The definitions of abnormality- AS AQA Psychology revision notes

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Abnormality is something or someone that is unusual or different from the majority.

There are three definitions of abnormality:

  • deviation from social norms (someone who doesn't conform)
  • failure to function adequately in day to day life 
  • deviation from ideal mental health

examples of deviating from the social norms:

refusing to wear clothes, not being polite, not conforming, accusing people of being demons

examples of failure to function adequately:

not being able to work in an office on a high floor for fear of heights, not being able to eat normally (eating disorder), cannot wash clothes or bathe for fear of water

examples of deviation from ideal mental health:

There are 6 main criteria of ideal mental health. these are:

  • self attitudes- high self esteem
  • personal growth and self actualisation- how much people develop their potential
  • integration- coping with stress
  • autonomy-  being independant and self regulating
  • having an accurate perception of reality
  • mastery of the environment- being able to love, work, adjust to…


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