AS AQA PSYA2 Psychology- Abnormality definitions

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  • Created by: Ruth Butt
  • Created on: 24-05-13 11:12

Deviating from social norms

Rules as to how we should behave are implicit or explicit. People who violate these rules/social norms are seen as abnormal.  For example, schizophrenics often show inapropiate emotions, e.g. cry at a joke or laugh at a funeral.  It is when an individual has certain behaviours which are at a distance from good mental health, but deviate from social norms. 

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Failure to function adequetely

An inability to do everyday activities. Only need help if it is dysfunctional- e.g. hold a job or relationship. Use of the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF) where 100 is superior functioning over a range of activities, and 10 and under, is danger to themself or others, or an inability to maintain minimal personal hygiene, or suicidal. 

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Deviation from ideal mental health

Looks at positives rather than negatives. The fewer criteria for ideal mental health an individual meets, the more likely they are to develop a mental disorder. Jahoda identified 6 of these criteria Positive attidtude to oneself- Viewing yourself realistically and objectively, eith respect anf confidence Self-Actualisation- Having an fulfilling goals Resistance to stress- ability to cope and tolerate stressful situations  with coping stratgeies they know will help them Personal autonomy- The ability to make decisions that are right for ourselves Accurate perception of reality- Seeing the world realistically, rather than through rose tinted glasses. Adapting to an mastering the environment- Being competent in all areas of life, and being able to adapt to changes easily. 

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See limitations of the previous definitions in seperate resource

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