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Definition: Including deviation from social norms, failure to function adequately, and
deviation from ideal mental health.

Definition 1:Deviation from social norms

It considers behaviour as abnormal if `society' or the majority considers it unacceptable
or undesirable. Deviation refers to deviant behaviour i.e. behaviour that is anti-social or
undesirable by…

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Definition 2:Failure to function adequately

From an individual's point of view, abnormality can be judged in terms of not being able
to cope; not being able to carry out day to day tasks (their normal routine) can be
defined as abnormal.
As soon as depression or any other disorder interferes…

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Who can achieve all this criteria: According to these criteria most of us are abnormal

to some degree, Jahoda presented them as ideal criteria, but how many of them have to
be absent before we would be judged as abnormal

Is mental health the same as physical health: Doctors…

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Psychodynamic Approach
The approach originally proposed by Sigmund Freud in the late nineteenth century and
the first attempt to explain the complexities of human behaviour. Other psychologists
have based their theories around Freud's original.

Freud believed that the origins of mental disorder lie in the unresolved conflicts of

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Usual examples are men with homosexual desires developing very homophobic

Displacement:Venting anger somewhere else

Projections: Blaming someone else

Denial: Refusing to accept that something is true

Unresolved conflicts cause mental disorders:
Conflicts between the id, ego and the superego create anxiety. The ego protects itself
with various defence mechanisms…

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The unconscious mind
Although material in the unconscious is hidden it can create distress in the conscious
mind with the person not understanding the cause of this distress.


Abstract concepts: id, ego are difficult t define and research because actions motivated
by them operate primarily at an unconscious level,…

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5. The components of personality, the stages, libido Eros and Thanatos etc are all
hypothetical constructs, impossible to define or to study objectively. They only
manifest themselves through a subjective analysis of a patient.

Ethical implications of the psychodynamic approach
It sees the abnormal behaviour as being an out of…

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Biological approach to Abnormality
The biological (medical) model assumes that all mental disorder is related to some
change in the body. Mental disorders are like physical disorders i.e. they are illnesses.
Such changes or illnesses may be caused by one of four possible factors: genes
biochemistry , neuroanatomy and…

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where it remains dormant until puberty, when other hormones may activate it,
producing the symptoms of schizophrenia


No psychological disorder has a 100% concordance rate when MZ twins are
compared. There are many cases of one twin having a psychological disorder and
their identical twin showing no symptoms. No…

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Behavioural Approach to abnormality

The behavioural model concentrates only on behaviours i.e. the responses a person
makes to their environment. Behaviours can be internal or external, but because
external behaviour is easier to observe behaviourists tend to focus their attention on the
role of external events.

Classical conditioning (learning by…


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