Abnormality Essay Discuss Two or More Definitions of Abnormality

920 WordsMar 28, 20114 Pages
SECTION C: INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Question 10 “Abnormality is very difficult to define. It can be hard to decide where normal behaviour ends and abnormal behaviour begins” Discuss two or more definitions of abnormality AO1 = 6 marks Knowledge and understanding of definitions of abnormality. AO2 = 6 marks Commentary on definitions of abnormality. The term ‘abnormal’ means deviating from the average. Therefore, if we were to adopt a literal approach to defining abnormality, we would conclude that any rare behaviour or ability was abnormal. This, however, is not a useful way of defining abnormality as it doesn’t take into account whether or not the behaviour is desirable. There are three ways of defining abnormality; deviation from…show more content…
All that's required to see if a person is mentally healthy is if they fulfil the defined criteria, making it easier to define mental health as there is a set of conditions to be satisfied. However, this definition assumes that the absence of one of these conditions implies abnormality. In reality a number of the criteria are quite difficult to achieve e.g. actualisation is reached by only a few people in life. If this definition is applied most people would be deemed as abnormal. Also it is not always clear what some of the conditions mean in practice e.g. accurate view of reality. It's not certain what this refers to given that reality is a product of each individuals mind. For example, a soldier in Afghanistan would have a different reality to that of an accountant in London. The definition of what is mentally healthy varies across cultures. The categories of ideal mental health cannot be generalised to all cultures. Some of the criteria are based on Western ideas which are not shared by all cultures of the world for example there's an emphasis on autonomy which is a particularly western idea. Some cultures place a great deal of emphasis on collective responsibility. Deviation from social norms is behaviour that violates implicit and explicit rules and moral standards of a given society. For example; paedophilia and sexual exhibitionism violates moral standards concerning sexual behaviour in British society. Norms are unwritten rules created by society

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