Abnormal Psychology. Classification and Assessment of Abnormal Behavior

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3 CHAPTER Classification and Assessment of Abnormal Behavior CHAPTER OUTLINE HOW ARE ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR PATTERNS METHODS OF ASSESSMENT 80–99 CLASSIFIED? 70–77 The Clinical Interview The DSM and Models of Abnormal Behavior Computerized Interviews Psychological Tests STANDARDS OF ASSESSMENT 77–80 Neuropsychological Assessment Reliability Behavioral Assessment Validity Cognitive Assessment Physiological Measurement SOCIOCULTURAL AND ETHNIC FACTORS IN ASSESSMENT 99–100 SUMMING UP 100–101 T R U T H or F I C T I O N “Jerry Has a Panic Attack on the Interstate” Interviewer: Can you tell me a bit about what it was that brought you to the clinic? Jerry: Well, . . . after the first of the year, I started getting these panic attacks. I …show more content…

Although his theory proved to be flawed, Hippocrates’ classification of some types of mental health problems generally correspond to diagnostic categories we use today. His description of melancholia, for example, is similar to our current conception of depression. 69 70 Chapter 3 During the Middle Ages some “authorities” classified abnormal behaviors into two groups, those that resulted from demonic possession and those due to natural causes. The 19th-century German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin was the first modern theorist to develop a comprehensive model of classification based on the distinctive features, or symptoms, associated with abnormal behavior patterns (see Chapter 1). The most commonly used classification system today is largely an outgrowth and extension of Kraepelin’s work: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association. Why is it important to classify abnormal behavior? For one thing, classification is the core of science. Without labeling and organizing patterns of abnormal behavior, researchers could not communicate their findings to one another, and progress toward understanding these disorders would come to a halt. Moreover, important decisions are made on the basis of classification. Certain psychological disorders respond better to one therapy than another or to one drug than another.

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