Definitions of Abnormality - Unit 2 (AQA)

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  • Created on: 22-01-13 19:40
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Definitions of Abnormality
Deviation from Social Norms:
Set of rules for behaviour based on a set of moral standards; can be explicit
(breaking the law) or implicit (unwritten rules agreed by society)
Behaviour:
Incomprehensible to others
Make others feel threatened or uncomfortable
Evaluation:
"Over inclusive" ­ Everyone deviates sometimes
Varies between cultures ­ different norms
The degree to which a norm is violated (needs to be considered)
Importance of that norm (needs to be considered)
Failure to Function Adequately:
Failing/Unable to cope with the demands of everyday life
Rosenham & Seligam (1989): - The following characteristics represent abnormality:
Maladaptiveness (Danger to self)
Irrational
Suffering
Unconventional (stands out)
Causes observer discomfort
Violates moral/social standards
Dysfunctional Behaviour
Evaluation:
Subjective ­ Observer bias
Over-inclusive ­ everyone will not function adequately at some point
After bereavement most people will find it difficult to function adequately
May be as a result of social or economic conditions
Some people appear to function well but still have a psychological abnormality ­
John Nash (Mathematician) ­ suffered from Schizophrenia ­ Went on to win the
Nobel Prize for economics

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Deviation from Ideal Mental Health:
There are certain characteristics that are required to be `mentally healthy'
Any behaviour that deviates from these characteristics = abnormal
Conditions associated with good mental health:
Positive self attitude/view of self
Capability for growth & development (realise self-potential)
Positive friendships & relationships
Can meet demands of day to day life
Accurate perception of reality
Evaluation:
"Over Inclusive" ­ who has all of these characteristics
Very subjective ­ what is `ideal mental health'
Categories based on Western Cultures
Unclear how far…read more

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Abnormality ­ Definition Biased:
Gender:
Biological or hormonal differences and the different way men and women are
brought up = gender differences in frequencies of disorders
Gender stereotype can lead people to believe that women are more moodier and
men are more violent & anti-social ­ Could lead to Doctors diagnosing more mood
disorders with women and more antisocial disorders in men ­ Doctors `expect' to
find them
Men = Violent & Antisocial
Women = Moodier
Race:
Large number of black people in Britain are…read more

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