• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

OUTLINE AND EVALUATE TWO OR MORE DEFINITIONS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ABNORMALITY.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"PSYCHOLOGICAL ABNORMALITY CAN BE DEFINED IN VARIOUS WAYS, SUCH AS STATISTICAL INFREQUENCY OR DEVIATION FROM IDEAL MENTAL HEALTH; EACH HAS ITS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES." OUTLINE AND EVALUATE TWO OR MORE DEFINITIONS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ABNORMALITY. If there was ever a word in English language that was difficult to define it would be abnormality. What is abnormality and what makes it abnormal. A definition of abnormality is a psychological condition or behaviour that departs from the norm or is harmful and distressing to the individual or those around him or her. Abnormal behaviours are usually those that violate society's ideas of what is an appropriate level of functioning. Psychological abnormality can be defined in various ways, such as statistical infrequency or deviation from ideal mental health; each has its strengths and weaknesses. The most common of them all is defining abnormality using statistical infrequency. Researcher and the government agencies collect statistics to inform us of what the average is and what is above average. ...read more.

Middle

Behaviours that are statistically infrequent in one culture might be statistically frequent in another culture. For example, one of the symptoms of schizophrenia is claiming to hear voices. However, this is an experience that is regarded to be normal to and very desirable to some cultures. Even religious leaders claimed to have heard the voice of GOD speak to them. On the other hand, it is sometimes appropriate to use statistical criterion to define abnormality. For example, mental retardation is defined in terms of normal distribution using the concept of standard deviation to establish a cut-off for abnormality. The model works better on some human behaviour than others. Another psychological definition of the word abnormality is derivation from social norms. This model uses the concept of deviation from the sense of deviant behaviour. This is behaviour which is anti-social or undesirable. In every society there are standards of acceptable behaviour that are set by the social group. ...read more.

Conclusion

While some societies in America find homosexuality acceptable others especially in the deep south of North America find homosexuality to be an abnormal behaviour. The DSM IV is based on the dominant culture in the West (white and middleclass) and these same criteria are applied to other subcultures living in the west. For example Cochrane, 1977 said that African- Caribbean immigrants are seven times more likely to get diagnosed with schizophrenia than white. On the bright side of things, this model distinguishes between desirable and undesirable behaviour, a feature that the statistical infrequency model did not possess. This model takes into account the effect of the behaviour on others. Deviance is defined in terms of transgression of social rules and ideally social rules are established to help people live together in peace and in harmony. Most behaviour that is deviant are socially unacceptable for the rest of us. This way of defining abnormality takes into account the greater good of the society. In a shell, abnormality is defined as a behaviour that damages others or affects others. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. "Outline and evaluate two definitions of abnormality: statistical infrequency and deviation from social norms."

    Also, there would be an equal amount of individuals with an IQ below the mean as there would be people with an IQ above the mean. With nature producing this normal distribution curve, an immediate problem arises: where do you draw the line as to what is normal and what is abnormal?

  2. Outline and Evaluate the Biological, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Explanations of Abnormality

    As the treatment in the psychodynamic model is talking the therapy may be extensive, taking a long time and costing a lot of money. A therapist must gain their client's trust first, as the client will be divulging a lot of personal information and feelings.

  1. Psychological Abnormality

    if it were possible to add up all the numbers, it would Agovi become clear that as many as one out of every two people would fall into at least one of these categories" (Gross & McIlveen 1998, p 563)

  2. Atypical Psychology: Describe and Evaluate Perspectives of Psychological Disorders (Studies and Theories).

    They may have an elevated self-esteem, be more talkative than usual, have flight of ideas, a reduced need for sleep, and be easily distracted. Depression is often experienced as the high quickly fades and as the consequences of their activities becomes apparent, the depressive episode can be exacerbated.

  1. Definitions of Attitudes

    Sometimes an individual is able to carefully and logistically evaluate the consequences of their actions before reacting and sometimes not. In the case where the individual is afforded time, rewards and punishments are weighed to evaluate their behaviour output. In a situation where there is little or no time to evaluate, the individual's preconceived attitude comes into play.

  2. Summary table of definitions of psychological abnormality.

    This is because one person chooses not to report their problem to a GP etc. In one sense the problem does not exist because an official diagnosis has not been made. This will lead to variations in the extent to which abnormality is seen as existing in different cultures.

  1. The contents of this essay will explain different psychological approaches to health and social ...

    that have happened previously or may happen in the future, about things they have engaged in or may do, and about whether their environment is a safe or unsafe place. (Stretch et al, 2010) Shyness is a common category of mild fear ? if it is minor, it may not be significantly impactful on an individuals life.

  2. EVALUATE THE MEDICAL MODEL AND THE BEHAVIOURAL MODEL OF ABNORMALITY

    criticised as focusing only on the symptoms of mental disorders and not the causes. Another criticism of this model is research is not always reliable or valid take the study of Rosenhan (1973). Rosenhan and seven other normal people presented themselves to different psychiatric hospitals to try and gain admission

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work