definitions of abnormality

definitions of abnormality, including limitations of all 3 definitions.

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  • ABNORMALITY
    • definitions of abnormality
      • deviation from social norms
        • e.g. standing too close to someone or wearing a bikini to the supermarket
          • this type of behaviour breaks social norms, thus abnormal behaviour
            • but; social norms change over time, e.g. attitude towards unmarried pregnant women different now to 50 years ago
            • social norms are culturally relative: something in this culture may be completely normal but not in another, so this measure isnt universally assented to. e.g. dress code of women extreme different in Eastern culture to Western
            • context relative: bikini at beack, ok. bikini in supermarket. not ok.
      • deviation from ideal mental health
        • Jahodas criteria of ideal mental health:
          • autonomy
          • self actualisation
            • culturally biased: in some cultures the careers and marriages of the young are chosen by elders
            • difficulty of self actualisation; many people even those who are mentally stable don't ever achieve their goals
          • positive self attitude
          • stress resistance
            • benefits of stress?
          • accurate perception of reality
          • adapt to environment
      • failure to function adequetly
        • when you can no longer follow a normal, healthy pattern of behaviour because of a psychological problem. e.g. erratic sleep pattern, agoraphobia etc.
          • culturally relative; behaviours in some cultures different to expected behaviours in others. but the ones that are the same will suffice, such as the need to earn a living which is assented to everythwere
            • abnormality is not always accompanied by failure to function: eg sometimes someone can be depressed or have another psych. issue and still maintain a routine
              • context specific: some behaviours though irrational at somethimes, may be perfectly normal at another, eg students sleeping pattern during exams are somewhat erratic

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