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Flashcards in Definitions of Abnormality Deck (10)
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Define 'statistical infrequency'.

What a person's quantitative characteristics do not fit within the range that is considered 'normal'. E.g. IQ/weight/height.


Give a limitation of 'statistical infrequency'.

❌ The cut off points are rather arbitrary.

❌ Some infrequent characteristics are considered abnormal when, in actual fact, they are good. E.g. High IQ.

❌ Culturally relative - arranged marriages are statistically frequent in India but abnormal here.


Define deviation from social norms.

Behaviour that deviates from what is considered normal.


Give a disadvantage of deviation from social norms.

❌ Rack found that African Caribbeans are labelled as abnormal in Britain on the basis of behaviour considered normal in their culture.

❌ Definitions can lead to labelling

❌ Social norms can change over time - e.g. homosexuality was considered abnormal but is now accepted by many.


Define failure to function adequately and name the two indicators of this definition.

Unable to lead a normal life or engage in normal behaviours.

Personal distress and maladaptiveness of behaviour.


Define maladaptiveness of behaviour as an indicator of failing to function adequately.

If a behaviour is maladaptive, it interferes with the ability to lead a normal, everyday life.


Define personal distress as an indicator for failing to function adequately.

Experiencing negative emotional reactions as a result of insight into another's negative emotions.


Give a disadvantage of failure to function adequately.

❌ Subjective - who decides what healthy functioning looks like? - Misdiagnosis.

❌ Depends on the person - unusual behaviours may be a coping strategy for the individual.


List Jahoda's 7 elements for optimal living.

1). Positive view of self
2). Personal growth
3). Autonomy
4). Accurate view of reality.
5). Positive relationships.
6) Master of your own environment (adaptability).
7). Resistance to stress.


Give a limitation to deviation from ideal mental health as a definition for abnormality.

❌ High standard to achieve - many may feel worse for not meeting the standard - worse mental health.

❌ Culturally relative - created with western cultures in mind - inability to generalise to other cultures.