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PSY __300 week__ 5 DQ 2

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Week 5
DQ 2 What factors should be considered in distinguishing between normal and
abnormal behavior? What relationships of importance might exist between social
psychology and abnormal psychology?
The environment involved in the situation should be looked at closely, there are times
when a person can appear to have something going on that abnormal but if the situation
where the actions are taking place in are abnormal then there is reason to believe the
problem is with the environment and not necessarily with the persons psychological
health. For example I was diagnosed depressed with Schizophrenic tendencies once
and medicated for this. but the problem was not getting better. Come to find out the
problem was not in my head it was the ding bat boyfriend who was trying to kill me. As
soon as he went to jail and I moved the problem was gone. I still think it was funny that
the expensive medication did not help but a U-haul truck and the cops did wonders,
hehehe. The biggest issue with abnormal psychology is trying to figure out what is the
definition of abnormal. for example in some tribes in Africa it is normal for parents to cut
their childrens faces hundreds of times in a design pattern. This is their initiation of the
child into the culture. In America the parents would be thrown in prison and medicated in
all sorts of ways. there would be diagnosis thrown around like beads at Mardi Gras, but
this does not make the behavior abnormal for that area and culture. Social psychology
has a significant role with abnormal psychology for this very reason. Cultural taboos tell
us what is normal and abnormal. An other example are people who choose to gain their
food from dumpster's, or from road kill, these people feel that they are doing what is
needed to prevent leaving a carbon foot print on their environment. There are people
out there who get all the things they own from the garbage, this would be seen as
abnormal and therefore these people would possibly be subject to mental evaluation but
what if they are perfectly normal and have never gotten sick from the foods they eat. So
for abnormal psychology to be a useful science it is essential to take into consideration
the culture and social setting of the people being studied or helped. There have been
issues that have reached the media in the past, that touch on this subject. There was a
child whom had an illness (I believe it was cancer) and the parents refused medical care
because it was against their religion to use anything other then gods prayer. Does this
deep belief if God make these people mentally ill if it places the health and well being of
their child at risk? I am not even sure how to answer this question myself. but it shows
that a persons culture and social back ground are a significant factor in who they are
and thus needs to be taken into consideration when diagnosing what is abnormal and
what is not.
Response 2

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The behavior that is most likely to occur is what we can use as the basis for normal
behavior. The more common behavior description is the norm and the abnormal would
be any other which does not correlate with the attributes of the normal behavior. Some
factors that can distinguish normal and abnormal behavior are usually quite noticeable.
Disorders and illness of course can be considered abnormal behavior, but lets not
confuse the typical childish and immaturity of some individuals as abnormal behavior.
Even though some individuals may behave quite strangely, at any age, does not
necessarily make it an abnormal behavior, though it might seem odd. Personality and
emotion are some factors which exist in normal behavior at a minimum of periodically. A
person that does not show any emotion or personality, a rather dull individual, could be
classified as abnormal behavior. At some point we all experience emotion and our true
colors surface and if it is apparent that this does not happen, I believe that to be
abnormal behavior. Maladaption is the most common occurence for accusation of
abnormality. Most frequently, abnormal behavior is either having trouble with oneself or
with society. By self I mean devoting and adapting to life and having typical desires to
set and reach accomplishments. Difficulty or lack of interaction with society and
functioning is also a type of abnormal behavior. Abnormal psychology focuses on
treatment of psychological disorders and some of those disorders are directly connected
with social psychology. Disorders such as post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety,
and many others deal with society and the thoughts and behaviors that it has on us and
everyone else.
Response 3
Psychology is a scientific investigation to understand behavior in relation to culture,
biology, and psychological experiences. Abnormal psychology studies mental illness.
For this reason abnormal behavior would be the way an individual acts when they have
a mental illness. The distinction between behavior being normal or abnormal should be
situational. In some situations an individual will react in a way that is not their usual
behavior. In these situational responses the abnormal behavior does not indicate a
mental illness making that situation the distinction.
Social psychology can explain abnormal behavior when it is situational. Since behavior
can be abnormal in situations and social psychology is based on social situations
social psychology can be closely related to abnormal psychology.
Response 4

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I think that when you begin to distinguish between abnormal and normal, you are faced
with making generalizations that often are based on bias and stereotypes. Each and
every person is built differently and what is a normal behavior for me may be an
abnormal behavior for someone else. Of course in the two previous statements I am
assuming that we are talking about two people who do not face some kind of
psychological disorder. Once you introduce a disorder into the discussion it changes
what is normal and what is not normal. For example, a person with multiple
personalities would be showing signs that are not normal because they are exhibiting
multiple behaviors from one individual. The introduction of disorders is the
distinguishing factor between normal and abnormal. As long as you are discussing two
people without disorders, then differences in behavior are simply personality or cultural
differences. I think that there are several similarities between social and abnormal
psychology, because you can look at how people act and react during certain
situations. In abnormal psychology you might be examining how a schizophrenic would
respond versus in social psychology you might be looking at how a person with no
psychological disorders would respond to the same situation.

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