Psychology 100

Topics: Psychology, Abnormal psychology, Personality psychology, Projective test, Mental disorder / Pages: 2 (365 words) / Published: Apr 13th, 2014
Several criteria exist for defining a psychological disorder. Sometimes a person needs to meet only one criterion to be diagnosed as having a psychological disorder. In other cases, more than one of the following criteria may be met:
Violation of cultural standards behavior

Example: Ted’s delusion that he is a prophet causes him to stand at street corners lecturing people about the morality of their behavior.
Exhibition of behavior harmful to self or others

Example: Bethanne’s excessive use of alcohol makes her unable to hold down a job.
Experiencing distress

Example: David suffers from chronic and painful anxiety.

Model of Psychological Disorders

Psychologists use different conceptual models for understanding, describing, and treating psychological disorders.

The Medical Model

The medical model is a way of describing and explaining psychological disorders as if they are diseases. Many terms used to discuss psychological disorders come from the medical model. Diagnosis refers to the process of distinguishing among disorders. Etiology refers to the cause or origin of a disorder. Prognosis refers to a prediction about the probable course and outcome of a disorder.

Critics argue that this model is not suitable for describing psychological problems. They say that psychological problems are not illnesses but rather behaviors and experiences that are morally or socially deviant.

The Vulnerability-Stress Model

The vulnerability-stress model states that psychological disorders result from an interaction between biological and environmental factors. According to this model, individuals who have a biological vulnerability to a particular disorder will have the disorder only if certain environmental stressors are present.

The Learning Model

The learning model theorizes that psychological disorders result from the reinforcement of abnormal behavior.

The Psychodynamic Model

The psychodynamic model states that

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