Questions tagged [abnormal-psychology]

For questions about this branch of psychology which seeks to classify and characterize mental disorders. Aberrant or socially maladaptive thought patterns are the earmarks of many of these disorders, but the extent to which they are socially abnormal is evaluated subjectively based on customs and social practices. For questions related to treatment consider the tag psychiatry and for somatogenic disorders --- neurology.

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What is the psychology behind trolling?

For those new to the internet, trolling is an activity where one person intentionally tries to upset other members of the same community, presumably for entertainment. This has been informally ...
zergylord's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
23k views

Is pedophilia a sexual orientation or a mental disorder?

There are some different claims being made that pedophilia is a sexual orientation rather than a mental disorder. At the moment there seems to be a growing group of psychologists advocating that ...
Sonny Ordell's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
65k views

Is extreme empathy and compassion considered a disorder?

Can extreme empathy and compassion get to a point where it is considered a disorder? For example, if someone is so empathetic, when feeling someones pain it negatively affects their life to the same ...
Greg McNulty's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the effect of viewing pornography on children?

It is generally accepted that porn shouldn't be seen by children, and we even sometimes punish parents who fail to stop their children from finding porn. How much are these laws based in science? Can ...
Ansis Māliņš's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
713 views

Is serotonin conclusively linked to depression?

Some highlights from the article "The Depressing News about Anti-Depressants": ever since a seminal study in 1998, whose findings were reinforced by landmark research in The Journal of the ...
Randy's user avatar
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21 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is the mathematician's activity psychologically healthy?

I am a professional mathematician, and I regularly meet other mathematicians. I have come to wonder if there is something like a slight neurosis, specific to this activity. To be more precise, let ...
Sebastien Palcoux's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
56k views

Omitting word(s) when typing

[Reraising a recently asked question that was closed here, but in more cogsci fashion, I hope.] Some people are more inclined than others to omit a word when typing, but still be unaware of its ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is there a mental condition that makes people unconditionally gullible?

The last several years in my country there has been a string of fraud that involves people, claiming to be police, asking citizens to contribute large sums of money to aid "police investigation". The ...
dtech's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
526 views

Do the neural substrates behind motivation to retain/dispose of property govern whether certain people view their friends and partners as possessions?

I'm trying to understand why people have sometimes have the ability to sever ties with valuable connections, e.g., people that have up until that time meant a lot to them. Colloquially, people use ...
Chuck Sherrington's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
2k views

What is the difference between a psychopath and sociopath?

The Internet is of course full of memes from Sherlock Holmes show, based on one of the episodes having Sherlock self-diagnose: I'm not a psychopath, I'm a highly functioning sociopath But what ...
DVK's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
1k views

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Limitations

In treating people with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Which people can't be helped by therapy? How are some people more treatable than others? Additional Info In the comments of a blog post ...
Tyler Langan's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is Asperger Syndrome poorly recognised in France?

Asperger Syndrome is quite well-known in psychiatric circles, as well as (to a lesser degree) the general public, in many countries the western world. However, in France, Asperger Syndrome is ...
gerrit's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

How effective is court imposed therapy compared to self-initiated therapy?

People are frequently court ordered to some form of therapy, whether it be in the form of a course, group therapy or individual therapy. Some examples being; road rage, anger management, drunk ...
user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
4k views

PTSD based on false memories

Memory is not just static snapshots or video on a harddrive, but an active process. As such, it is possible to construct false memories (Brainerd & Reyna, 2005). Some of these false memories can ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
604 views

What causes people to feel depressed without there being a problem?

I have noticed that some people have lives that appear perfectly fine, yet they feel depressed. In my specific case the feeling typically lasts for a few days and then magically disappears, only to ...
Simon Verbeke's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
5k views

The relationship between narcissism and self-esteem

Given that personality disorders are rooted in abnormal experience and development. There has been much discussion about the aetiology of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Having a concept of the ...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
5k views

Are IQ tests "biased" against individuals with Asperger's Syndrome?

