1. What is the definition of psychological disorder or abnormal psychology and the integrated approach to viewing psychological disorders.
2. Discuss psychological dysfunction, distress, impairment, and atypical or unexpected cultural responses.
3. Emphasize the advantages (or disadvantages as you may see them) of the multidimentional, integrative and systemic model for considering abnormal behavior.
4. You should also note how the concept of equifinity relates.
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2. What is the definition of psychological disorder or abnormal psychology and the integrated approach to viewing psychological disorders? Discuss psychological dysfunction, distress, impairment, and atypical or unexpected cultural responses. Emphasize the advantages (or disadvantages as you may see them) of the multidimensional, integrative and systemic model for considering abnormal behavior. You should also note how the concept of equifinity relates.
Abnormal Psychology: A discipline or branch of psychology that studies patterns of normal and abnormal behavior as well as personality disorders. In addition, abnormal psychology is concerned with the origins and treatment of abnormal behavior and disorders. Although the term is not used in this way, it may be helpful for you to think of abnormal psychologists as counseling psychologists and/or clinical psychologists. Abnormal psychology is more of an umbrella term. (http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.cfm?term=Abnormal%20Psychology).
In the psychological sense, for example, Comer defined deviance as cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that are deemed inappropriate by one's social group, which often (but not always) is society as a whole. This concept of social deviance is often the definition of psychological abnormality as well. Comer stated that mental-health professionals define psychological abnormality as cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that deviate significantly from social norms. (pp. 2-3). It is important to remember that social norms are specific to situations. Cognitions, emotions, and/or behaviors that would be socially deviant in one situation may be perfectly acceptable in another situation. For example, sitting quietly for a long period is socially normal in a classroom situation but is socially deviant in a party situation. There is a second type of deviance that also is important for defining psychological abnormality: statistical deviance. In the psychological sense, statistical deviance refers to cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that differ from the statistical average for a group of individuals. In applying this concept to the definition of psychological abnormality, we would define psychological abnormality as cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that deviate significantly from statistical norms. For instance, a woman who has an IQ score of 162 is statistically deviant (the statistical average is set at 100), although her IQ score is not socially deviant. (Conner, 2004)
One difficult issue in defining psychological abnormality involves those situations in which social norms conflict with statistical norms. For example, the sexual attraction felt by a 45-year-old man towards a physically mature16-year-old girl is considered (in the United States) to be socially deviant; but it probably is not statistically deviant for men. (The area of sexual disorders and disturbances is a particularly good one for exploring difficulties in defining and applying the concepts of psychological abnormality and mental disorder.). These trends, however, are changing somewhat. In fact, a society's culture--which changes over time--determines its social norms. In a multi-cultural society, such as the United States, this presents significant problems when deciding whether an individual is exhibiting psychological abnormality or not: we need to consider the individual's cultural background before making the decision. (Conner, 2004)
Most definitions of psychological abnormality include the characteristic of distress. However, when is distress a sign of psychological abnormality? There are some things to consider that we need to take into account social norms (and situations) when evaluating whether or not a person's distress is a sign of a psychological abnormality.
a. Distress is a sign that a person is suffering from a psychological abnormality when it is significantly more severe than is deemed appropriate given the ...
By responding to the questions, this solution discusses aspects of psychological disorder or abnormal psychology. Each question is responded to fully. References are provided.