Definitions of abnormality


Definitions of abnormailty




Behavioural approaches to explaining and treating phobias

Cognitive approaches to explaining and treating depression

Biological approaches to explaining and treating OCD

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  • Created by: Magdalene
  • Created on: 25-04-16 09:24

Statistical deviation

When someone has an uncommon characteristic, e.g. is more depressed/less intelligent


Real life application

Unusual characteristics mean that the person is abnormal but they might not need treatment (e.g. tres intelligent)

Being viewed as abnormal may affect the way they see themselves and how other people see them

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Deviation from social norms

When someone behaves differently from others, e.g. hears voices


People are unsure what is abnormal/normal so definition is not a sole explanation

Different cultures have different views on what is abnormal behaviour

Can lead to human right abuses

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Failure to function adequately

When someone is unable to cope with everyday life


Takes experiences of other people with mental health problems

Hard to know whether people arent functioning adequately or just deviating from social norms

Assessment requires a subjective judgement: people have different views on this subjective

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Deviation from ideal mental health

When the person doesnt meet a set of criteria for good mental health, e.g. has low self esteem


Definition covers most reasons why someone would need to seek mental health

Jahoda's findings/ideas are based on western cultures and so dont relate to other cultures

Majority are classed as abnormal as few meet all of Jahodas points

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