One person makes the claim over at his response to the Quora question Do people with Asperger's have above-average IQs simply because the ones with below-average IQs simply get diagnosed with autism ...
InquilineKea's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
769 views

Is dissociative identity disorder a medical condition or artifact of psychotherapy?

The popular media has offered such examples as "Eve" (based on Chris Costner-Sizemore) and "Sybil" (based on Shirley Ardell Mason) as sufferers of dissociative identity disorder (at one point known as ...
Chuck Sherrington's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
944 views

At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
LitheOhm's user avatar
  • 620
13 votes
1 answer
301 views

Do lonely people get addicted more easily than social counterparts?

The so-called "Rat Park" study conducted in the late 1970s indicated that lonely rats get drug addicted more easily than social ones. Does anyone know if there are more recent studies about the topic?...
CuriousSuperhero's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
18k views

What is the relationship between rejection sensitive dysphoria and ADHD?

I discovered something called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD). If you google it, the first page will show pages that talk about it in relation to ADHD. What is it about ADHD that causes "nearly ...
BCLC's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the purported mechanisms of eidetic memory and why is it comorbid with autism?

Eidetic memory, often called "photographic" or "flashbulb" memory, is often associated with amazing feats of recall. Is the mechanism behind this phenomenon an aberration of the visualization of a ...
Chuck Sherrington's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and fugue states?

The introduction of the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders ("DSM-5") is on the horizon. With it are coming some new, evidence-based diagnoses for dissociative ...
Chuck Sherrington's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
5k views

Are there any reliable self-tests for autism spectrum disorder?

Are there any reliable tests, on-line or available for download, for auto-diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder (including Asperger syndrome)? I've found that test: http://rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz....
FolksLord's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Are there any standard tests to measure psychopathy?

While looking into another question on how to measure the adoption of norms, I came to wonder whether there are any standard tests to measure psychopathy. What are the accepted standard tests to ...
John Pick's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
517 views

Are mentally ill people more violent?

A lot of people are afraid of people with mental illnesses because they think they're more violent but is that true? I think it's wrong even though I don't really understand the pages I found on ...
Laura's user avatar
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10 votes
5 answers
27k views

What is the difference between Megalomania and Narcissism?

As far as I can tell, both megalomania and narcissism are found in [delusions of] grandiosity. Perhaps megalomania has more focus on power, rather than just being well liked? What is the primary ...
galois's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
1 answer
428 views

What is a neurobiological explanation of borderline personality disorder?

In other words, how do the brains of those with BPD differ from those who don't have BPD? The Wikipedia article doesn't even contain any possible explanations whatsoever.
InquilineKea's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
569 views

What is a more modern interpretation of the terms egosyntonic/egodystonic?

Egosyntonic thoughts/ideas are those that are consistent with self-image, and egodystonic thoughts are recognized as inconsistent. For example, in obsessive compulsive disorder, the patient will ...
Chuck Sherrington's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the effects of hebephilia on victims?

Following the Milo Yiannopoulos shebang, I had a discussion with a friend over the effects on a sexually maturing teenager (14ish) engaging in sexual behavior with a significantly older adult (at ...
Daniel Kaufman's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can bipolar disorder be considered a malfunction of the "love circuit" in the human brain?

I've not so long ago read a book on depression by a Russian psychiatrist Vladimir Levi. The book's title can be roughly translated as "Not only depression, but a pursuit of mood". I have not been able ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
298 views

Is there any "predictive" component to positive/negative affect in Seasonal Affective Disorder and Bipolar Disorder?

I'm wondering if the human brain "predicts" how certain weeks of the year should feel? For example, a child who is going to school may have a more positive affect in anticipation of summer holidays, ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
  • 9,390
9 votes
5 answers
42k views

Is there a psychological condition which promotes literal and overly complicated thinking?

