These are notes from Abnormal Psychology Class. The notes and definitions would help anyone taking this or a similar class, or even general psychology. Lots of definitions here.

Essay by LswilmCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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Chapter 1 Key Terms


The field concerned with the nature and development of mental disorders.

Normal Curve

A type of population distribution which depicts the majority of people being in the middle as far as any particular characteristic is concerned.


The various professionals authorized to provide psychological services.

Clinical psychologist

Requires a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree.


Techniques necessary to determine that a patient's symptoms or problems indicate a particular disorder.


A primarily verbal means of helping troubled individuals change their thoughts, feelings, and behavior to reduce distress and to achieve greater life satisfaction.


Holds and MD degree and has had postgraduate training (residency) in which he has received supervision in diagnoses and psychotherapy.

Psychoactive drugs

Chemical compounds that can change how people feel and think.


Specially trained at a psychoanalytic institute

Psychiatric social worker

M.S.W. degree.

Counseling psychologist

Has completed Masters or Doctorate program


A diverse group that conduct research into the nature and development of the disorders that their therapist colleagues try to treat.

Varied academic background.


The casting out of evil spirits by ritualistic chanting or torture.


The notion that something wrong with the soma (body) disturbs thought and action.


The belief that something is due to psychological origins.


Places of confinement For the mentally ill.

Moral treatment

Sympathetic and attentive treatment provided for the mentally ill.


A tendency for a certain group of symptoms that run together within a disorder.

General paresis

The deterioration in mental and physical health, characterized by syphilis.

Germ theory

Disease is caused by infection of the body by small organisms.

Milieu therapy

The entire hospital becomes a therapeutic community. All ongoing activities and all its personnel become part of the treatment program. Appears to be a return to...