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Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Essay

  • Submitted by: tsaulnier70
  • on February 12, 2009
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,245 words

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Below is an essay on "Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Paper
By
Tina M Saulnier
Abnormal Psychology/PSY410
University of Phoenix

Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology Paper
As far back as history can recall, different forms of madness have been recognized in every culture and multitudes of theories and myths have been developed to account for such conditions. Society’s view on behavior that would be deemed as abnormal has been connected with such phenomena as supernatural forces, the anger of the gods, the influence of the moon, an unbalanced temperament, ‘bad blood’ (i.e. hereditary factors), and decadence. (Frude, 1998) History will also show that people have continued to develop a variety of theories to explain psychological disturbances, usually falling on one of three general themes: mystical/supernatural (possession of spirits), scientific/medical (biological imbalances, faulty learning processes or emotional stressors), or humanitarian (cruelty or poor living conditions). These different etiological theories and continuing advancements in knowledge have been the building blocks for the study of abnormal psychology. To understand the impact that these aspects of psychology have had on this field of study it’s important to know the origins of where abnormal behavior was recognized and how it was treated, how abnormal psychology evolved into a scientific discipline, and the theoretical models related to the development of abnormal psychology.
Origins of Abnormal Psychology and the Evolution of the Scientific Approach
The field of abnormal psychology goes back about 100 years, but the recognition of what people deemed as abnormal behavior goes as far back as primitive and pre-modern societies. One typical approach of explaining abnormal behavior was a form of animism which indicated that a person inflicted with a mental disturbance was possessed with an evil or malevolent spirit. Associated with animism a primitive form of surgery, called...

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