Critics argue that this model is not suitable for describing psychological problems. They say that psychological problems are not illnesses but rather behaviors and experiences that are morally or socially deviant.

The Vulnerability-Stress Model

The vulnerability-stress model states that psychological disorders result from an interaction between biological and environmental factors. According to this model, individuals who have a biological vulnerability to a particular disorder will have the disorder only if certain environmental stressors are present.

The Learning Model

The learning model theorizes that psychological disorders result from the reinforcement of abnormal behavior.

The Psychodynamic Model

The psychodynamic model states that psychological disorders result from maladaptive defenses against unconscious conflicts.

Disorder Assessment

Psychologists use two methods to assess a psychological disorder: objective testing and projective testing. Objective tests are usually pencil-and-paper standardized tests such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory(MMPI). Projective tests require psychologists to make judgments based on a subject’s responses to ambiguous stimuli. Word association tests or the Rorschach test, in which subjects interpret a series of inkblots, are examples of projective tests. (See pages 285–287 for more information on these tests.)

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