Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

In: Psychology

Submitted By agarcia27
Words 992
Pages 4
Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

Autumn Messina

PSY/ 410

February 18, 2012
Stephen Sharp

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

Over the years abnormal psychology has undergone so many different changes but finding the root of abnormal behaviors has been the one key element to these theories to help treat those suffering from a mental illness. In the paragraphs below there will be discussion about the origins of abnormal psychology and the challenges of defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. An overview of how abnormal psychology has evolved into scientific discipline and how psychosocial, biological/medical, and socioculture models are related to the development of abnormal psychology. Everybody around us is not perfect and we all have some type of misunderstanding about us but with some it is worse than others. Some people have problems with depression to obsession-compulsion and these behaviors would fall under abnormal psychology. For us to understand abnormal psychology we have to know what the meaning of abnormal means. Many of our behaviors follow what is called a normal curve. This curve is shaped like a bell and most individuals are clustered at the highest tip of the curve, which would be considered normal or average. According to Cherry (2012), “people who fall very far at either end of the normal curve might be considered abnormal” (para. 2). Many things in our life can cause stress or disruption, which might trigger abnormal behavior. If we find that our behavior is affecting our personal life and the people around us we may need to get some type of mental health intervention. There are six core concepts that explain to us that abnormal psychology “involves the study of disorders and diagnoses, the field is ultimately about people and ideas” (Hansell & Damour, 2008, pg. 6). Dr. S. Weir...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal Psychology PSY 410 January 30, 2012 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology For many years, various forms of madness have been noted in every culture. Multitudes of theories, as well as some myths, have been developed to explain such conditions. Society’s opinion on what was considered abnormal was based on such phenomenon as paranormal forces, the anger of the gods, the influence of the moon, unstable personality, hereditary factors, and debauchery (Frude, 1998). History shows that theorists continue to develop a variety of theories to explain psychological disorders. These theories usually fall in one of three basic categories: mystical/supernatural (possession of spirits), scientific/medical (biological, imbalances, faulty learning processes, or emotional stressors), and humanitarian (cruelty or inadequate living conditions) (Frude, 1998). Each of these theories and the ongoing advancements in knowledge has been the foundation of the study of abnormal psychology. To comprehend the effort that these aspects of psychology have had in this field of study, it is important to know the origins of abnormal behavior, how this behavior was recognized and treated, how abnormal psychology evolved into a scientific discipline, and the theoretical models related to the development of abnormal psychology. Origins of Abnormal Psychology and the Evolution of the Scientific Approach Abnormal psychology has......

Words: 1163 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Michael Anson Psy 410 Richard Hill February 28, 2013 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology, also known as psychopathology, studies different behaviors against what society deems normal. The study of abnormal psychology attempts to answer why some people’s behaviors are unusual, different, or abnormal. For some, abnormal behavior is due to mental illness, childhood trauma, or chemical imbalances in the brain. Because abnormal psychology has no definite boundaries, it is often a controversial field of psychology. It is an ever-changing field for the last 100 years, but several core concepts remain unchanged in abnormal psychology. Evolution of Abnormal Psychology The core concepts of abnormal psychology that caused the field to evolve into a scientific discipline are: the importance of context in defining abnormality; the continuum between normal and abnormal behavior; cultural and historical relativism in classifying abnormality; diagnosis advantages and limitations; principle of multiple causality; and the mind-body connection (Hansell, 2008). Context is important to understand abnormal behavior. An otherwise normal behavior becomes abnormal when the behavior is out of context. For example, sadness and grieving are normal behaviors when a loved one dies. Sadness and grieving; however, are abnormal if a person displays these behaviors when there is no reason such as death or other......

Words: 783 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Sandra Hall PSY 410 - Abnormal Psychology May 6, 2013 Dr. Kristi Husk Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Psychology is a diverse discipline with many facets. Throughout the years, scientists have developed a variety of disciplines to understand and explain human behavior from their respective fields. One such development is the discipline of abnormal psychology. It is a relatively young discipline and consists of six core concepts. These concepts aid in the diagnosis of abnormal behavior, and includes various theoretical models to help understand psychopathology. The Origins of Abnormal Psychology and Its Evolution into a Scientific Discipline Andrew Colman defines abnormal psychology as “a branch of psychology devoted to the study of the classification, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and disabilities” (Colman, 2009, p. 2). The desire to understand human behavior and (mental) illness dates back to the Ancient Greeks. In 460 BCE, Hippocrates documented his first attempts to understand mental illness. He believed illnesses are the result of an imbalance of various bodily fluids. Hippocrates’ observations led to the development of the very first biological theory of mental illness and emphasized the importance of the observation of the patient’s symptoms rather than relying on religious beliefs (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Hippocrates’ findings began the progress......

