Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
The purpose of this paper is to examine the origin of the field of abnormal psychology and the challenges to defining and classifying normal and abnormal behavior. Also, this paper will provide a brief overview of how abnormal psychology has evolved into a scientific discipline as well as an analysis of how the psychosocial, biological/medical, and sociocultural theoretical models are related to the development of abnormal psychology.
The origin of the field of Abnormal Psychology
. Abnormal psychology is a fascinating area of study, yet a controversial one with no precise explanations to some of its basic questions. Abnormal psychology focuses on gaining an understanding of why individuals behave in various ways, the causes of abnormal behaviors, and to accurately identify what is a normal and abnormal behavior in order to find treatments that are appropriate for these mental disorders. The field has only been in existence for over hundred years. However, various types of abnormal behaviors are found to be in records since biblical times. The field has gone through marvelous changes, progressions, and its share of controversies for over hundred years, yet six of its core concepts remained the focal points of the field (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
According to Hansell and Damour (2008), abnormal behaviors in the primitive time were considered coming from evil spirits that took over a person’s body. The mentally ill were considered to be possessed by malevolent spirits and, therefore, treated through two cruel methods, 1) trephining or cutting of a hole in the skull of a live person believing that the evil spirit will exit through this hole and 2) exorcism or casting out of evil spirits by religious leaders. Ancient Greeks and the Romans did not believe in evil forces to be the cause of abnormal behaviors. They believed biological issues triggered mental illness. The mentally ill were placed, housed, and treated in...