Many challenges faced when defining Normal behavior Abnormal behavior Multitudes of classifications one must consider when defining abnormality o o o o o o o o o o o Situational context Culture Ethnicity Historical relativism Politics Evolving theory of knowledge Gender and sexual preferences/practices Mind/body Age Religion Vocations How one defines normal and abnormal behavior Influenced through the situational context Circumstances surrounding specific behavior Define behavior Demographic contexts Race, culture, gender, or religion Continuum between normal and abnormal behavior •Varies across cultural and historical contexts •Example: some cultures talk to the dead •Different perceptions account for the “culture bound-syndromes” •Learning affects a person’s behavior •Experience of behavior is culturally relative • Religion •Influences one’s behavior through cognition and perception •Promotion of behavior is subjective •Ethnicity •Variations in portrayal of behavior •Various ethnicities are more prone to psychological and sociocultural factors that influence behavior Biological explanations Early beliefs, religious/spiritual Exorcism Trephination Released or removed evil spirits that caused abnormal behavior Transition from spiritual influences to scientific explanations Evolution of classification systems Socio-cultural influences Family dynamic Religion Economic Status Allows one to hold specific beliefs concerning normalcy and the world Discrimination Research Double blind study All related factors are equal Reductionism Law of parsimony Paradigm Shifts Evolutionary changes in thinking Gender is a striking demographic when defining abnormality Disproportionate in women Genetic and hormonal difference between men and women Causes abnormal behaviors through physical and emotional symptoms Sexual preferences or practices Homosexuality used to be considered a mental disorder Sexual preference or practices are a variation of normal sexual behavior Psychological and biological paradigm Interconnected Interdependent Some disorders have a primary origin that is psychological or biological Most involve both factors Three different principles used to discern the mind/body connection • Behavior is reflective of one’s age • Behaviors and impulses vary as one matures •Symptoms and behaviors are age dependent •Example: depression Vocation in terms of abnormality Social justice and cultural relativism must be considered Some work simply to survive Partake in practices that are abnormal Not within one’s own vocational aspirations Focus upon external measurers of work-related success Adjust social contexts and internal measures of success Detriments of labeling Can either be beneficial to understanding of behavioral issue Or can act as a roadblock Creation of a stigma Iatrogenic disorders Misdiagnosis Cultural changes Immigration Mixture of cultures •Defining abnormal behavior requires a multitude of factors •Cultural perspectives to religious and political influences •Normal and abnormal definitions •Based upon a wide range of behaviors •Analysis of behavior dependent upon different demographic concepts •Race, culture, gender, religion •Explains the continuum between normal and abnormal behavior Guichard, J., Metz, A.J. (2009). Vocational psychology and new challenges. Retrieved from www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/ article/201946688_3.html Hansell, J. & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal psychology. 2nd Edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Schumaker, J. (1992). Religion and Mental Health. Oxford University Press.