Words: 1388 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Abstract The study of psychiatric illnesses, mainly abnormal behaviors can expect that there are no viewpoints considered to have enough resources that insist to have a large amount of time or energy put into the study. Though abnormal illness is a medical model and adopted through the relation of science many believe that abnormality is caused through the brain not working correctly. Many methods do not have a physical cause, but finding the source and how abnormal psychology has developed into a science of ensuring a proper behavior. Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology For hundreds of years Mental illness has been brought up in many conversations with many individuals because there is a fascination regarding why certain individuals behave unusually, as a result many explanations have been developed within each century. Abnormality of an individual’s behavior has been seen as far back as the Stone Age, through writings, and inspection of skulls that were found and believed to have a hole in the forehead, but also believed to be a result of a surgical procedure called trephining. The Egyptians even believed that the cause to this abnormal behavior was to be of demon possession of the body and mind. During the Golden Age of in Greece anxiety and hysteria, as what we refer to as mental conditions, The Greece...

Words: 839 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology PSY 475 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology is the field of science that looks at why people behave in “weird” ways and how to change these behaviors. There are six concepts that are used to understand abnormal psychology the best. They are; the importance of context in defining and understanding abnormality, the continuum between normal and abnormal behavior, cultural and historical relativism in defining and classifying abnormality, the advantages and limitations of diagnosis, the principle of multiple causality, and the connection between mind and body (Hansell & Damour, 2008, pg. 40). Abnormal psychology has changed over time and is still changing every time a new study is conducted. For many years people believed behavior could only be explained by spirits and demons and not science. As science technology increased so did the way that mental illness and abnormal behavior was explained. Abnormal psychology may be a newer science but the interest in how the mind works has been around forever. Origins of Abnormal Psychology Although abnormal psychology has only been around for about 100 years as field of study, people have always been interested in the concepts behind the field. Dating back all the way to prehistoric times, people have interested in understanding the mind. Archeologists have come across skulls with holes drilled in them as far back as 8,000BC, which......

Words: 1067 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Historical Perspective in Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Nicole Theriault PSY/410 October 8, 2012 Dr. Sevet Johnson Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology The study of abnormal behavior has been a topic of debate and profound interest for nearly 100 years. Abnormal psychology outlines the differences between what is considered normal or abnormal behavior among people of all ages and walks of life. Throughout the evolution of abnormal psychology, areas of focus within the discipline have been broken down into six core concepts, which provide for more accurate definition(s) of what is considered to be normal and abnormal behavior in individuals. To fully understand the scope and significance of contemporary abnormal psychology, it is important to understand that psychopathology and its origins has evolved into a scientific discipline and are met with constant challenges to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. The following will discuss the origins of abnormal psychology, how the field has evolved into a scientific discipline in addition to a brief analysis of the psychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models, which directly relate to the development of abnormal psychology. Origins of Abnormal Psychology The science of abnormal psychology is still considered to be relatively young and having only existed for approximately 100 years. However, the presence of psychopathologies among people worldwide has been......

Words: 1459 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Michelle Newland PSY410 July 25, 2011 Jennifer Parsons-Rivera Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology There are periods where it may be acceptable to arrange some terms together by little more than their logical genealogy. Having said that the more uncertain or culturally based the term the more that answer requires a more concise answer and to have a more observable terminology. Abnormal would fall into the category of needing a more concise answer. There are five criteria used to classify abnormality. These criteria would be; help seeking, irrationality, deviance, emotional distress, and significant impairment (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The help seeking, irrationality, and deviance criteria would best be used as indicators rather than actual markers of an abnormality. The last two criteria; emotional distress, and significant impairment are more helpful. This makes them the more preferred diagnostic tool of psychopathology. The criteria perform together as a working explanation which is typically beneficial. The field of abnormal psychology has been around for quite a while, however the clarifications used to define abnormal behavior goes back in time to before Biblical times (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The earliest approach to mental illness said that people with a mental illness were possessed by demons or evil spirits. To exercise these evil spirits holes were drilled into the afflicted person’s skull...

