Capella University Theories o

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Assignment 1: Theories of Abnormal Behavior

Write 3-4 pages in which you examine an abnormal behavior through the lens of a selected biological or psychological theory and compare and contrast the behavior from the point of view of the selected theory with the sociocultural viewpoint.

Introduction

There are many origins of abnormal behavior, and the development of abnormal behavior can be understood differently from different points of view. Theories in psychology can help us to understand various aspects of how behaviors develop.

Defining Abnormality

For some behaviors there is a great deal of controversy as to whether a behavior can be defined as abnormal.

In psychology, abnormal is defined by “the four Ds” (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014, pp. 6–7). If the behavior fits all of the four Ds, it can be categorized as abnormal, or maladaptive, from a psychological standpoint.

The four Ds are:

  1. Dysfunctional – Interferes with daily functioning or the ability to form relationships.
  2. Distressing – Causes distress to self or others.
  3. Deviant – Far outside of cultural norms or potentially harmful to self or others.
  4. Dangerous – Causes harm to self or others.

Various theories in psychology have different views on how abnormal or maladaptive behavior develops. For psychology professionals, it is important to have an understanding of how various theories help us to recognize, explain, and treat the origins of maladaptive behavior. Through this process, we can recognize our own biases and better explore options for assisting those who exhibit abnormal behaviors.

Reference

Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology. McGraw-Hill.

Preparation

There are a variety of views that postulate the causes of abnormal behavior. To begin this assessment:

  • Select a theory from the biological or psychological point of view and use it to describe the cause of an abnormal behavior.
  • Support your discussion of the theory with at least three resources, two of them peer-reviewed journal articles.

Potential biological points of view could include:

  • Neurotransmitter or hormone imbalance.
  • Genetic vulnerabilities.

Potential psychological points of view could include:

  • Psychoanalytic theory.
  • Ego psychology.
  • Objects-relations theory.
  • Classical conditioning.
  • Instrumental conditioning.
  • Humanistic perspective.
  • Existential perspective.
  • Cognitive-behavioral perspective.

Instructions

Write a 3–4 page paper that addresses the following:

  • Describe your theory in detail and how the theory views behavior in general.
  • Explain how your theory describes the cause of your selected abnormal behavior.
  • Compare and contrast the point of view you chose with the sociocultural viewpoint.
    • How might they view the abnormal behavior similarly?
    • How might they view the abnormal behavior differently?
  • Describe the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior.

References should be included and cited. Review the scoring guide prior to submission so that you address all required grading criteria.

Additional Requirements

  • Title page: Include your name, course, date, and instructor.
  • Reference: Use at least 3 resources, including 2 peer-reviewed journal articles. Additional references may be used.
  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA style and formatting.
  • Length of paper: 3–4 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Apply relevant theories to issues in mental health.
    • Describe how a theory views behavior in general.
    • Explain how the theory describes the cause of a selected abnormal behavior.
    • Compare and contrast the view point of your theory with the sociocultural viewpoint.
    • Describe the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior.
  • Competency 6: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for professionals in the field of psychology.
    • Use well-developed written communication by writing in a manner that is generally concise, logically organized, and utilizes correct punctuation, spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
    • Apply scholarly writing skills and use proper APA formatting and style in all papers and reference lists.

      Theories of Abnormal Behavior Scoring Guide

      CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
      Describe how a theory views behavior in general. Does not describe how a theory views behavior in general. Description of how a theory views behavior in general is more specific rather than general. Describes how a theory views behavior in general. Describes how a theory views behavior in general. Explains the difference between general and specific behaviors.
      Explain how the theory describes the cause of a selected abnormal behavior. Does not explain how the theory describes the cause of a selected abnormal behavior. Insufficiently explains how the theory describes the cause of a selected abnormal behavior. Explains how the theory describes the cause of a selected abnormal behavior. Explains how the theory describes the cause of a selected abnormal behavior. Provides illustrations to support the explanation.
      Compare and contrast the view point of your theory with the sociocultural viewpoint. Does not compare and contrast the view point of the theory with the sociocultural viewpoint. Describes but does not compare and contrast the view point of the theory with the sociocultural viewpoint. Compares and contrast the view point of the theory with the sociocultural viewpoint. Compares and contrasts the view point of the theory with the sociocultural viewpoint. Describes situations where a viewpoint may be most applicable.
      Describe the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior. Does not describe the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior. Describes either the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior. Describes the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior. Describes the benefits or drawbacks to applying multiple theories to defining abnormal behavior and provides real-world examples of their application.
      Use well-developed written communication by writing in a manner that is generally concise, logically organized, and utilizes correct punctuation, spelling, grammar, and mechanics. Does not write in a scholarly fashion. Written communication is adequate but has errors and inconsistencies. Written communication is proficient with only minor errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar, and/or mechanics. Writing is coherent, using evidence to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a psychology professional.
      Apply scholarly writing skills and use proper APA formatting and style in all papers and reference lists. Does not use APA format and style. Uses APA format and style but inconsistently and with errors. Uses APA format and style consistently and with few errors. Uses correct APA format and style consistently and with no errors.
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