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Psychology

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1) Produce and briefly explain the definition of abnormality that was explained by Eysenck & Flanagan (2000) . Why may it not be acceptable to most psychologists?

Eysenck & Flanagan (2000) define abnormality as the deviation from normality. Most psychologists are reluctant to accept this definition since it is not clear what normality is. Normality should receive a proper definition then. It is hard to do since there are different approaches and standards. No unanimous agreement exists on normality and ways to define it. Instead models are offered to approach the issue.

2) Identify and explain two limitation of statistical infrequency approach to defining normality.

Statistic infrequency is one of four ways to define standards for establishing what normality is. The key thought here is that specific behaviours are statistically infrequent so they represent the deviation from the statistical scores of the majority. The mean score (as discussed within State-Trait anxiety inventory by Spielberger)  is normality, very low or high score – abnormality. The problem here is that not all deviating scores are undesirable; for example, low anxiety is desirable. Also, it is problematic to define how big the deviation should be to constitute abnormality. Besides, standards for different age groups and cultures differ (Spielberger et al, 1970).

3) Explain the definition of social norms and failure to function as two approaches .

Social norms are those rules that the society has established to mark the notion of acceptable behaviour. Failure to function occurs when people fail to deal with everyday routine. They function  inadequately in relation to the norms which are established within the society.

4) Explain briefly the characteristic of ideal mental health suggested by Jahoda (1958).

Jahoda’s characteristic of ideal mental health:

- positive attitude as to oneself

- ability of self-actualize one’s potential

- being resistant to stress

- being personally autonomous

- ability to perceive reality in an accurate manner

- ability to adapt and master the environment  (Positive Mental Health Foundation, 2013)

5) Identify and explain 3 areas of change in Diagostics and Statistical Manual of Mental disorder( DSM V) ( introduce what is DSM V ) Why is DSM V different from others ) Three areas where DSM has changed over time.

DSMV V is the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders designed by the American Psychiatric Association. It is currently being prepared for publication in May 2013 (American Psychiatric Association, 2012). A few areas of change: creation of autism spectrum disorders diagnostic category to integrate all diagnoses of this kind (autism); replacing the category of substance abuse and dependence with “addiction and related behaviours”, recognition of the new disorder of binge eating; development of a new category of behavioural addictions, in particular, gambling, changing the scales for suicide, tec.

6) Simply list the characteristics of failure to function as suggested by Roseham and Seligham (1989) and tell how they might be reflected in Sarah's story.

Rosenham and Seligham (1989)  listed seven characteristics of abnormality. These are 1) suffering; 2) maladaptiveness 3) vividness along with unconventionality of an individual’s behaviour; 4)  unpredictability along with loss of control; 5) obvious  observer discomfort; 6) irrationality that encompasses incomprehensibility; 7) finally,

violation of moral and ideal standards.

Sarah who can be diagnosed with agoraphobia or ‘fear of market places’ demonstrates the following characteristics: suffering (she feels she has been a burden to her spouse), maladaptiveness (can’t adapt to the situation so quits going to the large stores),  unpredictability combined with loss of control, and, finally, observer discomfort.


7) List the four approaches to defining normality . Why may it be necessary to first examine normality in order to have a satisfactory definition of abnormality.

-                     Statistical (described above)

-                     Deviation from the set of social norms

-                     Failure to adequately function

-                     Ideal mental health  (Dewey, 2011)

It is necessary to first define normality because normality is the point by deviation from which abnormality is determined. 

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