Words: 934 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Week 1 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology PSY-410 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology The best theoretical model incorporates aspects of multiple theories, recognizing that historically, psychology is a very young science, as is the field abnormal psychology. This fledgling scientific field has been developed to aid in understanding the causes of, and treatments for, abnormal behavioral disorders. Although the primary purpose of the science is to benefit those suffering from abnormal behaviors and disorders, some less than beneficial means were employed through the annals of time. Treatments have ranged from torturous procedures to imprisonment to sympathetic therapy occurring before the official formation of psychology. Following the breakaway from philosophy, numerous theorists and treating professionals worked diligently to support and legitimize the science of psychology, improve treatment, and improve supportive practices for those who exhibit abnormal behavior patterns. Origins of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal behavior and treatments have been recognized extensivly throughout history long before the development of psychology as an independent science. During the height of the Greek and Roman civilizations, those with mental illnesses were treated quite well and provided with “baths, exercise, and emotional support” (Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 26). Unlike the original Greek and Roman asylums, patients in the post-Roman era were......

Words: 1553 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Social Psychology Ginger PSY/400 Social Psychology Our behavior is shaped by many influences, some external and some internal. Humans are social creatures meaning that cultural predispositions define our circumstances. Our attitudes and personalities play a significant role in shaping behavior as well, sometimes offsetting, and sometimes reinforcing social pressures. How we think influences our perceptions of the world and how we think influences our perception of others. Also how we think influences our perceptions of ourselves. Social Psychology differs from other related disciplines in that it focuses on “social” aspects of human behaviors, specifically, how people understand, and interact with others. Social Psychology Social psychology is the study of how and why people think, feel, and do the things they do depending upon the situation they are in (Myers, 2010, p. 4). In other words, social psychology focuses on the individual and relies on scientific research to generate theories of social behavior. The world is a dynamic place and the actions of human beings are constantly changing as individuals respond to various events and situations that confront them. Social psychology plays a role in helping to understand better how individuals view themselves and others in various social and cultural contexts. For example, social psychology can help in better understanding how stereotypes are formed, where attitudes...

Words: 988 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Abnormal Psychology

...abnormal psycology Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Jessica University of Phoenix PSY/410 Facilitator: Maria Neely; MA; M.ed. 19 December 2011 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology * There is a fine line when comparing normal and abnormal behavior. What appears to be abnormal is considered normal by others. Abnormal behaviors are defined as psychopathology, which relates to abnormal behavior that can be defined, classified, explains, and treated (Hansell & Damour, 2008). This paper will examine the origins of abnormal psychology, include challenges to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior, provide a brief overview of how abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline, and the last part will analyze the psychosocial, biological/medical, and socio-cultural theoretical models related to the development of abnormal psychology. When assessing a person with a mental health problems looking at factors such as feelings, thoughts, and behaviors can play a very important role. The origins of abnormal behavior......

Words: 743 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Abnormal Psychology

...Abnormal Psychology Roshaun Hatchett PSY/410 April 25, 2012 Dr. Christopher Daub Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology has been in existence for more than a century. Mental illness was approached from a spiritual point of view. Individuals of certain beliefs would misdiagnose others from the spiritual perspective and would assume that evil spirits controlled his or her’s physical, mental, and observable world (Tyrer, 2010). The following will be covered in this document: the origins of abnormal psychology, classification of normal and abnormal behaviors, how abnormal psychology evolved into a scientific discipline, and the theoretical models related to the development of abnormal psychology. The practice of trephination, a procedure that bore holes in a individuals skull to release evil spirits, was taken place in 3000 B.C. in Peru and Bolivia (Tyrer, 2010). Hippocrates was the first to approach abnormal behaviors from a biological perspective. He believed, “When the fluids were out of balance, this was the cause of mental illness” (Tyrer, 2010, para. 6). His theory was considered and almost close to the truth, in time his theory was proven to be inaccurate. Years later, Freud suggested the idea of conscious and subconscious processes to be the explanation of odd behaviors. He continued to suggest ideas from a psychodynamic perspective, but in the end lacked evidence in his theory. Freud’s theory inspired Wilhelm Wundt to elaborate on his theory. He...

