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Topics: Sociology, Abnormal psychology, Psychology Pages: 2 (495 words) Published: October 13, 2014
Outline and evaluate two or more definitions of psychological abnormality (12 marks)
There are three specific definitions that help to explain psychological abnormality these are, a deviation from social norms, a failure to function adequately and a deviation from ideal mental health. All three definitions encompass within them a spectra of different but sometimes interlinking criteria which enable us to categorise psychological abnormality. However I am only going to outline and evaluate the first two Deviation from social norm sees abnormality as breaking away from the norms and standards of society; abnormal behaviour is that which will be seen as violating societies rules and moral standards, such as hearing voices regularly. The definition itself brings about many implications, the first being that society has changed and the social norms of one generation may differ from the next due to a change in attitude, an example of this is homosexuality which is now more widely accepted however it was viewed as a mental disorder just a few decades ago. Another implication is that there is a lack of consistency between different cultures as each has their own social norms and in some parts of the world it is normal to hear voices. Failure to function adequately sees abnormality as a failure to experience a normal range of emotions and experience a normal range of behaviours, Rosenhan and 
Seligman identified indicators of a failure to function adequately these include; Being dysfunctional, having maladaptive behaviour which in turn would lead to a failure in reaching one’s life goals Being irrational and having behaviour that does not fit into the context for example such as feeling your world has come to an end if you fail one exam Showing unpredictable behaviour, the way you act is highly varied and highly inconsistent and hence seeming very irregular going about day to day life The definition however doesn't take into account the context of situations when...
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