Flashcards in Psychopathology Deck (5)
Deviation from social norms
Definition - Abnormal behaviour is seen to be a deviation form social norms - that are unstated rules about how one 'ought' to behave
Example - Homosexuality used to be abnormal and was regarded as a mental disorder in the UK
Strengths - It does distinguish between desirable and undesirable behaviours. It also takes into account the effect that behaviour has on others as social rules have been established in order to help people live together.
Limitations - The context in which behaviours occur is important as someone wearing next to nothing on the beach is normal whereas it would not be normal if they were in a classroom. Social norms are also relative, changing over time, place and context so norms in the UK may be abnormal in another country.
Failure to function adequately
Definition - A persons ability to go about their daily life. If a person can't do this then it is seen as a sign of abnormality.
Example - People who may have difficulty going to work, which is assessed by using GAF.
Strengths - This definition recognizes the subjective experience of the patient, allowing us to view the mental disorder from their point of view. 'Failure to function' is relatively easy to judge because we can list behaviours that are indicative of a person not functioning.
Rosenhan and Seligman - Proposed 7 major features which indicate that a person is not functioning adequately. The more of these features that are possessed by the individual, the more likely they are to be considered abnormal.
Limitations - Deciding if someone can't 'function adequately' is objective, it is others who are uncomfortable with 'abnormal behaviour'. Some dysfunctional behaviour can actually be adaptive and functional for the individual, individuals who cross dress make a living out of it yet transvestism is in the list of mental disorders and it is generally regarded as abnormal.
Define Cultural Relativism
Cultural relativism refers to not judging a culture to our own standards of what is right or wrong, strange or normal. Instead, we should try to understand cultural practices of other groups in its own cultural context.
Define Self Actualization
Self-actualization refers to the need for personal growth and development throughout one's life. It is the highest level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which says that once you have reached self- actualization then you have met your full potential as an individual.