Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Essay

1245 WordsFeb 12, 20095 Pages
Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Paper By Tina M Saulnier Abnormal Psychology/PSY410 University of Phoenix Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Paper As far back as history can recall, different forms of madness have been recognized in every culture and multitudes of theories and myths have been developed to account for such conditions. Society’s view on behavior that would be deemed as abnormal has been connected with such phenomena as supernatural forces, the anger of the gods, the influence of the moon, an unbalanced temperament, ‘bad blood’ (i.e. hereditary factors), and decadence. (Frude, 1998) History will also show that people have continued to develop a variety of theories to explain psychological disturbances, usually falling on one of three general themes: mystical/supernatural (possession of spirits), scientific/medical (biological imbalances, faulty learning processes or emotional stressors), or humanitarian (cruelty or poor living conditions). These different etiological theories and continuing advancements in knowledge have been the building blocks for the study of abnormal psychology. To understand the impact that these aspects of psychology have had on this field of study it’s important to know the origins of where abnormal behavior was recognized and how it was treated, how abnormal psychology evolved into a scientific discipline, and the theoretical models related to the development of abnormal psychology. Origins of Abnormal Psychology and the Evolution of the Scientific Approach The field of abnormal psychology goes back about 100 years, but the recognition of what people deemed as abnormal behavior goes as far back as primitive and pre-modern societies. One typical approach of explaining abnormal behavior was a form of animism which indicated that a person inflicted with a mental disturbance was possessed
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