Words: 979 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

...Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Ann Bacon Psy/410 Abnormal Psychology October 24, 2011 Kristi Lane University of Phoenix Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology What is abnormal psychology? Abnormal psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with behaviors that are not considered normal as well as psychological phenomena such as dreams and altered mental states, which have not been explained. The goal of this branch of psychology is to understand abnormal behavior as well as to determine how and if the behavior needs to be addressed and to develop a treatment plan that will help individuals. This branch of psychology also recognizes that there are many influences such as environmental influences on psychological development. The goal of many mental health professionals is not to force an individual to achieve normality but to help individuals who struggle with mental and emotional disorders to achieve fulfilling and active lives. However, to completely understand what abnormal psychology is we need to understand the origins of abnormal psychology as well as the challenges of defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. It is also important to understand how abnormal psychology evolved into a scientific discipline as well as the different viewpoints or models of abnormal psychology. The following paragraphs will hopefully help us to completely understand the branch of abnormal psychology. Origins of Abnormal Psychology The field of...

Words: 1738 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Abnormal Psychology

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology focuses on abnormal behavior, its definition, classifications, explanations, and treatment (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Although its history is merely 100 years old, its story is richly textured. During its evolution, decisions regarding areas of focus evolved into six core concepts that enabled a more accurate definition of the field. To fully understand the scope and significance of contemporary abnormal psychology one must consider psychopathology and its origins, its distinct evolution, and the theoretical models of abnormality, which, in their diversity, attempt to treat those suffering from various disorders. Origins of Abnormal Psychology The relatively young science of abnormal psychology has existed for approximately one hundred years although 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). According to this view, mental affliction was associated with possession by an evil or hateful spirit. Archeologists have documented evidence of a treatment called trephination as early as 3000 BCE. This medical procedure......

Words: 1012 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Psy 410 Week 1

...Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Abstract In the following paper, abnormal psychology will be discussed in length. The origins of abnormal psychology will be discussed, including the challenges to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. There will also be a brief overview of how abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline. Finally the biopsychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models, will also be analyzed in relation to the development of abnormal psychology. Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Abnormal psychology, also known as psychopathology, is the subfield of psychology devoted to the study of mental disorders (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The subfield also aims to understand the nature, causes, and treatment of these mental disorders (Pearson Higher Education, 2010). Abnormal psychology has come a long way in regard to how it is defined, viewed, and even treated. There are many challenges when it comes to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. Over time, abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline. When it comes to the development of abnormal psychology, there are many theoretical models in which we can study as well. Origins of Abnormal Psychology It is difficult to define abnormality, and the scientific characterization of abnormality depends on five criteria: help seeking, irrationality/dangerousness, deviance, emotional distress, and......

Words: 1027 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Abnormal Psychology

...PSY/410 - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Week 1: Individual Assignment Instructor: Melda Jones May 2011 The earliest account and confirmation of mental illness were the spiritual approach, which originated from the belief that the supernatural or spirits and gods of an unknown realm has an effect on what happens within their earthly domain. This generated a very distinctive way of explaining mental disorders that stem from the physicians of ancient Greece and Rome, yet there were individuals who took a less animistic approach and viewed the behaviors and actions from a biological and scientific aspect (Hansell, 2008). According to the New World Encyclopedia, abnormal psychology is defined as; “a field devoted to the study of causes of mental dysfunctions” (NWE, 2010). Remarkably, this definition as well as many others is indefinite and very vague giving that this field is about 100 years old. The description of what signifies as being abnormal has fluctuated over time as well as cultures. In addition, individuals in society vary in what they may regard as being normal or abnormal behavior. However, throughout the history of this field, decisions on how to define, classify, and explain what abnormal or normal is has been a very difficult task to do. The reason for such difficulty is because of the awareness that defining abnormality creates certain concrete glitches like individuals......

Words: 794 - Pages: 4