Definitions of Dysfunctional Behaviour 3.1.2

  • Created by: Lily
  • Created on: 13-03-13 20:07

Definitions of Dysfunctional Behaviour

Two main ways in which psychologists have attempted to define 'normality' and 'abnormality':

1) Statistical infrequency: behaviours which are seen as statistically rare are said to be abnormal e.g. one may say that an individual with an IQ above or below the average are said to be abnormal. However, there are limitations of this approach to defining dysfunctional behaviour, as it fails to recognise the desirability of certain 'abnormalities' (having a high IQ) and also the undesirability of certain behaviours which are common (being depressed). 

2) Deviation from social norms: the departure or deviation of an individual, from society's unwritten 'rules' (norms). e.g. if you saw a man running around, nude, on the streets he would be seen as abnormal as he has broken society's norms about wearing clothing. There are a number of criteria for one to examine before reaching a judgement as to whether someone has deviated from society's norms:

  • Culture- some things may be seen as 'normal' in one…


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