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Psy 410 Week 1 - The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology Individual Paper

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Running head: HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 1
The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology
Pedreed Anjahal
University of Phoenix
PSY/410
Facilitator: Maria Neely, MA, M.Ed.
June 20, 2011

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HISTORY AND ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY 2
The Foundations of Abnormal Psychology
Throughout history abnormal psychology has been at the forefront of behaviors and
personalities. During earlier centuries various techniques performed by psychologists and
therapists were implemented to help cure people suffering from psychological abnormalities.
Mental illness encompasses the realm of abnormal psychology. However, normal behavior is
compared to abnormal behavior, thus creating a list of behaviors society deems as normal.
Many factors affect behaviors, psychosocial, biological, medical, and socio-cultural.
The development of these theoretical models explains the aspects and causes of normal
and abnormal behaviors. Factors which cause psychopathology can come from various life
events and experiences. Theorists address the core concepts of normal and abnormal behaviors
through studies and research of cultural, historical relativism, multiple casualties, and
connections between mind and body. The question remains, once a mental disorder is identified,
what measures society can use to understand and explain the causes of the behavior (Hansell &
Damour, 2008).
The Origins of Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal psychology that is also known as, psychopathology is the study of mental
illness. Behavior can be defined, classified, explained, and treated (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
However, years of studies, research, and observation helps to give society a better
understanding of abnormal human behaviors. Within the past 100 years abnormal psychology
has developed significantly through progress, changes, and controversy. Nonetheless, several
concepts remain key factors.
Most important, identifying what is normal and abnormal is a question that peaks the
curiosity of professionals, parents, theorists, and society. Some interesting facts about abnormal
psychology are the challenges faced when determining normal from abnormal. The core
concepts help to give direction and understanding to the actions of a person’s behavior.
Commonly used criterion for defining abnormality is help seeking, irrationality, dangerousness,
deviance, emotional distress and significant impairment (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

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