Abnormal Psychology By Saul McLeodupdated August 05, Abnormal psychology is a division of psychology that studies people who are "abnormal" or "atypical" compared to the members of a given society. The definition of the word abnormal is simple enough but applying this to psychology poses a complex problem:
Abnormal psychology is an academic and applied subfield of psychology involving the scientific study of abnormal experience and behavior as in neuroses, psychoses and mental retardation or with certain incompletely understood states as dreams and hypnosis in order to understand and change abnormal patterns of functioning.
Today, persistent abnormal functioning is often associated with a mental disorder. In general, abnormal psychology studies people who are consistently unable to adapt and function effectively in a variety of conditions.
People have tried to explain and control abnormal behavior for thousands of years. Historically, there have been three main approaches to abnormal behavior: In the supernatural tradition, abnormal behaviors are attributed to agents outside human bodies.
According to this model, abnormal behaviors are caused by demons, spirits, or the influences of moon, planets, and stars. The Ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Hebrews, on the other hand, believed that these evil demons were punishments from God, and advocated exorcism.
By the time of the Greeks and Romans, mental illnesses were thought to be caused by an imbalance of the four humors, leading to draining of fluids from the brain. During the Dark Ages, many Europeans believed that the power of witches, demons, and spirits caused abnormal behaviors.
People with psychological disorders were thought to be possessed by evil spirits that had to be exorcised through religious rituals. If exorcism failed, some authorities advocated steps such as confinement, beating, and other types of torture to make the body uninhabitable by witches, demons, and spirits.
The belief that witches, demons, and spirits are responsible for the abnormal behavior continued into the 15th century. This tradition is still alive today. Some people, especially in the developing countries and some followers of religious sects in the developed countries, continue to believe that supernatural powers influence human behaviors.
However, this tradition has been largely replaced in Western academia by the biological and psychological traditions. In the biological tradition, psychological disorders are attributed to biological causes and in the psychological tradition, disorders are attributed to faulty psychological development and to social context.
The Greek physician Hippocrates, who is considered to be the father of Western medicine, played a major role in the biological tradition.
Hippocrates and his associates wrote the Hippocratic Corpus between and BC, in which they suggested that abnormal behaviors can be treated like any other disease. Hippocrates viewed the brain as the seat of consciousness, emotion, intelligence, and wisdom and believed that disorders involving these functions would logically be located in the brain.
These ideas of Hippocrates and his associates were later adopted by Galen, the Roman physician.
Galen extended these ideas and developed a powerful and influential school of thought with in the biological tradition that extended well into the 18th century.Course Summary Psychology Abnormal Psychology has been evaluated and recommended for 3 semester hours and may be transferred to over 2, colleges and universities.
Abnormal psychology is the branch of psychology that studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion and thought, which may or may not be understood as precipitating a mental disorder.
Although many behaviors could be considered as abnormal, this branch of psychology generally deals with behavior in . The Abnormal Psychology Option in IB Psychology is one of the optional topics and is assessed in the Paper 2 SL and HL examinations.
You can subscribe to the whole of the IB Psychology website or just go straight for the model extended response answers. Abnormal psychology is an academic and applied subfield of psychology involving the scientific study of abnormal experience and behavior (as in neuroses, psychoses and mental retardation) or with certain incompletely understood states (as dreams and hypnosis) in order to understand and change abnormal patterns of functioning.
The psychodynamic explanation for phobias assumes that abnormal behaviour such as phobias is the product of some form of inner conflict.
The psychodynamic perspective regards the abnormal behaviour as the symptom – not the cause of the problem.
Behaviour is considered to be only the expression of. Abnormal psychology is the study of abnormal thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Abnormal thoughts, feelings and behaviors may or may not be part of a larger mental illness, or psychopathology.