Revision for psychogy Psy 1 exam in January 2012..

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Deviation from social norms

A01- Deviation from social norms is when a person does not follow what society perceives as normal behaviour i.e. here in the UK it is rude not to give eye contact but in other cultures this could be seen as abnormal behaviour. There are implicit (what we learn to be socially correct as children) and explicit (laws in your society) social norms.

A02 - Change depending on social context i.e. if someone was randomly dancing in the street would be seen as abnormal however if there was a camera crew filming the person we may stop and join in not seeing it as abnormal behaviour therefore depending on the context.

- Social norms can change over time as women out of wedlock having a baby has become normal where as several years ago this would have been seen as abnormal causing many women to be sent to be classed as abnormal and insane.

- Social norms change per culture as not all cultures follow the same implicit and explicit social rules.

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Failure to function


Failure to function adequately is when a person can not cope with their daily activities and has the inability to work or socialise. For example if an alcoholic can not get up for work, then their problem prevents them from working and looking after themselves properly thus failing to function adequately.


- One limitation with this definition of abnormality is that stress can often cause people to fail to function this commonly occurs in students during exam periods neglect themselves and their social lives however after the exams their stress levels return to normal therefore only failing to function over a short period of time or at a point of high stress.

- If the person was from another ethical background they may find it hard to adopt to our culture and therefore would prevent them from having a normal social and work life.

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Deviation from ideal mental health


Deviation from ideal mental health is failiing to meet Marie Jahoda's 6 rules on normal behaviour i.e. if a person can not cope with stress and makes them ill as then they fail to meet Jahoda's rule of coping with stress,the same applies if a person does not reach their full potential in life as Jahoda claimed that normal behaviour aspires to suceed.


- Jahoda's criteria is focuses on the positive not the negative impacts of life. Even though we suffer from stress this helps to motivate us to work harder and to achieve more than if we were not stressed at all.

- it is impossible to meet all 6 of Jahoda's criteria. As we may not reach our full potential in life but this does not mean that we are menatlly unstable as factors such as the environment have an impact on our sucess and potential.

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Marie Jahoda's 6 criteria

1) Positive attitudes towards self- knowing who you are, having self confidence and accepting yourself.

2) Self-actualizationof ones potential- fulfilling your potential and being all you can be (aiming high)

3) Resistance to stress- being able to cope with stress.

4) Personal autonomy- making choices on whats best for you not others.

5) Accurate perception of reality- seeing the world realistically, not too pessimistic or too optimistic.

6) Adapting to and mastering the environment- being able to adapt to changes in your life and being content with all aspects of their life.

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The Biological Approach - A01

That all mental health problems are caused by a biological illness. That mental health can be innate i.e. passed on genetically. Mental health problems should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.That there are four main causes of mental health disorders:

> Brian damage (abnormal behaviour may occur if the brain is damaged in some way e.g. Alzheimer's disease which causes a malfunction and loss of cells in the nervous system.)

>Infection (Suggests that bacteria can cause mental health disorders i.e. a pregnant women in her third trimester suffering with flu increases the risk of her daughter suffering from anorexia and her son suffering from schizophrenia.)

> Biochemistry (neurotransmitters are thought to be out of balance in the nervous system of individuals with psychological disorders,schizophrenia increases dopamine activity.)

> Genes (it's possible that menatl health is passed through genes ths is most common with schitzopherenia.)

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The Biological Approch - A02

Positive A02- No blame, a diagnosis of mental illness implies that the person is not respsonsible for their behaviour.

-Scientific,it can be physically proven through genes & ect.

- Treatment, drug treatment, electro-conclusive therapy(ECM) and psycho surgery.

Negative A02- Reductionist, too simple just looks at your biology not the person as a whole.

- Stigma, people do not necessarily want to be labeled abnormal or mentally ill.

- Relinquishing responsibility, place the doctor in charge and people don't take care of themselves they let the professionals get on with it which affects their rate of recovery.

 - Cause or effect, cannot separate cause and effect of the environment on your genes.

- Concordance rates, genes are not 100% correct, they are never the whole reason only part.

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Psycodynamic Approach - A01

Freud believed that problems arose directly from the dynamics of our personality rather than from physical causes. The psyche is made up of three parts the id, ego and superego. The id is the selfish part and the superego is the selfless of our psyche; the ego is in the middle meeting the both the demands of the id and the superego. If the ego cannot cope with the conflict between the id and the superego, it use defence mechanisms to protects itself. There are four defence mechanisms denial, repression and projection.

>Denial, when you deny that something happened.

> Displacement,when you place your anger on to someone else and take it out on them.

>Repression,this is when memries are repressed and forgotten about but still affect us unconsciously creating phobias or nightmares.

> Projection, when you project your emotions onto others.

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Pschodynamic Approach - A02

> This model is completely abstract it is not scientific as it can not be proved or tested scientifically.

> The model is Focuses on sex and does not look at other reasons.We are not only motivated by sex.

>The ego of a well adjusted person balances the demands of the id and the superego,if the ego is weakened the id or superego will dominate causing the person to be too nice or too mean.

> Places blame onto parents particuarly the mother (psychosexual stages)

>This theory is based on studies where people had to remember their childhood, this is not very reliable. Freud took a small case study in Vienna, limited findings.

> This theory states that we cannot change once we are adults which is not hopeful for people who have abnormal behaviours. (fixed by age 3)

However this theory has been very infulential having a great impact on the world.

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The Psychosexual stages - A01

Freud proposed that all infants passed through the 5 stages of pyschosexual development. At each stage the libido (sexual energy) is located at a different part of the body stimulating this area results in physical pleasure. If too much or too little gratification is received at each stage a fixation occurs.                                   

Oral, gratification is gained through breast feeding/bottle feeding. Over gratified at this stage Oral Optimist likes to eat,smoke, drink.Under gratified Oral Pessimist, opposite characteristics. 

 Anal, gratification is gained through learning to control muscles (potty training age). Over gratification causes Anal Explusive careless,loose things,late, likes clutter and under gratified causes Anal Retentive,on time and organised.                          

Phallic, stimulation of genitals causes Narcissism or Hyper Masculine/Feminine, likes to look their best,work out , self-love, spend money pampering themselves. 

Latent,adolescent becomes fixated with their social life and friends, goes out a lot

Genital, adulthood,fixation behaviours come evident especially when stressed.

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The Oedipus complex


Freud said that alongside the psychosexual stages there was the Oedipus complex; Oedipus is a young boy who grows up to kill his dad and marry his mother when finding out that she is his mother the pulls his eyes out. the theory is that young boys become infatuated with their mothers and are jealous of their dad as they get to spend time with their mum and share the same bed and so young boys almost want to kill their dad.


The problem with this is that most young boys tend to admire their dads and look up to them as role models the complete opposite to what this theory suggests.

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