Abnormality Revision Pack

Pack of Abnormality sheets covering all of the Abnormality unit.

  • Description of each section
  • Evalaution of each section
  • & Past paper questions for each section

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  • Created on: 15-03-13 14:10
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Describe & evaluate the deviation from ideal mental
health definition of abnormality (12 marks)
Description (6 marks) Evaluation (6 marks)
Strengths
· Marie Jahoda (1958) conducted a review of what The approach is positive ­ it focuses on the
others had written about mental health & characteristics that people need to be healthy rather
identified six characteristics that were commonly that concentrating on identifying problems. Therefore has
referred to. a positive aim.
· She claimed that, as physical health can be The definition of abnormality can be translated into useful
therapeutic aims.
defined as the absence of health characteristics,
It seems sensible to define mental abnormality according
abnormality can be defined as the absence of to the presence or absence of certain mental health
any of these mental characteristics. characteristics as physical abnormality or illness is
· Therefore abnormality is a deviation from ideal defined by the presence or absence of physical health
mental health. characteristics.
There is some support for Jahoda's work as she derived
The 6 characteristics she identified were: the characteristics from a review of what others had
written about mental health.
Self esteem - positive attitudes towards the self Limitations
Personal Autonomy ­ independence as an individual Subjective: it is difficult to measure characteristics such
as self-esteem objectively and scientifically.
Environmental Mastery ­ ability to adapt behaviour
According to these criteria most people would be classed
depending on the situation as abnormal as it would be very difficult to meet all of the
Accurate perception of reality ­ knowing what is real characteristics at the same time. Clearer distinctions
and what is not, not having any delusions or have to be made about how many of these 6
hallucinations. characteristics must be missing before someone is
Resistance to stress ­ ability to deal with stressful classed as abnormal.
situations and show hardiness (control, commitment The definition is culture-bound or culturally biased
and challenge). (ethnocentric). It does not consider the differences
between cultures in terms of the characteristics that
Self-actualisation ­ motivation to strive towards one's
they esteem and those that they condemn. E.g.
true potential in life. Westerner's value independence and autonomy more than
co - operative cultures such as African societies.

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Examples of short answer questions on the deviation from ideal mental health
(1) One way of defining abnormality is to see whether or not someone meets the criteria for mental health. Ivan has high selfesteem and a strong sense of iden
(a) Describe two other criteria that you would expect Ivan to display if he were psychologically healthy.
Criteria 1
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Criteria 2
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Describe & evaluate the failure to function adequately
definition of abnormality (12 marks)
Description (6 marks) Evaluation (6 marks)
ROSENHAN & SELIGMAN: Strengths
Abnormality occurs if a person is unable to live a normal life. Allows us to think in terms of degrees of
Criteria for abnormality include: abnormality: the fewer features displayed the
(Mrs) Maladaptiveness ­ inability to cope with stress or adapt to more an individual can be regarded as normal.
different situations.…read more

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Before leaving the house each morning, Angus has to go round
checking that all the lights are switched off. He has to do this several
times before he leaves and it makes him late for work.
Use the failure to function adequately definition to explain why Angus'
behaviour might be viewed as abnormal.
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Failure to function adequately
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Explanation of your choice
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Describe & evaluate the deviation from social norms
definition of abnormality (12 marks)
Description (6 marks) Evaluation (6 marks)
> In any society there are standards of acceptable Strengths
behaviour set by the social group. These social norms Distinction between desirable and undesirable behaviour.
include morals as well as expectations about how Undesirable behaviours are examined as part of the
people should act / think.…read more

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Describe `deviation from social norms' as a
definition of abnormality (6 marks).
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Diane is a 30yearold business woman and if she does not get her
own way she sometimes has a temper tantrum. Recently, she attended
her grandmother's funeral and laughed during the prayers. When she
talks to people she often stands very close to them, making them feel
uncomfortable.
Identify one definition of abnormality that could describe Diane's
behaviour. Explain your choice.
Definition
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Explanation of your choice
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Describe & evaluate the biological explanation for
psychopathology (12 marks)
Description (6 marks) Evaluation (6 marks)
Assumption = abnormality is caused by faulty Strengths
biology. Individuals are born with abnormalities. The biological approach is very objective ­ very
This works in 4 possible ways: scientifically testable. This makes it more
valid/credible.
Biochemistry There is research evidence to support the
The biological model suggests that our biochemistry and chemical biological explanations, e.g. Holland.
makeup may be responsible for causing our abnormalities.…read more

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Genetics There is evidence that the media has an affect
The biological model suggests that we may inherit our on anorexia so it can't all be biology.
abnormalities from our parents. It is difficult to establish cause and effect;
For example Holland's findings support the idea that genetics may Are the changes in neural mechanisms a result
be a initiating factor in anorexia. However they only found a
56% concordance rate in MZ twins suggesting that anorexia may of the abnormality or a cause? I.e.…read more

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