Psychopathology And Its Effects On Society

1030 Words5 Pages
All forms of psychopathology—from mild depression to severe schizophrenia—have had a complex, if not contradictory relationship with the public and even those considered experts in the field. After compiling research through both secondary sources and primary sources, there was an obvious sense of discourse between what was right and what was wrong, even within the basic idea of what designates someone as suffering or not suffering from psychopathology. As a result, it seems much less that there are experts in the field of psychopathology, but rather are experts in the field of theorizing about psychopathology. Such a claim does not discredit those who have studied psychopathology and are deemed experts, such as Dr. Thomas Widiger or Dr. R.J.R. Blair. They have, after all, dedicated their lives to the understanding of psychopathology, but it can be argued that complete understanding of the field can never be truly reached due to the subjectivity of it. Starting with the foundation of psychopathology, there is already quite a subjectivity that comes from a simple diagnosis. With an increasing amount of information about psychopathology paired with an increase in accessibility to said information, many people are now self-diagnosing themselves with mental disorders. Whether accurate or not, it can be argued that they are not experts of psychopathology. However, they are experts of their own mental state and, therefore, could be considered experts of their personal psychopathology. While Dr. Widiger believes that these online measurements allow for more proper diagnosis, he also argued against the diagnosis of psychopaths such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, even going as far as to say that Dahmer was not a psychopath as both the... ... middle of paper ... ...like hard sciences such as biology, physics, and chemistry, where experiments can be repeated with the same results, psychology relies more on the “soft” aspects of science—ones that cannot be so easily measured. As Alex Berezow explained, “Psychologists can 't use a ruler or a microscope, so they invent an arbitrary scale. Today, personally, I 'm feeling about a 3.7 out of 5. How about you?” While Berezow’s use of “arbitrary” can be offensive to those within the psychological and psychopathological fields, the case still stands: there is no absolute measure for psychology. This limitation paves for the way for difference in opinion. As Berezow explain, he may feel like a 3.7, but a psychological screening may put him at a 2 or 4, depending on how he answers questions. Once more, this does nothing to invalidate psychopathology, psychology, or those dealing with it.
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