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Autism

Abnormal Psychology Spring 2019:

Instructions for Mid-Term Paper

For your mid-term paper in Abnormal Psychology, choose any set of behaviors that have at some time, or still are, considered abnormal. 

  • AUTISM:
    If you would like to study a particular disorder, you will also have to talk about a time or place that the behaviors associated with that disorder were not considered abnormal. In other words, if you choose to study autism, for instance, your paper will explore how behaviors associated with autism were understood before the word autism was used to describe them.  

You are expected to write a detailed research paper on the history of how this behavior has been understood differently across time and/or throughout different parts of the world. You should also overview how this behavior has been treated by doctors, psychologists, and/or other community leaders throughout time. For this you will want to include, at least, the following elements:

  1. Overview the time period when, or the current location where, the set of behaviors you are studying were first classified as an individual abnormality. Was this done primarily for religious, medical, or other social reasons? What else is important about the society and/or culture in which this occurred?
     
  2. Overview some time periods when, or a geographical locations where, the behavior you are studying were not considered an individual abnormality. How was the behavior understood differently? Were there social or other religious meanings attached to the behavior? What was unique about these contexts that produced a different understanding of such a set of behaviors?
     
  3. Identify and describe at least three different forms of treatment that have been used throughout time to change this behavior. At least one of these should be some form of biological or medical intervention (e.g., pharmaceutical, surgical, electrical, etc.). The other two should be non-biological interventions (e.g., psychotherapies, community approaches, religious rituals, etc.). You should also explain to what extent these treatments were successful in changing the behaviors and whether they have been associated with long-term side effects that are detrimental to the health of the person receiving them.   
     

Your paper must be at least 5 pages long, not including a title page, abstract, or reference page. Of these three, only a reference page is required; however, you can include the other two if you wish. Either way, the entire paper should be formatted in APA style. You must include at least THREE sources! These sources must either be peer-reviewed academic articles/books, or first-hand accounts of someone who displayed the behaviors you are studying and received treatment for them. This can include an auto-biography, a blog, a video blog, or interview transcript you find online. A third-hand account, such as a biography or case study, about someone who has displayed these behaviors would not qualify as a first-hand account, but if it is published in an academic article you can cite it as an academic source.

 

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