On Defining Abnormality - Essay Example

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Define abnormality? Introduction Psychologists and professionals in behavioural psychology have made some comprehensible observations about abnormality and identified its features, meaning and significance among the people. Generally, the term abnormality is defined as an unusual behaviour that is dissimilar from the norms and abnormality constitutes behavioural patterns which do not conform to societal requirements and expectations…
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Download file to see previous pages Ancient myths and religious doctrines have provided substantial information about abnormality. Hinduism and Christianity have marked the presence of abnormality and their definitions about abnormality are many and varied. Ancient communities like Babylonians, Mesopotamians, and Greeks had identified abnormal behaviour religious, cultural and political factors had played a vital role in defining abnormality. Freud, eminent psychologist identified the presence of innate drives and the mode of expressions of these drives modifies the course of development. Anyhow, Modern psychologists made some relevant studies in the field of abnormal psychology. Church and its institutions had considered abnormality as an indicative of demonic procession. In 17th and 18th centuries, abnormality is widely accepted as a symbol of fashionable life related to genius, creativity and sensitivity. However modern psychologists have illustrated the term abnormality and explained its connections with various behavioural patterns such as neurosis, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. In modern time, Freud and other psychologists defined abnormality through presenting Psychoanalytic theories. The process of defining abnormality requires relevant information about its meaning, historical perspectives, religious concepts, and psycho logic perspectives. Definition and meaning of abnormal psychology in the historical perspective Many researches and studies often forced the people to believe that the term abnormality is a result of statistical infrequency which reveals the fact that most people undergo psychological exertion at some time in their lifetime hence their psychological troubles are statistically normal (Psychology-abnormality, 2001). Abnormality means an unusual behaviour that is entirely different from generally accepted norms. Scholars have documented that abnormality is a deviation from an ideal; which means that behavioural changes from an ideal person. Ancient myths like Deuteronomy, The Old Testament, and Greek epics had mentioned abnormal behaviours of man. Reader can find relevant examples about the historic backdrops of abnormal behaviour patterns. The online article entitled Madness: A Brief History rightly mentions that “the Old Testament tells of many possessed of devils, and relates how the Lord punished Nebuchadnezzar by reducing him to bestial madness” (Stratavaganza, 2011). Ancient Assyrian text of around 650 BC bestows some relevant information about the abnormal behaviour patterns. Ancient Assyrians had believed that diseases constitute devilish attributes and the book clearly explains the characteristic features of a person who struggled with abnormal behaviour. Roy Porter observes that “If at the time of his possession, while he is sitting down, his left eye moves to the side, a lip puckers, saliva flows from his mouth, and his hand, leg and trunk on the left side jerk like a slaughtered sheep it is migtu” (Porter, 2001, p.54). An unusual behaviour is identified through the psychological and physiological movements of the person. If at the time of possession his mind is awake, the devilish attribute can be driven out. Similarly, if at the time of his possession, his mind is not so awake; the devil’s attributes cannot be revealed. Ancient Greeks had developed ideas about ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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