AS Individual Differences - Abnormality Posters

A summary of the definitions and each of the different explanations of psychopathology.

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  • Created by: Barbs
  • Created on: 23-05-10 16:36
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Deviation from Social Norms
Definitions o This definition argues that a person who acts in a socially deviant way / breaks societies standards
is abnormal.
Failure to Function Adequately o This is based on abnormal behaviour being perceived as unpredictable, it causes observer
o Focuses on everyday behaviour of an discomfort and violates moral standards.
individual. What may be perceived as a deviation from social standards in one culture, may e the norm in
o Deviation from normal pattern of behaviour is another culture.
considered abnormal. Social deviancy isn't always a bad thing; it can help society progress e.g. Rosa Parks.
o Behaviour is definitely abnormal if the Depends on the time, what is seen as socially acceptable now, was a behaviour that was once
individual cannot cope with day-to-day life and seen as social deviancy e.g. homosexuality.
causes them distress.
o Rohenhen and Seligman's concept of
dysfunction: Deviation from Ideal Mental Health
- Personal Distress o Marie Jahoda came up with 6 characteristics of ideal mental health and used these to define
- Maladaptive behaviour someone as abnormal if they did not possess the following characteristics:
- Unpredictability - Positive attitudes towards self; a sense of identity, self-respect.
- Irrationality - Personal growth; striving to obtain ones full potential.
Abnormality isn't always accompanied by - Integration; the ability to cope with highly stressful situations.
dysfunction ­ people can appear to be normal. - Autonomy; the extent to which a person is reliant on their inner resources (independence).
Behaviour that looks like a failure to function - Perception of reality; seeing oneself and the world around them in realistic terms, not
adequately may instead represent normal distorted terms.
behaviour e.g. not eating is dysfunctional, but - Adapting to environment; being flexible & adaptive to situations, ability to love, work play
may be for religious purposes. etc.
Failure to function adequately may not always Vague ­ how is someone's self-esteem measured?
be due to psychological disorders e.g. holding It is nearly impossible for a person to meet all the points on the criteria, so then everyone must
down a job may be impossible due to the be classed as abnormal.

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It is thought that individuals with psychological
disorders have an imbalance of neurotransmitters
Biological Approach ­ we are all born with behaviours/abnormalities in their nervous systems.
e.g. schizophrenia patients have a higher level of
Abnormal behaviour is determined by 4 main things: dopamine in their brain than is considered
Brain Structure e.g. depression is associated with the lack of
When brain structure is damaged in any shape of form then serotonin.
abnormal behaviour may occur.
e.g.…read more

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Behavioural Approach ­ all behaviours are learnt
o Watson states we are born with blank slate ­ all behaviour that we act is learnt from environment around us e.g. a
baby learns to be scared of fire.
o Most behaviour we learn is adaptive and helps us to lead productive lives, although maladaptive behaviour can
also be learnt.
Classical Conditioning
Social Learning Theory Operant Conditioning o `stimulus, response;
o `observe; imitate' o Positive reinforcement - rewarding association'
e.g.…read more

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Freud says that we can become
fixated at any of these
Psychodynamic Approach ­ abnormal behaviour caused by unconscious forces psychosexual stages if we do not
overcome the conflicts within
that stage, which can lead to
Structure of the Psyche abnormality.
o The id ­ part of personality we are born with. e.g. oral fixation ­ pleasure from
The demanding part. Id is unconscious and mouth is needed as an adult =
therefore demands are not conscious.…read more

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Musturbatory beliefs:
Cognitive Approach ­ abnormality is caused by negative thoughts "I absolutely MUST, under practically all
conditions and at all times, perform well and
Beck's (1967) cognitive triad: win the approval of others. If I fail in these Feelings of anxiety, panic,
depression, despair,
important respects, that is awful and I am a
worthlessness.…read more



These posters are fantastic for revision - stick them on your wall, toilet door or even classroom!

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