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DEFINITIONS OF ABNORMALITY…read more

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Deviation from Social
Norms
Every society has commonly accepted standards of
behaviour
Sometimes these are written and form the set of
laws that govern behaviour
Sometimes these norms are unwritten but generally
accepted i.e. The British habit of queuing in shops
or not standing to close when speaking to someone
Social norms can vary between cultures
Whether `explicit' - legally binding (e.g.
stealing/murdering etc.) or `implicit' but not legally
binding (e.g. queuing etc) social norms allow for the
regulation of normal social behaviour
This definition considers deviation from these social
norms an indication of abnormality…read more

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Limitations
Behaviour that deviates from social norms is not always a
sign of psychopathology
Eccentricity, for instance, may involve strange habits like avoiding
the cracks in the pavement but this is merely a mild suspicion not
a sign of psychopathology
Content of behaviour must also be taken into account
For example running down the street in a chicken outfit would be
seen as abnormal but when put it into the content of a charity fun
run would not be seen as psychopathology
Cultural relativity
Social norms reflect the beliefs of a society and so a specific to
that culture
What a behaviour seen as deviation in one society may appear
quite acceptable in another
Social norms vary over-time
Homosexuality was classified as a psychiatric disorders up until
the 1960's
But attitudes have changed and homosexuality is now accepted
in many cultures
this means that DSN does not provide an absolute definition of
abnormality but is era-dependant…read more

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Failure to Function
Adequately (FFA)
Focuses on the everyday behaviours of an
individual
When someone cannot live their lives normally
and cope socially and psychically
Rosenhan & Seligman
Observer discomfort: someone's behaviour causes
discomfort/distress to the observer
Unpredictability: we rely on others behaviour to be
relatively predictable; FFA can involve behaviour that
is sometimes uncontrolled
Irrationality: we can usually interpret the behaviour of
others as being entirely rational; FFA can involve
Maladaptivness: refers to a behaviour that interferes
with a persons usual daily routine…read more

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Limitations
Similarly to DSN, behaviour that looks like FFA may
instead represent normal behaviour depending on
the content
Political prisoners may go on a hunger strike ­ although
not eating could be taken as unpredictable, irrational and
maladaptive in this content it is not
FFA may not be linked to a psychological disorder
Not being able hold down a job may not be due to
psychopathology but the current economic conditions
The opposite also applies
Psychological disorders may not prevent someone from
functioning adequately, for instance, people with
depression or anxiety often function adequately
Cultural dimension to FFA
Standard patterns of behaviour will vary from culture to
culture so FFA may very depending on the culture…read more

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Comments

sarah

This is amazing.. Thanks!

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