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Ultimately, each society selects general criteria for defining abnormality and then uses those criteria to judge particular cases. Societies, he is convinced, invent the concept of mental illness so that they can better control or change people whose unusual patterns of functioning upset or threaten the social order.

Even if we assume that psychological abnormality is a valid concept and that it can indeed be defined, we may be unable to apply our definition consistently. If a behavior—excessive use of alcohol among college students, say—is familiar enough, the society may fail to recognize that it is deviant, distressful, dysfunctional, and dangerous.

Thousands of college students throughout the United States are so dependent on alcohol that it interferes with their personal and academic lives, causes them great discomfort, jeopardizes their health, and often endangers them and the people around them. Yet their problem often goes unnoticed, certainly undiagnosed, by college administrators, other students, and health professionals.

Research in psychology pdf

Alcohol is so much a part of the college subculture that it is easy to overlook drinking behavior that has become abnormal. Conversely, a society may have trouble distinguishing between an abnormality that requires intervention and an eccentricity, or marked individuality, with which others have no right to interfere. From time to time we see or hear about people who behave in ways we consider strange, such as a man who lives alone with two dozen cats and rarely talks to other people.

The behavior of such people is deviant, and it may well be distressful and dysfunctional, yet many professionals think of it as eccentric rather than abnormal see Box 1—2 on the next page.

In short, while we may agree to define psychological abnormalities as patterns of functioning that are deviant, distressful, dysfunctional, and sometimes dangerous, we should be clear that these criteria are often vague and subjective. When is a pattern of behavior deviant, distressful, dysfunctional, and dangerous enough to be considered abnormal?

The question may be impossible to answer. Few of the current categories of abnormality that we will meet in this book are as clear-cut as they may seem, and most continue to be debated by clinicians.

For example, the researcher David Weeks studied 1, eccentrics over a year period and was able to pinpoint 15 characteristics common to them. Weeks suggests that eccentrics do not typically suffer from mental disorders. Whereas the unusual behavior of persons with mental disorders is thrust Gamma Liaison Gary Holloway, an environmental planner in San Francisco, keeps a veritable stable of hobbyhorses.

He is also fascinated by Martin Van Buren. He discovered that Van Buren was the only U. Holloway is a lifelong devotee of St. Francis of Assisi, and frequently dresses in the habit of a Franciscan monk. But how can we separate a psychologically healthy person who has unusual habits from a person whose oddness is a symptom of psychopathology?

For years, little research was done on eccentrics, but some recent studies and Eccentricity takes a break Gene Pool, a year-old carpenter, journeys repeatedly around New York City wearing an outfit made of empty cans.

The reason? To make a statement about the need for recycling and to be noticed. Here he rests for a while on a city park bench.

What Is Treatment? Once clinicians decide that a person is indeed suffering from some form of psychological abnormality, they seek to treat it.

For clinical scientists, the problem is closely related to defining abnormality.

Consider the case of Bill: February: He cannot leave the house; Bill knows that for a fact. Home is the only place where he feels safe—safe from humiliation, danger, even ruin. If he were to go to work, his co-workers would somehow reveal their contempt for him. If he were to go shopping at the store, before long everyone would be staring at him.

He dare not even go for a walk alone in the woods—his heart would probably start racing again, bringing him to his knees and leaving him breathless, incoherent, and unable to get home. Also called therapy. The gang meets for Abnormal Psychology: Past and Present upon them and usually causes them suffering, eccentricity is chosen freely and provides pleasure.

Similarly, the thought processes of eccentrics are not severely disrupted, and they do not leave the person dysfunctional. In fact, Weeks found that eccentrics actually had fewer emotional problems than the general population. The eccentrics in his study also seemed physically healthier than others, visiting a doctor only once every eight years on average. Weeks concludes that most eccentrics, despite their deviant behavior— perhaps even because of it—are happy, well-adjusted, and joyful people.

The first 5 are the most definitive, but possessing any 10 may qualify a person as an eccentric. They go to movies, restaurants, and shows together. Bill looks forward to work each day and his one-on-one dealings with customers.

He is enjoying life and basking in the glow of his many activities and relationships. Yet most of his symptoms had disappeared by July. Friends and family members may have offered support or advice. A new job or vacation may have lifted his spirits.

