Definitions of Abnormality

HideShow resource information

Definitions of Abnormality - Deviation From Social

Description

Someone is abnormal if:

  • Their behaviour is seen as a deviation from the social norms in a society or sub-society
  • When someone breaks unspoken rules, which is seen as undesirable by the majority
  • The standards are set by a social group
  • Not all norms are always desirable
1 of 6

Definitions of Abnormality - Deviation From Social

Limitation 1

  • P - Social norms vary between cultures - cultural relativism
  • E - In some Eastern cultrues, it is very abnormal for women to display much skin in public, whereas in the West it is acceptable
  • C - What is normal in one culture is abnormal in another, limits usefulness

Limitation 2

  • P - Social norms change over time
  • E - In western cultures it was once seen as abnormal for women to be pregnant or live with a partner out o wedlock. But now it's a common occurence
  • C - What was seen as abnormal in the past is normal now, limiting relevance
2 of 6

Definitions of Abnormality - Failure to Function A

Description

A person is abnormal if they can't function adepuately following the criteria:

  • Suffering - an individual recognises they're suffering
  • Maladaptiveness - behaviour prevents achievement, relationships and work
  • Unconventionality - behaviour differs from the norm
  • Loss of control - behaviour's unpredictable
  • Observer discomfort - makes others around you uncomfortable
3 of 6

Definitions of Abnormality - Failure to Function A

Limitation 1

P - Some people who have an abnormality continue to function adequately

E - Winston Churchill and Stephen Fry had bi-polar but both had successful careers and became memorable people in society

C - Definition does not apply to all people

Limitation 2

P - Definition is subjective - who decides what is adequate?

E - What one person thinks is normal, adequate behaviour a doctor may diagnose as abnormal. Bias can have a part to play

C - Limits the usefulness

4 of 6

Deviation from Ideal Mental Health

Description

A person is considered abnormal if they don't meet the following criteria for ideal mental health:

  • Being able to think positively about self - high self-esteem and sense of identity
  • Have self-actualisation, being able to set goals and reward self for achievements
  • Being able to cope with or resist stress
  • Being independent
  • Having an accurate perception of reality
  • Adapting to environments and forming relationships
5 of 6

Deviation from Ideal Mental Health

Limitation 1

P - Criteria is idealistic, not many people will meet it

E - Lots of people, especially young teens, suffer stress and low self esteem but are not abnormal

C - In some situtations such as these it is more normal not to meet all of the criteria

Limitation 2

P - Criteria is ethnocentric as is based on western culture

E - In another culture it may be more normal for people to be dependent on others and being independent is considered bad for your mental health

C - Limits relevance as can't be applied to everyone

6 of 6

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Abnormality resources »