Historical perspectives of abnormal psychology

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 taken in consideration when examining the field of abnormal psychology. Abnormal psychology which is known as psychopathology, is the subfield of psychology devoted to the study of mental disorders (Hansell, 2008).

Due to abnormal psychology being able to be a vast majority of many different illnesses, it is unable to be defined solely with one definition. Abnormal psychology has also changed numerous times over the 100 years it has been in existence, which explains why there are challenges in defining and classifying normal and abnormal psychology. In order to properly define and classify abnormal psychology one must know what the core concepts of Abnormal psychology are, and the criteria in classifying it as well.

The core concepts of abnormal psychology are to understand the importance of the context in defining what is abnormal.

Generally the circumstances surrounding the behavior of an individual helps to identify what behavior would be normal or abnormal, the context in which it occurs such as gender, age, class, or culture. The Continuum between the normal and abnormal psychology help us to understand the appropriateness of an attitude, or emotion, what is normal or exaggerated. These concepts make it challenging to classify an individual as mentally if it is normal for that specific gender, age, or culture.

Cultural and historical relativism makes it challenging, because whatmay be consid ered abnormal to one culture could be completely normal within another. These are important factors that cannot be ignored, and play major roles in defining and classifying abnormal psychology. Mental Illness cannot just be labeled by one or two observational matters, there are many advantages and limitations. Diagnostic categories are used specifically to study, and treat mental illness, to test its reliability, and validity through a system known as the DSM-IV-TR.

The principle of multiple casualty help to not over simplify the cause but to understand the precipitating causeswhic are triggers and predisposed causes which are the underlying issues within that cause the triggers. Understanding that this keeps reductionism, and that eliminates using a simple idea or one perspective to explain a disorder. Psychology slowly began to evolve into a scientific discipline as we know the mind and body are connected, which is one of the core concepts as well. Emotional experiences alter brain chemistry, and brain chemistry is in turn the basis of emotional experiences (Hansell, 2008).

The Greek philosopher Hippocrates placed his emphases on chemical imbalances within the brain. The concepts before were theories as to biological and psychological paradigm is broader than a theory. These paradigms include all the theories but focus on the physical causes of mental disorders. Psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral perspectives are all a part of this paradigm.

The biological/medical perspectives focus on physical structures and biochemical functions which contribute to abnormal psychology. Abnormalities in the brain can be genetically inherited, caused by brain injuries, physical injury and could cause brain damage, and this in turn causes behavioral damage. The paradigm shift became the progress of scientific progress.

Psychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models all work and correlate with one another in the development of abnormal psychology. The central nervous system is taken into consideration when it comes to abnormal psychology considering it is the core of brain function.

Our nervous system and brain development all play a major part in any of the theoretical models, emotions, and how it can particularly alter any of these areas. 1 / 2 The challenges exist but because there are many concepts, and theories that are available in abnormal psychology it provides what is necessary to properly diagnose someone.

The DSM-IV-TR helps to identify the mental illness, and treat the illnesses this makes up abnormal psychology. Hansell, J. , & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal Psychology (2nd ed. ). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.


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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