. Then people with disorders were treated in people’s homes, where they were provided a loving environment, much like that of a foster home. There were a few mental hospitals, but it was during the mid-sixteenth century that these homes were not enough to house the people that needed to be in them. According to Comer (2011), these hospitals and homes were too small and too few (p.9). Due to the need for more places to treat people, hospitals and monasteries were turned into asylums. These asylums were institutions that were in place to treat the mentally ill. The asylums had good intentions of providing great care and treating patients, but due to overcrowding and a much bigger need for them, these asylums quickly turned into more of a jail environment, where patients were severely mistreated. By the 1850’s, there were a number of mental hospitals. These hospitals at first treated patients with good care, but that was quickly lost and hospitalization was right back where we started, which was...

References: Abnormal Psychology Over Time. (n.d. ). Retrieved from amplechapter/0205765319.pdf
American Psychological Association. (2014). Retrieved from
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