ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR AND MENTAL HEALTH
In trying to understand abnormal behavior, and because we follow the scientific tradition, our objective is to systematically describe, explain, predict and control abnormal behavior.
Investigating abnormal behavior occurs through a process of scientific research and follows 4 steps:
a) formulating a research question eg “Is IQ related to scholastic success?”
b) expressing the research question in the form of a hypothesis “IQ is related to scholastic
c) apply methods of testing the hypothesis eg
• naturalistic observation: the researchers observes the subject under natural conditions
• correlational research: seeks to find out whether two variables are correlated eg IQ and scholastic success. Note that a correlation does not necessarily mean that there is a cause and effect relationship between the variables,
• experimental research: seeks to establish a cause and effect relationship between variables, this is done be controlling the independent variable, using random assignment of subjects to the treatment condition, and to comply with all the rules of the scientific approach
• longitudinal research: investigates correlations over time by observing subjects at periodic intervals over a long time period,
• epidemiological research: examines the rate at which abnormal behavior occurs in various population groups and in a variety of settings
• case study: in-depth study of a single case or a few cases using a number of different methods.
d) drawing conclusions about the correctness/falseness of the hypothesis based on the
findings of the research.
The questions that we will focus on in this module are:
a) How do we define abnormal behavior?
b) How do we establish the causes of abnormal behavior?
c) How do we prevent abnormal behavior?
Concerns of Abnormal psychology: The concern of...