Atypical Behaviour

Atypical Behaviour for Psycholoogy Higher

Main points of Atypcical Behaviour

Statisctical Infrequency is behaviour that is unusual, uncommon or occurs infrequently

Deviation from social normsis when behaviour that is socially unacceptable

Failure to function adequately is behaviour that interfear with life or peers life

Deviation from ideal mental health is personal distress

1 of 12


Rosenhan 1973 " being sane in insane places" the aim of this study was to see how clear the line is drawn on sanity and insanity.

2 of 12

Explanitions of Atypical Behaviour- Biological

They believe that atypical behaviour is caused by abnormal physiological processes, such as genetic or biochemical,

The causes of them could be; Brain damage, Infection, Biochemistry, Genes

A strength of this approach is that they take the blame away from the sufferes

A weekness is that it is seen as being reductionalist

3 of 12


They believe that abnormal behaviour is caused by unconscious, underlying psychological forces,

The psyche had, Id, Ego and Superego,

The ID is born with instincts, pleasure orientated,

Ego keeps blanace between the two

Superego is moral driven,

Can develop disorders from strong ego- Coping with demands of Id and Superego, Unchecked I Impulses from disorders in childhood and psychopathic, Too powerful superego- Is depreiving Id of socially acceptable pleasures

Developmental stages

Oral (0-18months) pleasure from eating, Anal (18-36 months) pleasure from retaining and expelling feaces, Phallic (3-6years) Gender, Oedipus for boys, Electra for Gils

4 of 12

Psychodynamic- Little Hans

Little Hans 1909

Was a boy who had a fear of a horse which was meant to symbolise his father as his father had told him he would cut off his genitils if he asked his mum to touch it again.

This is showing the Phallic stage in little hans development with him being Oedipus showing interet in his mother sexually.

5 of 12

Defence Mechanisms

Repression- Unwated thoughts and desires are repressed to an unconscious level hard to recover byself.

Denial- Refuse to belive something is wrong or happening

Regression- Revert to a child like state of mind and way, E.g. Tantrums

A strenght of these is that they are influential to other things

A weakness is that they are untestable to prove they actaully do those things.

6 of 12


They believe that Abnormal behaviour is learnt throught experiences

Classical conditioning is that behaviour is learnt throught "stimulus response" associating something fearful with an object such as;

Little Albert, They created a fear of a rat because he associated a loud noise with the rat

Operant Conditioning is when they learn the behaviour through consequences

Social Learning is learning behaviour from role models

A strength of this is that it just focuses on behaviour

A weakness is that it is seen to be a reductionalist study

7 of 12


Believe that abnormal behaviour is caused by irrational thinking.

Irrationing thinking- Ellis 1962

They believe that emotional problems such as depression is caused by disortations in thinking process. Word thats people use with irrational thinking are; Ought, Should and Must.

They can also have this types of thinking;

Polarized- Black and white

OVergeneralization- Sweeping something from one event

Catastophizing- making a moutain out of a mole hile

Cognitive triad-Beck 1967

-Errors in logic is that the draw illogical conclusions about them selfs

-Cognitive triad is when they have negative views on; Themselves, Future and the World

A strength of this perspective is that it has research to support it

A weakness is the Individuals are responsible for their actions

8 of 12

Treating Abnormality- Bioloical

Or also know as the Medical, They Believe that abnormality is caused by physical diseases, they treat this deases by usuing;

Drugs- The use of Anti- Depressants, A strength is that is has efficacy, A weakness is the side effects the drugs can have.

Electro- Convulsive shock (ECT) is an electric shock to the brain that lasts for seconds, it can lead to them fitting during it but it is only used on people who have used other methods and have severe depression

A strenght of this is that it is Efficacy, A weakness is the ethic behind it.

Psychosurgery is the removal of brain tissue normally in the frontal lobes

A strength is that it is effective as a last resort, A weakness is that it is controversial

9 of 12


They believe abnormality is caused by unconscious forces,

They aim to do these 3 things; 1 to bring repressed things to conscious awareness, 2 give insight to things wrong with them, 3 cure the symptoms

They use methods such as;

Dream Analysis- Where the unconscious is revealed in dreams

Free Accoction- Thoughts wonder and say what comes to there head allowed

Transference is when they project there feelings about parents and other important people in life

A strength of this is that is treats different types of disorders, A weakness is that it is expensive to do,

10 of 12


They believe that abnormality is caused by learned behaviour, They use several types of methods to help,

Systematic desensitization is when they try and reverse how the condition was learnt, They get the individual to relax and but their anxiety into a hierachy of anxiety from lowest situation to highest. Till they become less anxsious about them.

This has research to support it,

Aversion Therapy this helps with drinking or smoking, Drinking as they lace the drink with an emetic inducing which makes them sick, associating the horribleness with the drink (Classical conditioning) A strength of this s that is combines therapies a weakness is the ethics behind it.

Behaviour modification is when they use operatn condtioning to try change the maladaptive behaviour. A strength is that is has research evidence, A weakness is that it can be bias

11 of 12


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Is the only treatment this perspective uses it is based on that the Cognitive aspect looks at chaning the maladaptive thinking patterns where are the Behavioural tries to positively reinforce the behaviour.

A study to support his is by Fava et al in 1998, the aim of there study was to see if having Drugs then CBT would reduce the relapse, There was 40p in which they were given 3 episodes of the treatment, 1 group was given Drugs then CBT while the other was given Drugs then clinical management.

The found that after 2 years group 1 who had drugs then CBT only had a 25% relapse, Where as group 2 who had Drugs then clinical management had a 80% relapse.

The conclusion they can draw from this is that CBT is successful

A strength of this study is that it has research evidence to support it Hollon 1992

A weakness is the sample is too small to Generalize

12 of 12


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »