• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How can we explain abnormality?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Annabelle Dunford S12 Psychology How can we explain abnormality? A number of approaches are needed when trying to explain abnormality, as a simple definition saying that you deviate from what is socially acceptable or ?normal? is not enough to fully diagnose a person with it. It is also the failure to function adequately and a deviation from the desirable mental health state. Therefore, drawing the line to what is regarded ?normal? or ?abnormal? behaviour is not an easy task as it needs different views on how to say when a type of behaviour is going against whole societies shared values. There are four main approaches used when trying to understand the cause for abnormality. The first is the biological (medical) model, and the others are what Freud was the first to suggest, that psychological factors which includes the cognitive, the psychodynamic and the behavioural models were the cause to abnormal behaviour. The biological model of abnormality assumes that mental disorders should be treated with medication as they are regarded as physical illnesses which have come from physical problems. ...read more.

Middle

Is Daisy abnormal? Bella rarely talks to anyone because she has always found being with people and having to communicate with them very difficult. Is Bella abnormal? Case four: Raphael becomes aware of his loud heart beat and must grip the handle of his tennis racket very tightly when about to receive serve. Is Raphael abnormal? This is quite a common reaction and I would mostly associate this with the behavioural model as Raphael is becoming anxious and has developed a fear from the association of knowing the importance of receiving serve. This looks like classical conditioning as Raphael is not aware of his loud heart beat on just one serve, but on all he feels the need to grip the tennis rackets handle, so his response is generalised to other similar situations. Operant conditioning also comes into play here as if he misses the serve, his behaviour would result in him feeling let down and negative. Evaluation: evaluate the extent to which you agree with their perspective on abnormality and come to a personal conclusion. ...read more.

Conclusion

The behavioural approach: this approach claims that all behaviour, including abnormal behaviour, is learned. It?s believed that old behaviours can be ?unlearned? ? treatment of abnormal behaviour is based on this. This suggests that we are born with a ?blank canvas? and that any abnormal behaviour learnt is the consequence of the behaviour learned from the environment around us. This happens in three ways, through classical conditioning, social learning/ imitation and operant conditioning. The cognitive approach: this approach puts abnormality down to irrational and negative thoughts. So, as you can probably guess, treatment focuses on changing the way a person thinks about things. 1. Deviation from social norms ? limitations = changes with time; who decides on the norm, role of context, culturally specific. 2. Failure to function adequately ? limitations = who decides on what is adequate; distinction between maladaptive and abnormal 3. Deviation from ideal mental health ? limitations = difficult to achieve many of the criteria; culturally specific e.g. personal autonomy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the main approaches - Biological and Behaviourist, biological and cognitive, ...

    4 star(s)

    by forces that we cannot change nor have any control over. The behaviourist approach explains that behaviour is influenced exclusively by classical and operant conditioning. Therefore we are predetermined to develop a phobia if we have had a negative association with it.

  2. Outline and Evaluate the Biological, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Explanations of Abnormality

    likely to have a child who will also suffer with the illness than a family with no history of the disorder. However, it is possible that environment factors, not genetic factors, will be the cause of a psychological disorder. If generations of the family stick to the same principle traditions

  1. Consider the Problems Faced by Psychologists in the Definition of Abnormality

    Similarly although occurrence of depression in Western cultures is high, in Asian cultures it is unexpectedly low. Rack (1982) saw that actually the frequency rates of depression are roughly equal; however Asians believe that doctors are only to be approached regarding physical illness, not mental illness.

  2. Defining abnormality

    the patients' behavioural symptoms rather than on the underlying cause of the disorder, which is a key criticism of this approach. For example, a Freudian might say that the symptoms may have been cured but the cause still remains in the client's unconscious mind, only to resurface again in the future, only in a different way.

  1. Describe and evaluate the concepts of abnormal behaviour When we talk about abnormal behaviour ...

    walking around naked is not socially accepted yet entire organisations are dedicated to that vary pursuit and for them walking around with clothes on goes against the social norm. So in this instance who is it that is mentally abnormal, the person who feels confident enough in their own

  2. The contents of this essay will explain different psychological approaches to health and social ...

    that have happened previously or may happen in the future, about things they have engaged in or may do, and about whether their environment is a safe or unsafe place. (Stretch et al, 2010) Shyness is a common category of mild fear ? if it is minor, it may not be significantly impactful on an individuals life.

  1. Level 2 Counselling skills. Theories -CBT, Psychodynamic and Person Centred.

    Uses 3 core conditions (UPR, Empathy and Congruence) to let the client direct the self- healing process. 3. Counsellors incorporate the core conditions into their way of being as people. 4. Conditions of Worth ? cause blocks to self-actualisation.

  2. EVALUATE THE MEDICAL MODEL AND THE BEHAVIOURAL MODEL OF ABNORMALITY

    Chronic stress has been attributed to high levels of cortisol produced by the adrenal cortex. The fourth possible cause that the biological model addresses is that of environmental factors. Whilst the biological model focuses on internal biological processes it does not ignore the possibility of the environment be it physical or natural, playing a role in abnormality.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work