Definitions of Abnormality| AQA

Include Deviation from social norms, Deviation from ideal mental health, fauilure to function adequately and all the evaluation points.

**Note: When studying psychology I was taught the AQA exam board spec, therefore some points may be irrelevant if you study a different a differemt exam board.

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  • Created on: 29-12-13 16:33
Preview of Definitions of Abnormality| AQA

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There are 3 Definitions...
Failure to function adequately
Deviation from ideal mental health
Deviation from social norms…read more

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There are 3 Definitions...
Failure to function adequately
Deviation from ideal mental health
Deviation from social norms…read more

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Failure to function adequately
Failure to function adequately is the ability to cope with the demands
of everyday life. Rosenhan and Seligman found that personal distress
and unpredictability is related to failure to function adequately.
Limitations
Psychological disorder may not be the reason for somebody behaving
in a certain manner. For example, discrimination an prejudice may be
preventing a person from getting a job and developing their career.
Behaviours that appear dysfunctional may be adaptive for the
individual ­ For example, a child may cause themselves to have
anorexia to get extra attention from their parents so that they share a
joint concern and prevent a divorce.…read more

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Deviation from ideal mental health
Deviation from ideal mental health was suggested my Jahoda. Jahoda
said that if someone deviates from one or more of the criteria they
are more vulnerable to psychological disorders. The criteria included:
Positive attitudes towards yourself
Self-actualisation
Accurate perception of reality
Resistance to stress
Adapting to and mastering the environment
Personal Autonomy…read more

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Limitations
Who CAN achieve this criteria ­ The majority of people in society today do not meet
all of the criteria and so you could say the majority of society have psychological
disorders. Also there's the question of how far must someone deviate to have a
psychological disorder.
Cannot be measured ­ Its easy to measure physical health by going for a check-up
with your GP, but its hard to measure mental health. You cannot measure how
resistant someone is to stress.
Rooted in western societies ­ Whether you are mentally healthy can be dependent on
your culture/religion. For example self actualisation may be seen as a key goal in
western individualist cultures but not in collectivist cultures.…read more

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