Perhaps he changed his diet or started to exercise. Any or all of these things may have been useful to Bill, but they could not be considered treatment, or therapy. Those terms are usually reserved for special, systematic procedures that are designed to help people overcome their psychological difficulties. According to the clinical theorist Jerome Frank, all forms of therapy have three essential features: 1.


A sufferer who seeks relief from the healer. A trained, socially accepted healer, whose expertise is accepted by the sufferer and his or her social group. He also tried to teach his dog how to talk. Lawrence enjoyed removing his clothes and climbing mulberry trees.

Frank, , pp. They are not in agreement as to what constitutes a successful outcome of their work.

They cannot agree as to what constitutes a failure. It seems as though the field is completely chaotic and divided. Others see abnormality as a problem in living and therapists as teachers of more functional behavior and thought. Despite their differences, most clinicians do agree that large numbers of people need therapy of one kind or another. In any given year as many as 30 percent of the adults and 20 percent of the children and adolescents in the United States display serious psychological disturbances and are in need of clinical treatment Narrow et al.

Add to these figures as many as , suicide attempts, , rapes, and 3 million cases of child abuse each year, and it becomes apparent that abnormal psychological functioning is a pervasive problem in this country. The numbers and rates in other countries are similarly high. Furthermore, most people go through periods of extreme tension, demoralization, or other forms of psychological discomfort in their lives and at such times experience at least some of the distress associated with psychological disorders.

It is tempting to conclude that unique characteristics of the modern world are responsible for these numerous emotional problems—perhaps rapid technological change, the growing threats of terrorism, or a decline in religious, family, or other support systems Schumaker, Although the special pressures of modern life probably do contribute to psychological dysfunctioning, they are hardly its primary cause.

Historical records demonstrate that every society, past and present, has witnessed psychological abnormality. Perhaps, then, the proper place to begin our examination of abnormal behavior and treatment is in the past. As we look back, we can see how each society has struggled to understand and treat psychological problems, and we can observe that many present-day ideas and treatments have roots in the past.

A look backward makes it clear that progress in the understanding and treatment of mental disorders has hardly been a steady movement forward. In fact, many of the inadequacies and controversies that mark the clinical field today parallel those of the past. At the same time, looking back can help us to appreciate the significance of recent breakthroughs and the importance of the journey that lies ahead.

Abnormal Psychology: Past and Present 9 Most of our knowledge of prehistoric societies has been acquired indirectly and is based on inferences made from archaeological discoveries. Any conclusions are at best tentative and are always subject to revision in the face of new discoveries.

Thus our knowledge of how ancient societies viewed and treated people with mental disturbances is limited. Most historians believe that prehistoric societies regarded abnormal behavior as the work of evil spirits.

These early societies apparently explained all phenomena as resulting from the actions of magical, sometimes sinister beings who controlled the world.

In particular, they viewed the human body and mind as a battleground between external forces of good and evil. This supernatural view of abnormality may have begun as far back as the Stone Age, a half-million years ago. Some skulls from that period recovered in Europe and South America show evidence of an operation called trephination, in which a stone instrument, or trephine, was used to cut away a circular section of the skull. Historians surmise that this operation was performed as a treatment for severe abnormal behavior—either hallucinations, in which people saw or heard things not actually present, or melancholia, characterized by extreme sadness and immobility.

The purpose of opening the skull was to release the evil spirits that were supposedly causing the problem Selling, In recent decades, some historians have questioned whether Stone Age people actually believed that evil spirits caused abnormal behavior. Either way, later societies clearly did attribute abnormal behavior to possession by demons.

Egyptian, Chinese, and Hebrew writings all account for psychological deviance this way. The Bible, for example, describes how an evil spirit from the Lord affected King Saul and how David feigned madness in order to convince his enemies that he was visited by divine forces.

The treatment for abnormality in these early societies was often exorcism. A shaman, or priest, might recite prayers, plead with the evil spirits, insult them, perform magic, make loud noises, or have the person drink bitter potions.

History of psychology

If these techniques failed, the shaman performed a more extreme form of exorcism, such as whipping or starving the person. Heading the list were melancholia, a condition marked by unshakable sadness; mania, a state of euphoria and frenzied activity; dementia, a general intellectual decline; hysteria, the presence of a physical ailment with no apparent physical cause; delusions, blatantly false beliefs; and hallucinations, the experience of imagined sights or sounds as if they were real.

