Diagnosing Dysfunctional Behaviour - Definition - Rosenhan and Seligman

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  • Created by: Majid
  • Created on: 01-01-13 16:47

Rosenhan and Seligman

Someone who has dysfunctional behaviour is said to not be able to behave properly. Diagnosing DB involves distinguishing between normal and abnormal behaviour. Rosenhan and Seligman devised 4 definitions which may help diagnose DB: 1. Statistical infrequency = Human behaviour is abnormal if it falls outside the range which is typical for most people. i.e. normal. Things such as height; weight fall within broad areas. People who are short; fat; thin maybe considered abnormal. Someone may be abnormal because their behaviour has moved away from the norms of society. 2. Deviation from ideal mental health = Psychologists assume if you lack one thing i.e. health then you have the opposite i.e. illness. Jahoda assumes mental health involves having a positive view of youself and being restraint to stress. 3. Deviation social norms = Every society/culture has standards of acceptable behaviour/norms. Behaviour that deviates from these norms are considered to be abnormal. Social norms are approved and expected to behave in a particular society or social situation e.g. social norms for considering dress for different ages/genders and occassions.4. Failure to function adequately = This means not being able to lead a normal life or engage in normal behaviour: Maladaptive/DB = e.g. person can't go outside because of the rituals they have to do; Personal distress = e.g. Stressed at leaving the house - agoraphobic; Others distress = e.g. talking to themselves on a bus; Unpredictable behaviour = e.g. dramatic mood swings; Irrational behaviou = e.g. thinking they're being followed. In Conclusion every definition of abnormality is limited by cultural differences. However, these definitions don't cover all instance of DB.

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