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Abnormal Psychology. An Introduction. What is Abnormal Psychology?. Psychology = “the science of behavior and mental processes.” Define: Science, Behavior, and Mental Processes. Abnormal PSycHOLOGY.

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Abnormal Psychology


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    1. Abnormal Psychology An Introduction

    2. What is Abnormal Psychology? Psychology = “the science of behavior and mental processes.” Define: Science, Behavior, and Mental Processes

    3. Abnormal PSycHOLOGY • Abnormal Psychology = the scientific study of mental or behavioral disorders, diseases, illnesses, dysfunctions, abnormalities, or problems

    4. 3 VoCabTerms to Define “ABNORMAL” Subjective Discomfort: Feelings of anxiety, depression, or emotional distress. NOTE: But people we would consider definitely abnormal may not feel subjective discomfort Example?

    5. VOCAB. Cont. Social Nonconformity: Disobeying societal standards for normal conduct; usually leads to destructive or self-destructive behavior. NOTE: But it doesn’t always. Is being a nonconformist always a disorder? EXAMPLE?

    6. VOCAB Cont. Statistical Abnormality: Having extreme scores on some dimension, such as intelligence, anxiety, or depression. NOTE: But having a numerically rare characteristic isn’t always a disorder Example?

    7. Statistically Abnormal

    8. Two things to consider • Situational Context: Social situation, behavioral setting, or general circumstances in which an action takes place • Cultural Relativity: Judgments are made relative to the values of one’s culture

    9. NORMAL OR ABNORMAL? • Group 1: Gripped by a seizure, Don picks up his manager and hurls her to her death through a window on the 11th floor. • Group 2: Vanessa eats nothing at all for 3 days, then gorges herself on 8 sundaes, vomits, then eats nothing more for 3 days. • Group 3: Carla’s religious beliefs prevent her from wearing make-up or drinking alcohol. Her friends do both

    10. NORMAL OR ABNORMAL? • Group 4: Jack burst into the room, wearing nothing but a bed sheet tied around his waist with a belt. His eyes darted from person to person. Finally, he ran out of the room muttering to himself, “I’ll get you.”

    11. NORMAL OR ABNORMAL • Group 5: Mary is six years old and has always been a handful to manage. She’s noisy and active and never seems to play quietly or sit still. She teases her younger sister and sometimes gets into fights at school. She’s cute and bright, but sometimes is aggressive about getting her own way. She interrupts in class, takes toys away from other children, and would prefer to be playing sports outside rather than reading a book at her desk in school.

    12. NORMAL OR ABNORMAL • Group 6: Elaine became quite distraught when her co-worker and close friend left to train as a nurse-practitioner. Her replacement was “nice enough,” but Elaine feared the new woman would find her boring. At age 21, Elaine has only one other friend, her married sister. At present, Elaine has no social life at all. At work, she eats lunch alone and is viewed by other workers as unfriendly

    13. NORMAL OR ABNORMAL? • Group 7: Bill has been coming to work late this week, and his eyes are puffy and he looks miserable. He tries to work, but he mostly sits at his desk weeping. When you ask him what’s wrong, he says that his wife is leaving him and he doesn’t know if he’ll survive. He feels that his life would be worthless without her.

    14. Three criteria for Abnormality • Maladaptive Behavior: Behavior that makes it difficult to function, to adapt to the environment, and to meet everyday demands • Significant impairment in psychological functioning: Those with mental illness lose the ability to control thoughts, behaviors, or feelings adequately • Atypical behavior: behavior that is not typical of the majority of the population