Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context - Home

Chapter 1
Behavior in
Amber Gilewski
Tompkins Cortland Community College
What is a Psychological
Psychological Dysfunction
Personal Distress
Breakdown in cognitive, emotional, or
behavioral functioning
Difficulty performing appropriate and
expected roles
Impairment is set in the context of a
person’s background
Atypical or Not Culturally Expected
Reaction is outside cultural norms
Classroom Activity: Distinguishing
Normal from Abnormal Behavior
Case # 1: Tom is uncomfortable
riding escalators. As a result, Tom
avoids using any escalator.
Case #2: Rachel has been caught
urinating in the corner of her
bedroom. Is her behavior
Historical Ideas about Abnormal
Three Dominant Traditions
Supernatural – outside of
Biological – deals with body
Psychological – deals with mind
The Supernatural Tradition
Deviant Behavior as a Battle of
“Good” vs. Evil
Caused by demonic possession,
witchcraft, sorcery
Treatments included exorcism, torture,
beatings, and crude surgeries
Enlightened view – natural and treatable
The Moon and the Stars
Paracelsus and lunacy
The Biological Tradition
Hippocrates: Abnormal Behavior as a
Physical Disease
Hysteria “The Wandering Uterus”
Galen Extends Hippocrates Work
Humoral theory of mental illness
Treatments remained crude
The 19th Century
General Paresis (Syphilis) and the Biological
Link With Madness
Pasteur discovered the cause – A
bacterial microorganism
Led to penicillin as a successful
John Grey, Dorthea Dix, & the reformers
Bolstered the view that mental illness =
physical illness
The Development of Biological
Mental disorder treatment in 1930’s –
insulin, ECT, brain surgery
Joseph Von Meduna – schizophrenia
and epilepsy
Treatment of psychotic disorders in
1950’s – first effective medications
The Psychological Tradition
•Psychosocial – social/cultural factors
•The Rise of Moral Therapy – Pinel & Pussin
(France), William Tuke (England), and
Benjamin Rush (U.S.)
More humane treatment of
institutionalized patients
Encouraged and reinforced social
• Decline of moral therapy due to beliefs
about brain pathology & increase in
psychiatric patients
Psychoanalytic Theory
Freudian Theory of the Structure and
Function of the Mind (Id, Ego,
Defense mechanisms (denial,
displacement, projection,
rationalization, reaction formation,
repression, sublimation)
Neo-Freudians – Anna Freud, Carl
Jung, Alfred Adler
Humanistic Theory
Major Players
Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers
Major Themes
That people are basically good
Humans strive toward self-actualization
Therapist conveys empathy and
unconditional positive regard
The Behavioral Model
Derived from a Scientific Approach to the
Study of Psychopathology
Classical Conditioning
(Pavlov; Watson)
John Wolpe – systematic desensitization
B.F. Skinner – operant conditioning