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Theories of Abnormal Behavior - Essay Example

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The definition of abnormal behavior has gone through significant changes and depends on the historical, medical and social factors. From statistical perspective, abnormal behavior is the behavior which deviates from the majority. From social perspective, people marked behaving abnormally, are unable to reach goals and interfere with social functioning…
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Theories of Abnormal Behavior
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Download file to see previous pages In simple words, abnormal behavior in the one which leads to the inhumane treatment of others. Abnormal psychology uncovers the causes of abnormal behavior as well as provides the treatment options.
From the ancient times, people noticed that some individuals act in the way which is different from the common or accepted in their community setting. At the age of strong spiritual values, the abnormal behavior was considered to be the result of the demonic possession. During the Enlightenment, the shift was made to the scientific view of abnormal behavior as the mental illness. The asylums and hospitals for mentally ill citizens were built in London and Paris (Kring, Davidson, Neale, & Johnson, 2006). However, the mental disorders were not treated and it took many years to develop the assumption that mental illness might have biological and physical causes. In 1800s, the famous psychiatrist Richard von Krafft Ebing proposed that there is the link between syphilis and general paresis (dementia). It was the first significant step towards proving the hypothesis that mental disorders can be the result of physical diseases. ...
It was assumed that the mental disorder might also be learnt (maladaptive behavior). Later, the so-called diathesis-stress model was developed with the aim to analyze abnormal behavior as the result of the biological predisposition to illness and environmental triggers (Kring, Davidson, Neale, & Johnson, 2006). Finally, the humanistic and cultural perspectives were taken into consideration. Such factors as homosexuality, teenagers' behavior and current philosophies have shaped the new definition of the abnormal behavior. American community values individualism and personality. For this reason, classification of abnormal behavior has become more vague than it was a hundred years ago.
Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
Biological Perspective
Biological perspective on abnormal behavior is the medical view. It is based on the assumption that genetics and physical problems cause abnormal behavior and it requires treatment with medication. In particular, antidepressants and even lobotomy are still used to help individuals suffering from abnormal behavior (Oltmanns & Emery, 2006). Biological perspective is based on the writings of Richard von Krafft Ebing.
Psychodynamic Perspective
Psychodynamic perspective applies Freud's psychoanalysis to understanding abnormal behavior. It is focused on emotions and thought which lead to the abnormal behavior. The goal of this perspective is to investigate the role of unconscious motivators in development as well as treatment of the abnormal behavior.
Behavioral Perspective
Behavioral Perspective is the traditional theory of abnormal behavior. It was introduced and further studies by Pavlov and Skinner who assumed that abnormal behavior might be the response to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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