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Individual differences ­ Abnormality
Definitions of abnormality

Failure to function adequately: According to this way of defining abnormality, someone
crosses the line and becomes abnormal when they can no longer cope with day-to-day
tasks. The sort of behaviour which represents a threat to themselves or others.
Rosenhan & Seligman (1989)…

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Deviation from ideal mental health: Jahoda (1958) used analogy of physical health to
understand mental health. According to this definition, we know someone is physically
unwell when the criteria for ideal mental health are not met. Thus we are abnormal when
we fail to meet the criteria.

Jahoda's criteria


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Gottesman (1991) ­ meta analysis of twin studies

Method: Meta analysis of around 40 twin studies.

Results: Identical twin with schizophrenia gave you a 48% chance of developing the
condition. This reduced to 17& to non-identical twins.

Conclusion: Schizophrenia has a strong genetic basis.

Evaluation: Field study to it gave…

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conflict is repressed into the unconscious mind. Stress and trauma in adulthood might
trigger the repressed conflicts, leading to psychological disorders.

Psychodynamic treatment ­ Psychoanalysis

Dream analysis ­ Freud believes that by analysing the patients dream can give an
`insight' into their repressed thoughts and unconscious conflict. There are two…

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Social Learning ­ Individuals learn particular abnormal behaviours through observing others
and then imitate their behaviour. They believe reinforcement is available if they imitate the
abnormal behaviour.

Behavioural therapy

Token Economy ­ This is where the patient is given tokens for behaving in appropriate ways
or `normally' (can be used…

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Cognitive therapy

CBT ­ From the idea that changing the way information cognitively processed will result in a
change in behaviour. Changing the way we thing about something (e.g. a stressful situation),
we can then cope better and behave in ways which helps to minimise the stress or anxiety


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