Topics: Psychology, Sociology, Mental health Pages: 3 (698 words) Published: January 7, 2014
Examine the concepts of normality and abnormality
Examine – consider an argument or concept in a way that uncovers the assumptions and interrelationships of the issue Introduction
Normality refers to conformity to regular patterns of behavior therefore abnormality applies to behavior that doesn’t conform Mental health professionals still face the struggle of labeling patients to be abnormal There are five concepts which highlight abnormality

1. Statistical abnormality
2. Deviation from social norms
3. Maladaptiveness and adequate functioning
4. Suffering and distress
5. Jahoda’s positive mental health
Statistical abnormality
Statistical abnormality’s interpretation of normality relies on the literal meaning as it assumes that behavior most frequently occurs in given contexts Statistical abnormality’s interpretation of abnormality refers to behavior that doesn’t occur very often in a given context Note: It’s much harder to determine normality in subjective contexts (e.g. how much hunger is normal?) The concept outlines how it’s more appropriate to consider statistical normality based on the individual’s subjective context (e.g. nurses are more likely than others to help a stranger) Statistically abnormal behavior is often labeled to be mental illness – explicit labeling helps experts in understanding the an individual’s abnormality Note: not all statistically infrequent behavior is considered a sign of madness or incompetence (e.g. intelligent students with high IQ) One limitation of the concept is that we need to know a lot about the individual’s subjective context prior to labeling their behavior as being abnormal Deviation from social norms

Deviation from social norms refers to the idea that there is an expected behavior in any given situation and rules of society and culture determine its appropriateness Note: Teachers might find it abnormal for a student to sleep during class because it’s an infrequent event and socially inappropriate We label...
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