Essay, 4 pages (850 words)

Abnormal psychology and perception

Abnormal psychology and perception Abnormal psychology To the editor, I read your article on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and believe that your author’s approach to the article is overly simplistic, and could mislead the public on the disorder and its causes. The article is also likely to hamper success in controlling and managing the disorder among children because it presents a false basis from which the society can initiate preventive and management measures. The following reasons support my opinion on the article’s simplistic approach and identify issues that the author should have noted in the article. One of the bases for the article’s simplicity is its narrow approach to understanding the disorder because it ignores diversified theories to possible causes of the disorder and instead focuses on one, a child’s environment through parenting. While this position may be true, even the wider perspective of the environment, as a factor to the disorder, is not limited to a child’s parents. Behavioral theory to understanding abnormalities includes, but is not limited to parenting because it covers a child’s entire environment from which the child learns and is influenced. Treatment from a child’s peers and the macro society are for example integral factors to the disorder and should be understood for proper prevention and management. There are also many other theoretical bases to disorders such as the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that are independent of the nature of parenting offered to a child. Humanistic theory explains that such an abnormality can be a result of a child’s “ self-concept” and association with the society that could lead to “ denial, distortion of one’s true self,” rejection or stigmatization by members of the society (Harris, 2007, 106). A child’s thoughts, false perception, poor beliefs, and low self-esteem are other causes of such disorders as is explained by cognitive theory of abnormal psychology. Causes of the abnormality can similarly be explained from other theories such as “ biological perspective,” and “ socio-cultural perspective” (Harris, 2007, 106). The theoretical perspectives correspond to diversified causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, information on these possible causes is available, and the author’s failure to acquire such knowledge identifies the simplistic approach that is probably based on personal and uninformed opinion. The disorder has for example been associated with particular causes such as early cognitive development and factors such as “ depression, lack of sleep, and learning activities” (PubMed Health, 2012, p. 1). Genetics and environmental factors are also responsible for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (National Institute of Mental Health, 2013). Restricting the disorder to poor parenting is therefore narrow and regressive to the disorder’s management. Perception Considering a case where I tell my six-year-old nephew that based on my knowledge from university education, primary colors are red green and blue and he insists that yellow instead of green is a primary color because one can make green by mixing blue and yellow, I consider both of us to be right. My position is based on psychological perspective to cognitive development that implies differences in cognitive potentials across different stages of life. Validity of knowledge is therefore understood from the perspective of an individual’s attained cognitive development. Learning has also been designed to introduce people to knowledge that is consistent with their achieved cognitive development and this forms a basis for possible difference in knowledge across cognitive potentials. My nephew who is six years old is for example at Piaget’s preoccupation stage of cognitive development, a stage at which a child has not developed rational potentials for logics. The child’s understanding is symbolic and his learning process is based on relationships (Rathus, 2011). This explains my nephew’s understanding of primary colors based on relationship between colors that define primary colors as those that cannot be derived from other colors. He is therefore right because this knowledge is recognized and is impacted on him to facilitate his understanding of colors (Milady, 2011). Cognitive development beyond his age however identifies a higher-level ability that develops understanding from abstract approaches and principles rather than observable relationships. The development stage that begins at 12 years and progresses with age identifies logical thinking and an abstract approach to learning. Knowledge is therefore not based on relations but on characteristics of individual elements. There is specialization of knowledge, at this stage of development and learning, which differs from one academic or professional discipline to another. It is on this basis that classification of primary colors, for example, with respect to color vision, identifies red, green and blue instead of red yellow and blue. This classification is also valid and is supported by professional literature. Both my nephew and I are therefore right in our classification of primary colors. The validity of our knowledge is however relative to our levels of cognitive development and the scope of our learning environment (Nevid, 2008). References Harris, L. (2007). CliffsAP psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Milady. (2011). Milady standard cosmetology 2012. New York, NY: Cengage Learning. National Institute of Mental Health. (2013). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from: http://www. nimh. nih. gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index. shtml. Nevid, J. (2008). Psychology: Concepts and applications. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. PubMed Health. (2012). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from: http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002518/. Rathus, S. (2011). Psychology: Concepts and connection. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

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