General Framework
  • To what extend do biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behaviour
  • Evaluate psychological research relevant to the study of abnormal behaviour

Defining Abnormality
  • Statistical Infrequencies (for example IQ)
  • Deviation From Social Norms (Residual Rules)
    • Duobuans, consider paranoia as a normal behaviour whereas we think of it as abnormal behaviour
    • Szasz (1972) argues that calcification of abnormality is used as social control
      • Soviet Dissidents - opponents of communisms were considered as mentally ill and were sent to mental institutes
  • Deviation From The Idea of Mental Health
    • Jahoda (1958) - Optimal Living

Reliability And Validity In Diagnosis
  • Reliability: how consistent the diagnosis is
  • Validity: How close to truth the diagnosis is
    • Rosenhan (1973) 'On being sane in insane places'
      • High reliability but low validity of diagnosis
  • Issues related to culture
    • Copeland et al (1971)
      • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia:69% USA, 2% UK
    • Culture Bound Syndromes
      • AMOK
      • KORO
      • DHAT

Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa

  • Diagnostic Criteria
    1. Refusal to maintain body weight at or above minimally normal weight for age and height
    2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat even if underweight
    3. The body image distortion
    4. Amenorrhea (girls specific)

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