Historical Background

  • Michael Gossop


Abnormal forms of human behaviour have existed for as long as records have been kept, though the history of abnormal psychology is not necessarily related to that of medicine. Mora (1967) has suggested that the earliest concepts of mental disorders were probably influenced by universal beliefs in supernatural phenomena, and specifically by a belief in ancestral spirits. For this reason the first models of abnormal behaviour were generally of a religious nature, the mentally disturbed person being seen as powerful and supernormal. In such models it was usually assumed that medicine had no power over the ‘possessed’ individual, and even that it had no right to deal with such people (Zilboorg and Henry 1941).


Classical Conditioning Medical Model Abnormal Behaviour Historical Background Organic Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Gossop
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Dependence Clinical Research and Treatment UnitThe Bethlem Royal HospitalBeckenham, KentGreat Britain

Personalised recommendations