Quote from Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory IMDB Leonard: You convinced me. Maybe tonight we should sneak in and shampoo her carpet. Sheldon: You don't think that crosses the line? Leonard: ...
user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
553 views

How effective is cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders?

How effective have cognitive behavioral therapy type techniques been shown and proven to work for anxiety based on published literature? Citations please.
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why is schizophrenia a thought disorder and bipolar a mood disorder?

Examining two major mental illnesses that are, loosely, grouped by mood and thought. Schizophrenia is regarded as an illness associated with thought disorder. Bipolar is regarded as a mood ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
447 views

Why does a person get obsessive for those who don't take interest in him?

Why does a person get obsessive, Specially towards those who don't accept his love or attraction towards them? Self esteem has such an impact on human life that he wants to preserve his esteem in any ...
user3747's user avatar
  • 538
9 votes
2 answers
662 views

Are there advantages of psychopathic traits?

After watching a fairly engaging 2016 TEDx talk titled "Psychopaths and three reasons why we need them" I was hoping to read more systematic/traditional research output from its author, Armon Tamatea. ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Does schizophrenia cause a loss of intelligence?

Does having schizophrenia cause a loss of intelligence (as measured by IQ tests)? How does present research comment on this connection, if it exists? Furthermore, is it possible to recover from this ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
358 views

Why does strobe lighting trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy?

Photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
13k views

What it is called when a mother has sexual desires towards her son?

I know about Oedipus complex. What is it called when a mother has sexual desires towards her son? Is the term reserved for single mothers or does it include married mothers?
Freud's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
2 answers
167 views

Prevalence of mental health problems in medical professionals caused by exposure to death?

Some medical professionals work in areas where they are exposed to death often (say, E.R, O.R, Cancer Treatment, etc.), specifically in an area where they bond with the patient and the patients' ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 411
9 votes
1 answer
426 views

How do Hemispatial Neglect patients react when told of their disability?

Hemispatial Neglect patients are known to have Anosognosia meaning they don't recognize their disability. These patients neglect either their left or right field of vision entirely, as if they couldn'...
Ben Brocka's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How common is alien hand syndrome?

The impression that I got from looking at a couple of articles on alien hand syndrome was that it was an extremely common or basically guaranteed result of getting a callosotomy to treat severe ...
Adam Strandberg's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
37k views

What are the differences between Asperger's Syndrome and Schizoid Personality Disorder?

They are specifically listed as two separate disorders in the ICD, but what are the differences between Asperger's Syndrome and Schizoid Personality Disorder? Since both result in a withdrawal from ...
IQAndreas's user avatar
  • 606
9 votes
1 answer
12k views

What causes fetishes? Are they sexual disorders?

Why do people have fetishes, such as foot fetishes? How do such fetishes form? Are childhood incidents the main cause of fetishes? Are fetishes a sexual disorder?
ron's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Does Stockholm syndrome have an equivalent for victims of stalking?

According to Wikipedia, Stockholm syndrome is: a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of ...
Montgomery 'monty' Jones's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
115 views

Open magnetic resonance imaging datasets on psychosis?

Are there any open magnetic resonance imaging datasets of normal and healthy adults (as controls) and psychotic subjects? Such as ADNI for Alzheimer's or OASIS for aging.
data's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
2 answers
714 views

Does high IQ give cause to doubt an ADHD diagnosis?

My friend was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, but her parents disagreed with such a diagnosis on the grounds that she had a high IQ which was discovered when her psychologists and psychiatrists were ...
Red Rackham's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
5k views

How do you know if it's psychosomatic or not?

"It's in your head" is often true and often offensive. But as your head can invent any number of psychological and physiological symptoms how can you distinguish whether something is or isn't ...
David's user avatar
  • 235
8 votes
1 answer
494 views

How can prolonged stress lead to a sustained reduction in cognitive functioning?

Background: Ten years ago or so I went through a traumatic period which resulted in a lot of stress and anxiety. I initially assumed there was some depression but cognition and short term memory was ...
James P.'s user avatar
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