Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology

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Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology PSY/410 Karen Wood University of Phoenix Psychological diagnostic procedures are currently defined by rule-based classifications that are strongly dependent upon symptom clusters; for example, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and are influenced by the medical model, which supports the concept of nosology. With this belief, psychological difficulties are viewed as pathological and therefore, questions are raised about what is “normal” and “abnormal” (Parpottas, (2012). This paper will examine the field of abnormal psychology; briefly examine the origins of abnormal psychology, including challenges to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. This paper will also provide a brief overview of how abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline; finally this paper will briefly analyze the psychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models related to the development of abnormal psychology. Challenges to defining abnormal behavior include the complexity, as it makes it difficult to form diagnostic categories for mental disorders that are both reliable and valid. Beneficial and challenging, the developed six core concepts of abnormal psychology prove to be a main focal point when evaluating behavior. Other challenges that arise when attempting to define abnormal behavior is the variety of acceptance among individuals; what may be considered normal in one setting may be considered abnormal in another. For example, “In some cultures talking to dead relatives is considered normal; in others it could be considered a sign of mental illness” (Hansell & Damour, 2008, P. 6). It is because of cultural and historical relativism and factor differences such as age, gender, religion,
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