Psychopathology Notes

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Definitions of Abnormality

Definition 1:

  • Deviation from social norms
  • Behaviour which is considered anti-social or undesirable by the majority of society.
  • Social standards are not restricted to rules of etiquette but also more moral issues.
  • Limitations:
    • Concept of deviation varies as times change, e.g. homosexuality is acceptable now whereas it wouldn't have been 50 years ago.
    • Szasz claimed that the concept of mental illness was simply a way to exlude those who don't conform to societial norms.
    • Making judgements based on deviance is often related to the context of behaviour.
    • It is hard to establish a clear line between abnormal deviation and harmless eccentricity.
    • Social deviance on its own cannot offer a complete definition of abnormality.
    • Influenced…


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