Definitions of Abnormality

What are the 4 definitions of abnormality?
Deviation from Social Norms. Statistical Infrequency. Failure to Function Adequately. Deviation from Ideal Mental Health
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What is Deviation from Social Norms (DSN)?
Behaviour that is considered to be abnormal as it violates social norms
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What is Statistical Infrequency (SI)?
Behaviour that deviates from the norm or average
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What is Failure to Function Adequately (FFA)?
Any behaviour that stops individuals from coping with everyday life.
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What is Deviation from Ideal Mental Health (DIMH)?
Similar to physical health, in that abnormality looks for an absence of wellbeing
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What does the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) say behaviour is governed by?
By norms, values and rules in which say what is considered to be acceptable behaviour - abnormal behaviour are behaviours that deviate from these.
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What does the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) are the two categories of behaviour?
Desirable and Undersirable
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What is the term used to describe an individual that is 'abnormal'?
A social deviant, for this they will be offered help where appropriate and necessary
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What are implicit social norms?
Simple social expectations that guide generally towards acceptable behaviour, these social norms are flexible.
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What is an example of an implicit social norm?
Queueing
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What are explicit social norms?
Meeting the fundamental needs of society, breaking these norms is often punishable by law. These social norms are inflexible
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What is an example of an explicit social norm?
Murder
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How is temporal validity a key criticism of DSN definition?
Social norms change over time - homosexuality used to be abnormal but is no longer seen as a psychopathic trait. Thus its era dependent and cannot be generalised.
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Explain why the DSN definition could be considered simplistic?
Does not consider context - being nude in public would be considered abnormal, but being nude on a nudest beach is considered acceptable.
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How is culture bias a criticism of DSN definition?
Social norms are sometimes specific to one culture - eating dogs in the UK could be considered abnormal, but in China is considered normal
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Explain why the DSN definition could be considered to be open to interpretation?
Not conforming to norms, may just mean people are trying to express their individualism, showing their difference from the rest of a society that they struggle to fiot into. So definition has difficulty distinguishing eccentricity from abnormality
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What does Rosenhan suggest about FFA?
Suggests personal dysfunction has 7 features, the MORE a person has, the MORE abnormal they are.
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What are Rosenhans 7 features of personal dysfunction and FFA?
Personal distress. Maladaptive behaviour. Unpredictability. Irrationality. Observer discomfort. Violation of moral standards. Unconventionality
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How does Personal distress lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
A key feature of abnormality; includes depression and anxiety
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How does Maladaptive behaviour lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
Behaviour which stops individuals from reaching goals, both socially and occupationally
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How does Unpredictability lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
Displaying unexpected behaviours characterised by a loss of control, like attempting suicide due to failing a test.
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How does Irrationality lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
Displaying behaviour which cannot be explained in a rational way
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How does Observer discomfort lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
Displaying behaviours that cause discomfort to people that wittiness it
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How does Violation of moral standards lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
Behaviour which goes against societys moral standards
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How does Unconventionality lead to personal dysfunction and FFA?
Unconventional behaviours that violate the social norms
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How does Corner criticise FFA?
Not all cases of psychopathology include a person who FFA. Psychological abnormality is not necessarily indicated by dysfunction alone. e.g Harold Shipman was a GP, happily married but killed around 250 people. Thus FFA is not a complete definition
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How could FFA definition be considered as non-generalisable?
No context, cannot apply to all behaviours, not externally valid - Not sleeping or eating could be seen as unpredictable, irrational and maladaptive (ABNORMAL), but if a student didn't sleep or eat because of exam stress, they would not be abnormal.
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How can it be argued that FFA definition lacks internal validity?
Rosenhan provides criteria to meet , rather than a scale or measuring tool. Therefore choosing whether someone meets criteria is opinion and subjective; open to interpretation
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What is a strength of FFA definition?
