Deviation from social norms.

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  • Created by: Deanne
  • Created on: 14-12-12 14:05

Deviation from social norms.

Behaviour that deviates from the norm is abnormal and abnormal behaviours are therefore whatever violates social norms.


  • Human rights abuse. (Some countries confine people to mental institutions)
  • Cultural differences
  • Individualism (Those who do not conform to society may not be abnormal)
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Deviation from ideal mental health

Failure to meet the criteria for perfect psychological wellbeing, percieves abnormality in a similar way to the perception of physical health and looks for an absence of well-being.


  • Subjective criteria (Criteria difficult to meet.)
  • Cultural variation
  • Changes over time. (Perceptions of reality change over time)

Characteristics of ideal mental health:

  • Autonomy
  • Self actualisation
  • Environmental mastery
  • Positive attitude towards self
  • Resisting stress
  • Accurate perception of reality.
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Failure to function adequately.

Percieves individuals as abnormal when their behaviour suggessts they cannot cope with everyday life.

Features of personal dysfunction:

  • Personal distress
  • Maladaptive behaviour
  • Unpredictability
  • Irrationality


  • Distress to others (person themselves feels no distress)
  • Cultural differences
  • Normal abnormality (e.g. when loved ones die.)
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Biological model of abnormality.

Percieves psychological abormalities as similar to physical illnesses, caused by abonormal biological processes.

Organic disorders:

  • Physical brain damage  (For instance, alzheimers leads to memory loss through destruction of cells within nervous system)
  • Bacterial infections and viruses (E.g. neuropsychiatric disorder such as syphillis, later stages tumour like lumps develop in the brain, memory and intellect are impaired)
  • Biochemistry (Affected levels of neurotransmitters and hormones, e.g. high levels of dopamine have been linked to shizophrenia)
  • Genetics (shizophrenia among general population is 1 per cent, however among children of shizophrenics are 10 per cent, implying a link )

Functional disorders

No obvious physiological causes, such as depression.

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