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Definitions of Abnormality
Definition 1:

Deviation from Social Norms:

The standards of acceptable behaviour are set by a social group.
Anything that deviates from acceptable behaviour is considered to be
Abnormality is seen as deviation from the implicit rules set by society on
how you `should' behave,…

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Deviation is related to context and degree:

Making judgements on deviance is related to the context of a
behaviour. Wearing a certain outfit in the right situation is considered
normal whereas in the wrong situation is abnormal.
There is not a clear line between abnormal behaviour and what could…

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Who judges?

In order to determine if someone is failing to function adequately
somebody needs to decide if they actually are
The patient may be experiencing personal distress, then the patient
themselves then determines that this behaviour is undesirable
On the other hand the individual may be quite…

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Definition 3:

Deviation from ideal mental health:

Abnormality is seen as deviating from an ideal of positive mental health
Ideal mental health would include:
Self-attitudes ­ high self-esteem, strong sense of identity
Personal growth and self-actualisation ­ the extent the individual
develops their full capabilities
Integration ­ Being…

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Cultural relativism

Many, if not all of the criteria listed are bound to particular cultures, if
we apply these criteria to other cultures we may find higher incidences
of abnormality
For example the criterion of self-actualisation is relevant to individualist
cultures but not collectivist cultures, where there is more…


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