Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Essay

PSY 410 W1 Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology


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            The history of abnormal psychology began around the fourth century B.C - Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Essay introduction. that consists of three fundamental core concepts; the cultural and historical relativism for adaptability to provide perspectives on the abnormality of the mind. The related principle of abnormal psychology is in the connection between the mind and the body that reinforces the understanding in the study of abnormal behavior manifested (Cosmides, 1999). Through-out history theorists have developed a variety of theories to explained psychological disturbances that range from mystical, super-national, scientific, medical, to humanitarian. The theory and practice of research methodologies presented both quantitative and qualitative results for a scientific method to apply a successful approach. The review of the perspectives of abnormal psychology will be presented to relate the in the diagnosis of patients suffering from associated symptoms.

Examining the field of abnormal psychology

            In the origins of abnormal psychology the assumptions to clearly identify the physical manifestation of abnormities of the patient have demonstrated a hesitation to label an opposing spirit or the mind as the reason for the dysfunction. Therefore, the mystical explanation regarding abnormal behavior as a result of a possession of an unknown non-physical entity infused the desire to apply theoretical concepts. The scientific/medical approach considers the natural causes, in such, that as biological imbalances are present when the faulty of learning processes or identified emotional stressors increases. The scientific/medical approach provides the required understanding to offer an in-depth analysis to how the patient mind interprets a phenomenon altering his/her behavior.

            The humanitarian approach in studying the historical nature of abnormal psychology intended to view the diagnosis in relation to external influences. The assessment actually differing etiological theories and advancing the knowledge that impacted the diagnosed treatment, in which the psychological disorders have influenced current theories in clinical psychology continued the trend towards scientific study. Some of the treatment approaches are the fundamental instance of experimental or correlation to conversely apply the method towards symptoms of abnormal psychology. Many theorists developed a means to measure the association of abnormal psychology that halters the normal thoughts and behavior of a patient. The measures implemented entail the theoretical methodology for an accurate assessment.

            Therefore, the evolution of a scientific discipline developed from the pursuits of the theorists to apply the analytic and scientific study of abnormal thoughts and behavior. The application interpreted, described, explained, changed, and predicted for the trends of thought outlined in the functioning to fully access the desired outcome. Historians have stated abnormal psychology as the functioning associated with a mental disorder, in which, the mind or spirit has been identified to the initial cause for such behavior (Oltmanns and Emery, 2006). Moreover, the abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline due to functioning effectively in a variety of conditions that applied theoretical methods to a successful conclusion of a hypothesis.

            The associations of the scientific hypothesis from a statistical abnormality, psychometric to deviant behavior present an outlined of the behavioral characteristics to relevant proven scientific method of a diagnosis. The most important aspect is statistical abnormality that assists in abnormal psychology by identifying the percentage of the population in relation to being affected by such abnormality. The statistical abnormality outlined extreme cases that not only fall within the context of patients suffering from mental illness unidentified by non-physical causes but physical attributes located in a brain biopsy. The other aspect to abnormal psychology is in regards to psychometric abnormity and statistical abnormality rather than deviant behavior.

            Therefore, in the pursuit to effectively approach the major drivers associated in abnormal psychology is theoretical models of psychosocial, biological/medical, and socio-cultural analysis. The scientific theoretical aspects contributed to the discipline of abnormal psychology – that evolved to become a fundamental part in the explorative impetus within psychiatric diagnosis in the scientific pursuits. The identified abnormal psychology processes in individuals in relation to psychosocial, biological/medical, and socio-cultural is by the developmental, neurological or psychiatric dysfunctions. These approaches of theoretical methods have enhanced the research opportunities for specified populations suffering by the abnormalities.

            The discipline of abnormal psychology has expanded over time from spiritual influences to interpret behavior to the mind imbalances that encouraged a scientific methodology for a clinical approach. The perspective on abnormal psychology outlines the approach of cognitive neuroscience that studying the linkage between the brain and behavior are imperative for an elucidation of the effect. Respectively, the areas of the brain are detrimental to altering the social behavior and mental processes for a concise perspective. The emphasis of the brain as the primarily stimuli to the historical perspective for influencing the social cues or formation of a non-physical attributes – that contribute to clarifying abnormal psychology. The conformity provides the cognitive and scientific approach for an appropriate study of abnormal psychology.


Cosmides, L., “Toward an Evolutionary Taxonomy of Treatable Conditions.” Journal of            Abnormal Psychology 108 (1999): 453-64.

Oltmanns, Thomas F. and Emery, Robert (2006) Abnormal Psychology, Fifth Edition, Pearson,             Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

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