Historical perspectives of abnormal psychology

Darkness has a more logical antecedent, which is absence of light. It is sometimes more important to classify some terms in a more logical antecedent. However, there are some terms that are more culturally predicated, such as abnormal. This term needs an explanation that is more observable and concise terminology instead of just stating the opposite term (i. e. normal). There are five criteria at can characterize abnormality: 1) help seeking; 2) irrationality/dangerousness; 3) deviance; 4) emotional distress and; 5) significant impairment (Damour & Hansell, 2008).

Criteria one, two, and three are more indicators or correlates instead of being directly linked markers for the term abnormality, because of their circumstantial nature. However, four and five are more functional for scientific reason and preferred over the other three as diagnostic tools of psychopathology. Significant impairment and emotional distress may not be a major part of psychopathology, it does occur with psychopathology at times. All the criteria together make a definition that works from a clinical point but is not useable in every situation.

There must be an in depth understanding of psychopathology origin and how abnormal psychology was developed in order to comprehend modern-day abnormal psychology. Origins Abnormal Psychology has been around for more than 100 years as a scientific discipline. However, in explaining abnormal behavior the understanding goes past Biblical history (Damour & Hansell, 2008). The animistic/spiritual approach is the earliest understanding of mental illnesses; this was a belief that the spirit world could affect the observable world.

With this belief came trepidation, this is a practice to where holes where made in a person’s skull so that the evil spirit would leave the body. This practice was being done around 3000 B. C. in places like Bolivia and Peru. It was also being done in civilizations like pre-Hispanic Aztec and Incan (Shieff, Smith, & Wadley, 1997). Around 460 B. C. a man called Hippocrates that proposed more of a biological reasoning for abnormal behavior. He believed that there had to be an imbalance of four fluids that are known as humors. The four fluids are yellow bile, phlegm, black bile, and blood.

This theory was flawed but it did state a more scientific evaluation of abnormal behavior instead of spiritual forces. From the foundation that Hippocrates set the scientific discipline of psychopathology was formed and it started ideas to be formed in order to understand abnormal behavior. Development into a Scientific Discipline Hysteria, also known as conversion disorder, was first diagnosed and prescribed by the ancient Greeks. There were four symptoms known for hysteria and they were loss of sensation, confusion, pains and ailments, and confusion.

Neurological damage is known to follow those kinds of symptoms, but there was no neurological damage found to explain the physical symptoms. Hysteria was known to be found more in females and it also changed parts of the body in had an effect on. Understanding this, Greek physicians were able to hypothesize that the uterus would move in the body and that is caused the fluids to be blocked. Sigmund Freud later developed the systematic theory of psychodynamics around 1896 in Vienna which was able to explain psychological components that came from hysteria (Damour & Hansell, 2008).

After doing many case studies Freud had the idea that there was a conflict between conscious and subconscious and that it was the explanation for all the symptoms that was found involved with hysteria. However, there was a lack of scientific evidence for the psychodynamic perspective but Freud was able to give abnormal psychology the first comprehensive theory of psychopathology. Later in 1879 Wilhelm Wundt set up the very first psychological laboratory in Leipzip Germany. This laboratory made it possible to start understanding the scientific reasoning behind the causes of psychological dysfunction.

Along came the American Psychological Associate or APA in 1892 by G. Stanley Hall, then the first manual for diagnosing mental disorders in 1952, known as DSM-I (Anthony & Goldstein, 1988). This manual gave a helping hand to clinicians and researchers by categorizing the diagnostic for each mental disorder and it also set criteria for the diagnosis. Last important step in abnormal psychology that brought it to life as a concrete concern of scientific discovery was the clinic opening up in 1892 at the University of Pennsylvania by Lightner Wittmer.

Models of Psychology The first psychologist to develop a theory on psychosocial was Erik Erikson. Erikson believed that there were eight tasks that would establish if there was healthy development or dysfunctional development. These eight tasks were industry, productivity, independence, trust, intimacy, integrity, individuality, and enterprise. Erikson believed that each stage was epigenetic and that one stage has to be completed before a person can move to the next stage (Damour & Hansell, 2008).

At this point an issue starts to form within abnormal psychology because if a stage in not completed then a person cannot move forward and mental illness becomes the end factor. However, within the current DSM there is an area just for psychosocial and environmental problems that can cause mental illnesses, such as financial, legal system, social environment, troubles with the primary support group, work, health care services, schooling, environmental, and lodging. The next model is the biological/medical and it takes into account the bio-chemical functioning of the brain and then what happens to person’s body physically.

The biological/medical model involves injury, hormone imbalance, disease, genetic abnormalities, and neurochemical disturbances (Damour & Hansell, 2008). Only physical components are used in the biological/medical model, which means researchers are trying to explain abnormal psychology in a material form. However, the biological/medical model is not blind to the understanding the social considerations do have the ability to affect biological mechanisms. Basically, this model gives little understanding to abnormal behavior because social factors have a stronger influence.

Sociocultural is the last model and it suggested that social and cultural factors explain abnormal behavior. This model is focused on the influences that come from a large social and cultural factor that has an effect on individual functioning (Damour & Hansell, 2008). An example would be emphasizes that sociocultural psychologists have put on unemployment, poverty, and discrimination and the role it plays on criminal behavior. However, there are psychologists that believe the idea of mental disorder is fully based on forces of societal conformity.

More than anything this model believes that learning is mostly done within the works of social and cultural ideals, stresses, and pressures. The sociocultural model has been able to add context and causality to the field of abnormal psychology. Conclusion Abnormal psychology started with a foundation made by spiritual explanations and later on a biological factor was suggested by the Greek physician Hippocrates. However, around 1896 Freud was able to explain psychopathology by suggesting there would be a conflict between conscious and subconscious forces which caused mental illnesses.

Next were the psychological laboratory, clinic, APA, and the DSM. Freud’s psychodynamic theory is what molded abnormal psychology into a field of psychology and scientific discipline. Also, the models really helped break down aspects of abnormal psychology. Psychosocial and Sociocultural models were the most helping in explaining abnormal behavior because they understood more of the environment then the biological/medical model; it was more focused on the physical and bio-chemicals of the brain.

References Anthony, R. N. , Goldstein, W. N. (1988). The diagnosis of depression and the DSMs. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 42(2), 180-196. Retrieved February 21, 2010, from Medline Database. Hansell, J. , & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal psychology (2nd ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Shieff, C. , Smith, G. T. & Wadley, J. P. (1997). Self-trephination of the skull with an electric power drill. British Journal Of Neurosurgery, 11(2), 156-158. Retrieved February 20, 2010, from Medline Database.

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 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 …

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal PsychologyAbnormal psychology has never been simple to define due to the many challenges. From the origins of abnormal psychology, scientific discipline, and theoretical models related to abnormal psychology there are many areas that need to be …

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal PsychologyAbnormal psychology has never been simple to define due to the many challenges. From the origins of abnormal psychology, scientific discipline, and theoretical models related to abnormal psychology there are many areas that need to be …

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