Discuss cultural and ethical considerations in diagnosis of abnormal psychology.

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Discuss cultural and ethical considerations in diagnosis.

        Abnormal psychology is the area of psychology which concentrates on unusual behaviours. These could involve affective disorders such as depression or anxiety. It is not an exact science since in different parts of the world different things are considered abnormal. This often leads to the need of having cultural considerations. These types of considerations come up when disorders which “exist” in certain parts of the world only are taken into consideration. Rack in 1982 considered for example the fact that in China diagnosis are made only in severe cases since the mentally ill are not easily accepted there. Also Kleinman in 1984 evaluated how often symptoms are bound to certain cultures and not to others. Ethical considerations instead are made so to have the least amount of counter effects as possible in the patient who is given a diagnosis of a mental disease. Szasz for example stated that often labels are given to people (such as mentally ill) so to isolate them. Another study considered how isolating patients in institutes can be ethically unjust since it causes several problems both for the doctor and for the patient. This was the study conducted by Rosenhan in 1973.

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        Culture affects diagnosis. This is caused by the fact that the standards for abnormality differ from culture to culture and from society to society. This can cause problems when considering the validity and reliability of diagnosis.

        An example which can be used to demonstrate one cultural consideration was the study conducted by Rack in 1982. After observing Asian (and more in particular Chinese) habits when considering psychological issues he affirmed that usually Asian people will not consult their doctor for an emotional or behavioural problem, but only for a physical one. This means that they will only be helped in ...

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