Unit 4 Ch14Q2
Alien News Desk: Human Mental Disorders
It is fair to say that what behavior is defined as normal or abnormal is relative to the particular
culture under discussion and their cultural norms. To gain a deeper understanding of this
concept, imagine you are from the Alien News Desk (this is a show on SyFy if you want to
check it out for ideas- lots of youtube videos) and are investigating the humans of Elgin, IL (or
ECC!). As an alien observer, identify specific behavior(s) of the local humans that might appear
to indicate a specific mental disorder to you because you do not understand the local culture
(American, or whatever subculture you are observing).
-These should be behaviors that *are* actually considered normal in an Elgin culture or
subculture, but which appear to also compromise these humans’ ability to function.
-DO NOT USE BEHAVIOR THAT IS OBVIOUSLY INDICATIVE OF A CURRENTLY DEFINED
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER IN THE TEXTBOOK.-
To give you a starting point, a mental disorder is something that should compromise one’s ability
to function cognitively, behaviorally and/or emotionally. In our culture we mainly focus on mental
disorders as things that impair either your ability to survive, work, and/or maintain relationships
with other people.
In your essay describe (not in a list form, I bulleted for ease of reading only):
Proposed name of the disorder (should NOT be the name of a currently recognized mental
Symptomology: what human behaviors/symptoms led you to propose this disorder,
Risk factors: whether it appears to affect people of different genders, ages, ethnicities, etc.
at different rates
Course of Disorder: when does it develop and what the common long term outcomes are
of developing this disorder might be
Treatments: What treatments for this disorder do you suggest?
This is a thought exercise in cross-culturalism- if you are referencing the book you are doing it
P.S. Please don’t *take* an idea from Alien News Desk- it’s a good reference for ideas on what
types of human behavior look bizarre from the outside but please develop your own
Unit 4 Ch14Q2