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In this essay I will be looking at behaviour and experience that is sometimes defined as abnormal. I will be looking at Rosenhans study, Thigpen and Cleckly, Baron Cohen and Freud.

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Introduction

Psychology essay In this essay I will be looking at behaviour and experience that is sometimes defined as abnormal. I will be looking at Rosenhans study, Thigpen and Cleckly, Baron Cohen and Freud. (a) What problems did psychologists have when they tried to categorise and investigate abnormal behaviour? The first problem that I will be looking at is observer bias, which means looking more at a particular group rather than another. An example of this if a man was undertaking a study on the difference between men and women, he may focus more on the woman. This was a problem in the Rosenhan study on being sane in an insane place. Those who were observing the pseudo patients with the other patients may have only tried to focus more on one particular group, and may have only taken down what they wanted to see, rather than what they had to see. Another problem is the demand characteristics of a study. Demand characteristics are when people try and act in ways that are expected of them. This may have been a problem in the study of Thigpen and Cleckly, on multiple personality. Maybe the whole of the Eve White thing was just acting to please the psychologists. She maybe wanted to make a name for herself therefore acting the way in which the psychologists wanted her to she might have made a name for herself. ...read more.

Middle

They do not really have the potential to realise that other people may have different thoughts to their own, also they cannot really come to terms what the other person is thinking. The study that Freud had done on Little Hans also tells us problems of abnormal behaviour. According to Freud, it is 'normal' to have sub- consciouse feelings which are expressed in ones dream. However, if the sub- conscious is made conscious for example, if the child comes to realise that the two giraffes represent mum and dad then the child could be helped to overcome his fear and the 'abnormal behaviour' of the Oedipus complex can be treated. Another point is that childhood problems may not lead to problems in later life if treated, for example Little Hans went on to live a normal life once he had grown older. The study that Rosenhan had undertaken on 'sane in an insane place also tells us a great deal about abnormal behaviour. According to the study it is difficult to tell between the normal and the abnormal. One clear example of this was when the pseudo patients had asked for some paper and a pen. The nurses had just ignored them thinking they were insane. It could also be said that normal behaviour is seen as abnormal at times, as the study has shown us. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand it could be criticized that the woman was only acting just to please the psychologist and there is no such thing as this multiple personality. This could then lead on to say that there is no such thing as abnormality. In the Freud study it is hard to distinguish the difference between normal and abnormal. Little Hans may have had these dreams and other little children his age may not have telling us that he is abnormal, whereas the dreams that he may said to have been having may not necessarily have been true, because they were second-hand data so this shows that there may have not been any abnormality in Little Hans and it was all an exaggerated thing. There are also other studies that help to show us whether anybody is actually 'normal'. One clear study is the one that was done by Deregowski. The split style drawing may have been common to the African people but was seen as an abnormal thing from the westerners, therefore what is to say that the Africans are abnormal just because they perceive things differently? So again it is hard to say what is normal and what is abnormal in society. I personally feel that there is no such thing as normality and you cannot really specify a normal person from an abnormal person, some people are just different from others. George Georgiou ...read more.

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