Psychological Disorders

6 Categories
•Psychologists usually identify
abnormal behavior based on a
combination of the following
•1. Unusualness
•2. Social Deviance
•3. Emotional Distress
6 Categories
•4. Maladaptive behavior
•5. Dangerousness
•6. Faulty perceptions or
interpretations of reality
Cultural Basis
•Are all things that would be
considered abnormal
behavior seen in the same
context in every culture?
•Ex. Hearing voices, anxiety
Early Beliefs
•Middle Ages- people displaying
abnormal behavior were
controlled by demons.
•17th and 18th centuries brought
about different, more scientific,
The Medical Model
•Advances in medicine in the 18th
and 19th centuries changed the
way mental illness was perceived.
•The belief that abnormal behavior
was a mental illness that had a
biological basis.
What are Psychological Disorders?
•Also known as mental disorders or
mental illnesses
•Involve disturbances of mood,
behavior, thought processes, or
perception that result in significant
personal distress or impaired
How are These Disorders Classified?
•Most mental health professionals use
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders, or DSM-V (5th
•The manual contains descriptions and
diagnostic criteria for every
recognized psychological disorder.
Hallucinations and Delusions
•Hallucinations- Perceptions (hearing
voices or seeing things) that are
experienced in the absence of external
stimuli (hearing things or seeing things
that aren’t there)
•Delusions- Fixed but patently false
beliefs. (such as believing that one is
being hounded by demons)
Psychological Models
•Following the thinking of
Freud, contemporary
theorists feel that
unconscious conflicts are at
the root of abnormal
behavior patterns.
Psychological Models
• Ivan Pavlov- Abnormal behavior is
learned in the same ways that
normal behavior is learned
(phobias are brought on by past
• Is this true for anyone here?
Psychological Models
•Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow
(Humanist theorists)- Abnormal behavior
develops when people encounter
roadblocks on the path of personal
growth. To satisfy the demands of others,
people become detached from their true
selves and develop emotional problems
such as anxiety and depression
Psychological Models
•Cognitive theorists Aaron
Beck and Albert EllisIrrational or distorted
thinking leads to emotional
problems and maladaptive
Sociocultural Model
•Sociocultural theorists
believe that the stress of
coping with poverty and
social disadvantage can
eventually take its toll on
mental health.
Biopsychosocial Model
•A recently developed
theory which blends
together elements of
biological, psychological
and sociocultural theories.
The Diathesis-Stress Model
(environmental stressors)
predisposition to
develop the
-Prenatal trauma
-Childhood abuse
-Family conflict
-Significant life
of the Disorder