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Accurately describe the four definitions of abnormality we have covered, include two weaknesses and two strengths for each definition.

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Accurately describe the four definitions of abnormality we have covered, include two weaknesses and two strengths for each definition. Which definition do you think is most appropriate? Support your answer. ________________ Abnormal behaviour can be difficult to identify; attempts have been made to recognise what characteristics or features define abnormality. Each definition describes to us what we should be looking for to draw a line between normal and abnormal; but each definition also has limitations. This shows us that it isn?t as simple as ticking boxes and classing someone as abnormal; there are many things to consider before any diagnosis can be considered. Statistical infrequency. This method of defining abnormality can be really useful in terms of showing us what is different or infrequent about a person?s behaviour. For example, if a child has not started walking by the age of 18 months, this may be considered as abnormal and undesirable, which would trigger offers of support and possible treatment. If someone were to have a particularly low I.Q, then this person would be identified as having learning difficulties, receiving help and support to bring out their potential. ...read more.


Explicit norms are a set of written rules that everyone is required to follow, and if they do not they will be punished. For example, criminal offenses, work policies, restrictions within a building (like no smoking in a hotel). This definition does not observe cultural differences, and that some social norms are not followed by certain individuals because they are not aware that they are breaking the social standards around them. It is also not a clear indication of abnormality, in the sense that if someone does not abide by rules, they may be acting unacceptably but it does not equal mental illness. If someone were to shoplift, for example they may be breaking the law, but it happens that frequently, we wouldn?t assume that they are abnormal. If someone were to be seen praying in the street, this may seem abnormal or bizarre to some circles of society but not others. It is therefore, too difficult to determine abnormality based around this definition, especially given how subjective norms can be. ...read more.


loved one their personal distress may be abnormal for that time in their life, but at what point does it become a cause for concern. Some mental disorders avoid all of these dysfunctions so may be overlooked, like OCD for instance; an individual who posses this illness can appear to function satisfactorily, but is suffering and may require help. Having looked at all the above definitions, I found the least limitations in the ?Failure to function adequately? model, thus recognising this definition as the most useful when it comes to identifying abnormal behaviour. I am aware though, that each definition includes strengths that can be used depending on the individual or situation. The ?Failure to function? definition can be used across numerous situations and cultures and would still make sense, enabling suitable analysis of a person?s well-being to be made. Reference list. Gross, R., & Rolls, G. (2006). Essential AS & A2 Psychology. London: Hodder Arnold. Gross, R., McIlveen, R., & Coolican, H. (2000). Psychology a new introduction: For AS level. Kent: Hodder & Stoughton. Mcleod, S. A. (2008). Abnormal Psychology. Retrieved February 25, 2013, from SimplyPsychology: http://www.simplypsychology.org/abnormal-psychology.html Page ...read more.

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