Definition contributes to being able to methodologically assess psychopathology,and professionals can use it to diagnose/treat. Thus being open to interpretation should be outweighed by the fact its better than not having a checklist to start with.
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What idea did Jahoda have about DIMH?
Put forward the idea that we should consider it mental HEALTH not mental ILLNESS
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What are Jahoda's 6 criteria required to be able to have Ideal Mental Health?
Positive attitude towards self. Self-actualisation. Resistance to stress. Autonomy. Accurate perception of reality. Environmental mastery
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How does Positive attitude towards self show Ideal Mental Health?
An individual should be in touch with their own identity and feelings
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How does Self-actualisation show Ideal Mental Health?
Individuals should be focused on the future and their own personal growth and development
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How does Resistance to stress show Ideal Mental Health?
Individuals should be able to resist the effects of stress by having effective coping strategies
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How does Autonomy show Ideal Mental Health?
Individuals should be independent and self-reliant
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How does Accurate perception of reality show Ideal Mental Health?
Individuals should have an accurate and realistic view of the world
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How does Environmental mastery show Ideal Mental Health?
Individuals should be flexible and adaptable in order to meet the demands of everyday life
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According to Jahoda's criteria for ideal mental health, are people more abnormal if they meet ALL or NONE of the criteria?
NONE - the less criteria you meet, the more abnormal you are
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What does DSN, FFA and DIMH all focus on?
Behaviours that are desirable in society, rather than what is undesirable.
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What is a positive aspect of the DIMH definition?
It emphasises positive achievements rather than just failures and distress
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How can Jahoda's IMH criteria be considered subjective?
Measuring mental health rely on self-reports from the patient, which can be unreliable. Whereas physical; health can be measured by X-rays and blood tests. Thus the definition may be flawed
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Why can the DIMH definition be referred to as a holistic approach?
It considers the individual as a whole not just a specific problematic behaviour. Therefore it is a more suitable and realistic definition for dealing with complexities of human behaviours and emotion.
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What is an advantage of the DIMH definition?
Allows treatment to be targeted on specific area of dysfunction- E.g. Allows a professional to target a patients depression rather than having a broad focus. TST definition is more practical than others.
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On a normal distribution curve, what does any behaviour carried out by less than 4% of the population show?
That the behaviour is statistically rare and therefore abnormal
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According to SI definition, the difference between normal and abnormal is what?
The difference is one of QUANTITY not quality - the majority of people are normal so the minority must be abnormal
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According to SI definition, how is behaviour judged?
On the mathematical principles of normal distribution
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On a distribution curve, where would characteristics of the majority of the population be found?
Would cluster around the middle of the graph - these characteristics would be considered statistically FREQUENT
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What object does the shape of a distribution curve resemble?
a Bell
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On a distribution curve, where would characteristics of a minority of the population be found?
Would be found around the edges or tails - these characteristics are statistically INFREQUENT, and therefore a deviation from social norms
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How can the SI definition be seen as objective?
Based on real, unbiased, statistical data - cannot be open to interpretation or subjectivity. TST has improved diagnosis and subsequent treatment of psychopathology from the point of objectivity
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How can Albert Einstein's IQ level be used to criticise the SI definition?
Not all statistically infrequent behaviours are abnormal, some rare behaviours can be seen as desirable. Take Einsteins IQ level - statistically abnormal. TST definition may be flawed
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How can SI definition be argued to lack population validity?
Doesn't consider cultural factors- what is statistically frequent in one culture may be infrequent in an other. TST cannot generalise across cultures
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What is an advantage of the SI definition of abnormality?
Its flexible- no judgements are made, so for example with homosexuality - it used to be seen as a mental disorder and seen as wrong by other definitions. However, SI just says its more statistically infrequent than heterosexuality
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is Deviation from Social Norms (DSN)?

Back

Behaviour that is considered to be abnormal as it violates social norms

Card 3

Front

What is Statistical Infrequency (SI)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Failure to Function Adequately (FFA)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is Deviation from Ideal Mental Health (DIMH)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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