Describe and Evaluate Psychological Definitions of Abnormal Behavior

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Describe and evaluate psychological definitions of abnormal behavior According to the science of psychology one’s behavior needs to follow a certain criteria in order to be deemed “normal”. If one’s behavior does not match the criteria, their behavior is seen as undesirable and wrong (requires change). For this physiologists need to be able to view a person’s behavior and be able to tell the difference between normal and abnormal. Whilst defining the “normality” of ones behavior physiologists need to be careful to remain objective and as free of any bias as possible, furthermore their experiment to determine ones behavior needs to be repeatable and reliable. In order to do this psychologists often consults the characteristics of…show more content…
The limitations of observing behavior in this manor lay in the fact that different cultures have different norms. Not to mention the fact that in any given culture norms evolve. What may have once been acceptable in the 80’s is not necessarily acceptable today. Abnormality of one’s behavior can also be monitored by looking at its statistical frequency. Meaning how common ones behavior is when compared to the rest of the public. If one’s behavior is shared by many it is deemed common and therefore “normal”, however if ones behavior is uncommon or rare, it is deemed abnormal. For example one may say that an individual who has an IQ below or above the average level of IQ in society is abnormal. The problem with this system is the fact that, it does not account for the desirability of the given behavior. In other words this system claims that both low and high IQ’s are an abnormality that need to be treated. Physiologists and others interested in “normality”, look over at ones behavior to see how well they can function. If one is unable to function adequately they are deemed abnormal. In order to determine how well one functions, psychologists consult Rosenhan and Seligman’s list of characteristics that define abnormality (1989). Rosenhan and Seligman argued that in order to classify someone as “inadequate in life” they must meet several of the characteristics as a pose to
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