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

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.

Extracts from this document...

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.

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

    Behavioural Study of Obedience - Stanley Milgram

    5 star(s)

    The Yale undergraduates who predicted that only very few (perhaps psychopathic) individuals would administer shocks of 450 volts, were guided by their understanding of the morality that guides human behaviour. They were not in the situation. Observers looking at the experiment in progress could not believe what they were seeing; again, they were not in the situation.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Rosenhan, Thigpen and Cleckley - Describe what each of the studies tells us about ...

    4 star(s)

    Also some were illiterate and the questions were ethnocentric, again this resulted in a lower score for participants who were not from America. The study shows that it is hard to get a clear indication of the level of intelligence unless you are testing one race of people.

  1. stress essay

    He found that a third of the participants developed a cold out of 394. There was a positive correlation between the stress levels and developing a cold. Participants with a high stress score were found to be twice as likely to develop a cold as others with a low score.

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

    Although this definition is good as it can easily be used to identify problems within a certain culture, if the same social norms were applied to a separate culture it may appear that everyone was abnormal. Social norms vary drastically between cultures- in Britain people respect personal space and avoid

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

    environment and have not learnt to cope there, or have not made significant changes that will enable them to continue with their recovery. Research carried out by Gustafson (1992) provides support for the idea that maladaptive thinking processes are present in people suffering from psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.

  2. Intelligence Essay

    However there are a lot of issues of debate that surround these, as well as any other types of intelligence/aptitude tests, taking their validity, reliability and neutrality into question. In the past, IQ tests have been seen as a way to distinguish who might be the 'right man for the

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

    Is it bang on the median result? Or is it 10 or 20 places either side of that result? Once you have distinguished the difference between normal and abnormal, when does someone become mentally ill? You could go to one doctor and be told you were just abnormal and then

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

    (Gross, 1991) Two key metatheories which exist within the field of psychology are the Biological perspective and the Behavioural perspective. Whilst both of these approaches attempt to answer the same essential questions that exist throughout psychology, they are fundamentally different in their delivery and methodology, although some similarities do exist.

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