definitions of abnormality and the weaknesses

the three main definitions of abnormality and the ao2

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  • Created on: 19-04-12 20:56
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1. Deviation from social norms: social norms are implicit rules about how one
ought to behave and anything that violates these rules is abnormal.
Weaknesses: the context matters when behaviour is being judged i.e. what is
motivating that behaviour.
Some people decide to challenge social norms and disagree with the majority ­
these challenges could be beneficial and should not be considered abnormal.
2. Deviation from ideal mental health: it asks what characteristics mentally
healthy people possess, the characteristics are as following: autonomy, ability
to form affectionate relationships, self-esteem and acceptance, efficient
perception of self and reality, personal growth.
Weaknesses: no one knows what their potential is and when they will or have
reached it.
The definition is also too ideal; just because you lack one characteristic does not
mean you are mad or abnormal.
3. Failure to function adequately: sees mentally healthy people as being able to
operate within certain acceptable limits societies have expectations and
state people should in some way contribute to society, if people are unable to
meet their obligation they are deemed to be not functioning adequately.
Presence of one or more of the following may impair out ability to function
Discomfort: psychological or physiological.
Bizarreness: hallucinations or delusions.
Inefficiency: difficulty in completing daily duties or failure to reach ones
Weaknesses: some people may choose not to contribute to society i.e.
travellers, but that does not make them mentally abnormal.
Not all people who are suffering from a mental abnormality are aware of their
failure to function. I.e. schizophrenics believe they are the victim if a plot.

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Weakness applying to all definitions ­ all definitions are based on social norms
and these can vary over time, place, and culture (there is no consistency in
diagnosis)…read more


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