• 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

    whereas patients suffering from Schizophrenia often have higher levels than normal of the neurotransmitter Dopamine. It has also been discovered that patients with depression have a higher level than normal of the hormone Cortisol. It is unknown why there are such chemical imbalances; however they are thought to have stemmed from infections, life stress or genetic factors.

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

    Therefore the statistical infrequency will not be a true image of psychological disorder frequency; however it will represent the likeliness of a person to seek help in a certain culture instead. The use of statistical infrequency as a definition of abnormality is effective when measuring a certain characteristic, however is not applicable to all behaviours.

  2. Defining abnormality

    On the other hand, behavioural therapies have been very successful with certain kinds of disorder, for example phobias. They are more applicable to disorders with easily identifiable behavioural symptoms. The behavioural model exaggerates the importance of environmental factors in causing disorders and minimises the role played by genetic factors.

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

    individual has a sense of security in the specific environment (American Psychological Association, 2012). For example, when an individual requires to interact with a member of Child Line, the initial question from the employee would be ?do you feel safe in the environment you are?? (Child Line, 2012).

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

    They?re ?Negative? in that they hinder the person?s motivation and ability to engage, and contribute to emotional problems. They are ?Automatic? in that they seem to happen ?just like that?, popping into the person?s head as if from nowhere. Therapy is to help people identify, understand, and modify their belief

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

    Looking at an individual experiences such as stress for example, can cause biological knock on effects on the functioning of the brain. Also there are toxins and pollution in the environment that may affect functioning of the brain directly, mercury poisoning has been linked to irrational behaviour, anxiety and memory loss.

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