Definitions of abnormality

  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 06-05-19 13:30
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  • Definitions of abnormality
    • Deviation from social norms
      • Violating the unwritten rules of society
      • Clear distinction between normal and abnormal
      • Lacks cultural relativism; norms are specific to a culture
      • Individualism - those who don't conform may just be individualistic, not abnormal
    • Failure to function adequately
      • Personal distress; irrational beliefs; poor hygiene; unable to cope with stress / work
      • Standardised criteria
      • Subjective as psychologists judge people differently - lacks inter-rater reliability
      • Considers individual differences - analyses each individual patient
    • Statistical infrequency
      • Any trait that is common is considered as normal; rare traits are abnormal
        • Deviating from mean score = classed as abnormal
      • Objective and standardised so fairer
      • Practical application; diagnosis of intellectual disability disorder
        • Used to see if deviate from average score
      • Doesn't distinguish between desirable and undesirable factors
      • Subjective; someone has to decide what is normal and abnormal
    • Deviation from ideal mental health
      • Good self-esteem; being rational; independent; able to maintain relationships
      • More criteria failed = more abnormal
      • Positive and holistic approach to diagnosis
      • Too inclusive - impossible to meet all criteria at all times
      • Lacks cultural relativism - based on the Western idea of IMH


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