Statistical Deviation

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Statistical Deviation


  • Real life application in the diagnosis of intellectual disability disorder - therefore it is a useful part of clinical assessment
  • Helps give cut off point in terms of diagnosis
  • Objective due to the mathematical nature - no bias


  • Unusual characteristics can be positive - someone who has a higher IQ than average is not seen to be abnormal and in need of treatment
  • Someone may be living a happy and fulfilled life does not benefit from having a label of being abnormal e.g. someone with a low IQ may not feel any distress and may have a good job and therefore would not benefit from a label
  • The cut off point of 'abnormality' such as IQ - why is someone with 69 IQ abnormal whereas someone with 70 is normal
  • No consideration of cultural differences


Due to the advantages and disadvantages of statistical deviation as a definition of abnormality it would suggest that although it can be used as a good overview to see if an individual might be at risk of an illness and for certain 'abnormalities' such as IDD it is a good diagnosis tool, not all the 'abnormalities' that it suggests are bad and someone serious 'abnormalities' such as depression are not uncommon in the population and therefore would not be noticed as a statistical deviation and therefore does not seem to be a thorough explanation of abnormality.


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