Compare and Contrast the Various Models of Abnormal Functioning Using Evidence from Current Psychological Research.

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Compare and contrast the various models of abnormal functioning using evidence from current psychological research. For many years scientists, including doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, have been interested in trying to understand human behaviour, in particular behaviour that is described as being ‘abnormal’. It is difficult to define ‘abnormal’ in terms of behaviour because there are many differing descriptions which have radically changed over the years. ‘Abnormal’ behaviour is widely categorised as being persistent and in a serious degree contrary to the continued wellbeing of the individual and/or the surrounding community. Cultural beliefs and expectations determine which behaviour patterns are deemed as being ‘abnormal’.…show more content…
However the psychodynamic model fails to take into consideration the effects of the environment as does the medical model both are concerned with the internal workings and defects. The Psychodynamic model has had a lot of opposition as it is difficult to define and research, as processes like the id, ego and superego operate on an unconscious level and therefore there is no real way of knowing for certain if they are indeed happening. Most of the evidence provided by this model has been individual case studies which in itself makes it difficult to generalise. Whereas the psychodynamic model began looking at the clinical work of physicians the behavioural model began in laboratories experimenting on behavioural conditioning, using stimuli and rewards, observing how their manipulations affected the responses of the individual they were studying. This model unlike the psychodynamic model can be tested and it is because of this that this model holds more weighting than the psychodynamic model when trying to understand ‘abnormal’ behaviour. However this model is not without its weaknesses as there is no evidence that individuals that display ‘abnormal’ behaviour are victims of improper conditioning. Behaviourists would argue that ‘abnormal’ functioning is learnt behaviour, and not environmental or genetic, the

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