Definitions of abnormailty: The deviation from social norms

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Psychopathology (abnormality)- Definitions of
abnormality: The deviation from social norms
As abnormality is difficult to define, there have been three variations of criteria for defining
abnormality. These are:
1. The deviation from social norms
2. The failure to function adequately
3. The ideal mental health
The deviation from social norms
Society sets norms or unwritten rules for acceptable behaviour E.g. Not swearing at
strangers for no reason or showing inappropriate emotion such as laughing when someone
has died etc.
This definition states that behaviour which deviates from these social norms is abnormal
Those behaving undesirably are known as social deviants
Strengths Weaknesses
The effects of an abnormality are easy Change over time ­ norms and
to spot so they can get help easily to values change over time as they vary as
calm it down to cause less effect on social attitudes change
society Conforming neurotics ­ These are
people who conform strictly to social
norms. E.g. OCD etc. Such individuals are
abnormal but are not included within this
definition
Cultural differences ­ Social norms
and values vary within and across
cultures and is so therefore difficult to
know when they have been broken.

Comments

Lydia Clarke

I have made three separate sheets of explanations of the definitions of abnormality: The deviation from social norms, The failure to function adequately and The deviation from ideal mental health. Go check them out see if they help you (: **

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