Definitions of Abnormality

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Definitions of Abnormality

There are three definitions of Abnormality;

1. Deviation from Social Norms

Social norms are approved and accepted ways of behaving in a particular society. This theory suggests that people who break or reject social norms and behave in a socially deviant way should be regarded as abnormal.

Limitations of this definition

1. Context - The behaviour has to be defined in the situation in which it is occuring before it can be labelled as deviating from social norms.

2. It does not offer a universal definition or abnormality, as it is limeted to the norms of  a given society at any one time. What is considered a social norm in one culture may be considered abnormal in another.

3. Social norms change over time so something that was once considered abnormal may have changed to be currently considered normal. It would be inappropriate to apply the norms of a society at one time to society at present. 

4. To be socially deviant is not necessarily considered a bad thing, especially if you are doing it to stand up over wrongdoings of others

2. Failure to Function Adequately

Failure to function adequately means that a person is unable to live a normal


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