: What is Abnormal
In my first lecture I gave some brief examples of abnormal behavior
. Here are a couple of additional examples for you to discuss:
(1) A teenager goes into a convenience store to buy a soft drink. He hears a commotion at the front of the store and turns around to see a man in a mask pointing a gun at the clerk. As he watches the robber takes money from the cash register, but then, for no apparent reason, shoots the clerk and runs. The teenager calls 911 but the clerk dies before help arrives. Since this event the teenager has difficulty sleeping and nightmares about the event. He does not want to talk about the event and avoids anything that would remind him of it, such as going in to a convenience store. He feels distant from family and friends whom he feels cannot understand what has happened to him. Do you consider this behavior abnormal
(2) During her first semester of college a student wants to stay in touch with all of her own friends. She is on Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn with them. Soon she starts experimenting with other social networking websites like Nexopia, Bebo, Hi5, and Friendster where she begins corresponding with other people. She finds herself constantly texting them, tweeting them about everything she is doing, and spending most of her evenings on the computer with them. She neglects her classes and her new college friends who stop trying to get her to do other things. Is this a case of psychological abnormality or just a hobby gone overboard? What should she do? What should her friends do?
(3) An article in a Florida newspaper described a little girl entering kindergarten as actually a boy. The 5-year-old’s parents and the school administrators agree that it is in his best interests to blend in as a female. The child looks quite feminine, will wear only girl’s clothing, and plays with dolls. He insists that he is a girl and says that he hates his penis which he often tries to hide between his legs. He has three siblings, 2 girls and a boy, and lives with his father, an attorney, and his mother, who has a master’s degree in counseling. (Note: Since this event, a California school district has gone a step further and declared all grade school as gender neutral with children wearing clothing of the gender of their choice and unisex bathrooms.) Is this an example of abnormal behavior
, just a temporarily confused boy, or a condition we should try to understand and accept? Should he receive treatment for his condition?
For each of these three cases discuss the following:
A. Is this an instance of abnormal behavior
and should it have a diagnosis? What criteria for abnormality are met? What is the difference between psychological abnormality and other kinds of unusual or deviant behavior
? Present arguments why it should be considered abnormal
and should be given a diagnosis, and arguments why it should not be considered abnormal
. Which do you find most persuasive and why? Is there further information you would want to know to make a better decision?
B. In general we think of disorders or problem behaviors
as having possible causes in (a) the person’s environment; (b) the person’s psychological make up, traits, and coping skills; and (c) the person’s biological make up. In each of these cases, why do you think this person might have developed some problematic behavior
while others in the same situation did not?
C. Do you think the behavior
is changeable? What would you recommend to help the person? Do you think any particular form of psychotherapy might be helpful?
Most people take each case in turn and discuss the points, but other organizations are possible and acceptable. Your paper should be a minimum of 1500 words or about 6 pages.
[ Order Custom Essay ]
[ View Full Essay ]