• 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

    Biochemistry is involved in the balance of essential chemicals in the brain, and the way in which neurotransmitters work. Hormones (a secreted substance stimulating a target organ of the body) may also have an effect on the brain and the presence of a psychological disorder.

  1. Psychological Abnormality

    First of all is how the prospect of avoiding pregnancy applies to only females and offers no explanation for male anorectics. Secondly, there is no explanation for the occurrence of this disorder after the onset of puberty. The behavioural model explains anorexia nervosa as a phobia (i.e.

  2. Eating disorders

    Bemis-Vitousek and Orimoto (1993) pointed out the kind of faulty cognitions that are typical in people with anorexia. e.g. a common cognition is that dieting is a means of exerting self-control, but at the same time most people with anorexia are aware that they are out of control because they can't stop dieting, even though they know it is threatening their life.

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

    In fact you could even argue that someone who steals food because they can't afford anything to eat is actually just regressing back to their natural survival instinct. It would be mentally abnormal for them not to steal. One of the major problems with using the social norm as a

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

    believe 2.5% to be suitable, whilst others may think up to 25%- there is a significant difference. There are some disorders which are surprisingly common, such as depression and anxiety. In 1992 Angst found that approximately 1 in 20 Americans are severely depressed, and 1 in 10 people will have

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

    Numerous individuals get apprehensive prior to meeting new people but find that, once they are with them, they have the ability to control their nerves and even enjoy the situation. A phobia is also a fear. Individuals have fears concerning such things as heights, spiders and the dark, but for

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

    A case that showed the effects of physical damage to brain was that of an American railway worker Phineas Gage (1848), described as hard working pleasant individual before having an accident working on the railway line where an iron rod roughly a meter long impaled his skull just under his left eye.

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