Abnormal Psychology - Topics Essay

1982 Words Jul 22nd, 2010 8 Pages
Lauren Minor
July 27, 2010

Topic 1. Indicate, describe and discuss the major theories and principles in abnormal psychology The Biological approach believes that abnormal behavior is caused by structural damage to the brain, biochemical imbalances, and genetic abnormalities. Research proves that certain characteristics of a person, such as a chemical imbalance in the brain, can be passed on from parent to child. These studies show patterns of abnormal behaviors from generation to generation. Other research provides proof that some individuals have abnormal behaviors because of defects in the brain or nervous system. The defects of the brain and nervous system can range from a lack or abundance of a certain chemical (such as
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Operant conditioning is the use of consequences to change a person’s behavior. And Social Learning theories are the social processes that affect the influence of reinforcements and conditioning have on behaviors. The Cognitive Perspective studies the mental processing of an individual. Researchers believe that abnormal behavior is based on how a person receives, interprets, and retrieves information. These behaviors are based on the false assumptions that people gather after certain things have happened. A person’s ability to change their cognition determines whether a behavior can be changed. Researchers believe that if a person is able to change their false cognitive assumptions and make them into positive, new values and judgments, then a person’s abnormal behavior can be changed. The Humanistic- Existential Perspective believes that research has to go beyond those observable characteristics of a person’s behavior. This research studies a person’s inner being (self worth, self actualization, and self determination). These researchers believe that abnormal behavior is displayed when a person’s environment blocks their ability to successfully achieve and work toward their goals; and when a person is unable to gain self determination, individuality, and freedom of choice. Finally, is the Community- Cultural Perspective which studies the support systems of an individual, and the individual’s ability to cope with and address stress in a healthy manner.

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