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Definitions of Abnormality…read more

Slide 2

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Deviation from Social Norms
A persons thinking or behaviour is considered abnormal if it
violates the rules about what is acceptable and what is
unacceptable behaviour in a particular social group.
Their behaviour may be incomprehensible to others or make
others feel threatened or uncomfortable.
Social behaviour varies when different cultures are compared.
E.g. It is common in southern Europe to stand much closer to a stranger
than it is in England
It is important to consider:
The degree to which a norm is violated
The importance of that norm
The value attached by the social group to different sorts of violation.…read more

Slide 3

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Deviation from Social Norms
Social norms vary from culture to culture. What is considered
normal in one culture may be considered abnormal in
Social norms vary over time. Behaviour may be abnormal in
one era yet normal in another
E.g. Homosexuality used to be considered abnormal and drink
driving was considered normal.
Not all eccentric people are mentally ill.
Not all criminals are mentally abnormal.
Social control
E.g. Mothers who had children before they were married were put
into mental homes as a form of social control.…read more

Slide 4

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Failure to Function Adequately
This prevents the person from carrying out a range of
behaviours that society would expect them to do.
Rosenhan and Seligman suggested a range of criteria that are
typical of FFA including:
Personal distress
Maladaptive behaviour
Unconventional or statically rare behaviour
Observer discomfort
Violation of moral standards…read more

Slide 5

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Failure to Function Adequately
Uses a range of criteria to diagnose, they don't diagnose light-
heartedly and helps to assess a lot of people.
FFA may not be linked to abnormality but something else
E.g. Not being able to get a job may be due to the economic situation not
Cultural relativism. What may be seen as abnormal in another may
not be abnormal in another.
FFA is context dependant and the criteria doesn't take this into
E.g. Not eating may be seen as FFA but prisoners making a protest and
not eating may be seen differently.
Some people have psychological disorders and still function
E.g. Winston Churchill had depression but still did his job well.
People may be classified as having abnormal behaviour but don't have
a mental illness.…read more

Slide 6

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Deviation from Ideal Mental Health
Jahoda suggested the following criteria for ideal mental
Resistance to stress
Growth, development and self actualisation
High self esteem and strong sense of identity
Perception of reality…read more

Slide 7

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