Criteria of Abnormality

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 713
  • Published : January 13, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Criteria of Abnormality

What is Abnormal?
Abnormality (or dysfunctional behavior), in the vivid sense of something deviating from the normal or differing from the typical (such as an aberration), is a subjectively defined behavioral characteristic, assigned to those with rare or dysfunctional conditions.

This definition suggests that instead of trying to define what is mental illness? we should define a state of ideal mental illness. Deviation from this would therefore be classed as abnormal. Jahoda’s (1958) criteria for ideal mental health – an individual should be in touch with their own identity, resistant to stress, be focused on the future and have an accurate perception of reality. The legal definition of abnormality declares a person insane when he is not able to judge between right and wrong, but this criterium is not used by psychologists The following criteria are used to determine whether a person’s behavior is abnormal or not: Several conventional criteria

* The standard criteria in psychology and psychiatry are that of mental illness or mental disorder. Determination of abnormality is based upon medical diagnosis. This is often criticized for removing control from the 'patient', and being easily manipulated by political or social goals.

Statistical Infrequency
In this definition of abnormality behaviors which are seen as statistically rare are said to be abnormal. For instance, one may say that an individual of above or below average IQ is abnormal. This definition, however, fails to recognize the desirability of the particular incidence. This definition also implies that the presence of abnormal behavior in people should be rare or statistically unusual, which is not the case. Instead, any specific abnormal behavior may be unusual, but it is not unusual for people to exhibit some form of prolonged abnormal behavior at some point in their lives 1 * Deviation from Social Norms;

It defines the departure or deviation of an...
tracking img