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Topic Overview
Definitions of abnormality
Biological approach to psychopathology
The psychodynamic approach to
psychopathology
The behavioural approach
The cognitive approach
Biological therapies: Drugs and ECT
Psychological therapies: Systematic
desensitisation, psychoanalysis and cognitive
behavioural therapy…read more

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Definitions of Abnormality
Deviation from social norms
This refers to deviant behaviour i.e. Which is
considered anti-social or undesirable by the majority
of the society.
There are social norms within society ­ where
standards of acceptable behaviour are set by social
groups and are followed by those socialised into that
group. E.g. Politeness, and people who are rude
behave in a socially deviant way to the rest of the
society who are polite.…read more

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Definitions of Abnormality
Deviation from social norms ­ limitations
The social norms which are set vary as times changes e.g.
Homosexuality
If we define abnormality in terms of deviation from social norms
we open the door to definitions based on prevailing social morals
and attitudes. This allows mentally ill to be classified as those who
transgress against social attitudes.
Social deviance, on its own, cannot offer a complete definition of
abnormality, because it is inevitably related to both context and
degree of the behaviour.
It is influenced by cultural factors. Certain disorders can be
diagnosed in different ways. A diagnosis may be different for the
same person in two different cultures.…read more

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Definitions of Abnormality
Failure to function adequately
Abnormality can be judged in terms of not being
able to cope.
As soon as the disorder interferes with such
things, like every day living, the person might
label their own behaviour as `abnormal' and seek
treatment.…read more

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Definitions of Abnormality
Failure to function adequately ­ Limitations
In order to determine `failure to function adequately' someone
needs to decide if this is the case.
The individual may be quite content or simply unaware that
they are not coping ­ it is others who judge their behaviour as
abnormal.
The dysfunctional behaviour can actually be adaptive and
functional for the individual e.g. Eating disorders
`failure to function' criterion is likely to result in a different
diagnoses when applied to people from different cultures,
because the standard of one culture is being used to measure
another.…read more

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Comments

Sophie


This helped me a lot! Thank you very much!

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