Although demonological interpretations of mental and physical illness were still widespread, philosophers and physicians began to offer alternative explanations during this period. Hippocrates — B. He saw abnormal behavior as a disease arising from internal physical problems. Specifically, he believed that some form of brain pathology was the culprit and that it resulted—like all other forms of disease, in his view—from an imbalance of four fluids, or humors, that flowed through the body: yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm.

An excess of yellow bile, for example, caused mania; an excess of black bile was the source of melancholia. To treat psychological dysfunctioning, Hippocrates sought to correct the underlying John W. Verano Ancient Views and Treatments Expelling evil spirits The two holes in this skull recovered from ancient times indicate that the person underwent trephination, possibly for the purpose of releasing evil spirits and curing mental dysfunctioning.

Zentralbibliothek, Zurich chapter 1 Zentralbibliothek, Zurich 10 Humors in action Hippocrates believed that imbalances of the four humors affected personality. In these depictions of two of the humors, yellow bile left drives a husband to beat his wife, and black bile right leaves a man melancholic and sends him to bed.

He believed, for instance, that the excess of black bile underlying melancholia could be reduced by a quiet life, a vegetable diet, temperance, exercise, celibacy, and even bleeding. Fewer than 5 percent had medical degrees Whitaker, And with the decline of Rome, demonology enjoyed a strong resurgence, as a growing distrust of science spread throughout Europe.

From A. In those days the church rejected scientific forms of investigation, and it controlled all education. These include an adolescent male who had a strong fetishistic interest in the exhaust pipes of cars, a young man with a similar interest in a specific type of car, and a man who had a paraphilic interest in sneezing both his own and the sneezing of others.

The DSM-I included sexual deviation as a personality disorder of sociopathic subtype. The only diagnostic guidance was that sexual deviation should have been "reserved for deviant sexuality which [was] not symptomatic of more extensive syndromes, such as schizophrenic or obsessional reactions". The specifics of the disorder were to be provided by the clinician as a "supplementary term" to the sexual deviation diagnosis; there were no restrictions in the DSM-I on what this supplementary term could be.

The types of sexual deviations listed in the DSM-II were: sexual orientation disturbance homosexuality , fetishism, pedophilia, transvestitism sic , exhibitionism, voyeurism, sadism, masochism, and "other sexual deviation". No definition or examples were provided for "other sexual deviation", but the general category of sexual deviation was meant to describe the sexual preference of individuals that was "directed primarily toward objects other than people of opposite sex, toward sexual acts not usually associated with coitus , or toward coitus performed under bizarre circumstances, as in necrophilia, pedophilia, sexual sadism, and fetishism.

It also provided seven nonexhaustive examples of NOS paraphilias, which besides zoophilia included telephone scatologia , necrophilia, partialism , coprophilia , klismaphilia , and urophilia. DSM-IV-TR names eight specific paraphilic disorders exhibitionism , fetishism , frotteurism , pedophilia , sexual masochism , sexual sadism , voyeurism , and transvestic fetishism , plus a residual category, paraphilia—not otherwise specified.

For more information and instructions, also f Condition is Acceptable. Comer by Gregory Comer; Ronald J. Comer PB Good. Comer A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. The spine may show signs By Ronald J.

Comer published by Worth Publishers Macmillan Learning. God Bless! There are some scratches, however, it has never been used and the importance is that the code is there and will work.

Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscureOnce clinicians decide that a person is indeed suffering from some form of psychological abnormality, they seek to treat it. Several scientists believed that Mesmer was inducing a trancelike state in his patients and that this state was causing their symptoms to disappear.

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Consider the case of Bill: February: He cannot leave the house; Bill knows that for a fact. In simple words psychology is a systematic and scientific study of mental processes, experiences and behaviors - both overt and covert. CRP aims to strengthen global dialog within psychology, increase communication among different areas of psychology, and foster collaborative This chapter describes a research methodology that we believe has much to offer social psychologists in- terested in a multimethod approach: Jung insisted on an empirical psychology on which theories must be based on facts and not on the psychologist's projections or expectations.

Even today many institutions and people believe that behavior is affected by the phases of the moon. The DSM-I included sexual deviation as a personality disorder of sociopathic subtype. You can say that it reveals the roadmap of your thesis.

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