Definitions of abnormailty

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  • Definitions of Abnormality
    • Statistical deviation
      • Occurs when an individual has a less common characteristic
      • E.g. being more depressed or less intelligent than most of population
      • Average IQ=100. 68% have IQ 85-115. 2% below 70. Individuals below 70 said to have intellectual disability disotder
    • Deviation from social norms
      • Concerns behaviour that is different from accepted standards in community or society
      • Norms are specific to culture e.g homosexuality accepted in some cultures, not in others
      • E.g. Antisocial personality disorder. Symptoms are impulsiveness, aggression, irresponsibility
      • Psychopathic behaviour considered abnormal in most places
    • Failure to function adequatley
      • Occurs when someone is unable to cope with ordinary demands of day to day life
      • Signs: No eye contact/ respect of personal space, severe personal distress, irrational/ dangerous behaviour
      • E.g IDD
    • Deviation from ideal mental health
      • Occurs when someone does not meet a set of criteria for good mental health
      • Ideal mental health: no distress, rational, self actualise, cope with stress, realistic view of world, good self esteem, independent
    • Evaluation
      • SD: Real life application in diagnosis of IDD. Valid
      • SD: Can't be used alone to diagnose- some abnormal characteristics are positive e.g. high IQ
      • SD: Labelling someone as abnormal may have a negative effect on the way they view themselves
      • DFSN: Real life application to diagnosis of antisocial PD. Not sole definition
      • DFSN: Social norms vary from culture to culture. Problems for one culture living within a different culture group
      • DFSN: Lead to systematic abuse of human rights.
      • FFA: Looks at behaviour from patients perspective. Easier to assess abnormality
      • FFA or DFSN?
      • FFA: Subjective judgements
      • DFIMH: Comprehensive, covers a lot. Good tool for diagnosing mental health
      • DFIMH: Cultural differences
      • DFIMH: Sets unrealistically high standard for ideal mental health


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