Outline and evaluate attempts defining psychological abnor

These cognitions cause distortions in the way we see things; Ellis suggested it is through irrational thinkingwhile Beck proposed the cognitive triad. In a rugby team who survived a plane crash in the snow-capped Andes of South America found themselves without food and in sub-freezing temperatures for 72 days.

Historical Context Time must also be taken into account, as what is considered abnormal at one time in one culture may be normal another time, even in the same culture.

This requires us to decide on the characteristics we consider necessary to mental health. In people with psychological problems these thought processes tend to be negative and the cognitions i.

The medical profession uses various labels eg. In order to self-actualise a person must reach the pinnacle of their abilities, ambitions and desires in life, but the majority of people comfortably settle for a situation somewhat below self-actualisation.

All of these points question the validity of any definition of abnormality. A superego that is too powerful, and therefore too harsh and inflexible in its moral values, will restrict the id to such an extent that the person will be deprived of even socially acceptable pleasures.


If id impulses are unchecked they may be expressed in self-destructive and immoral behavior. Have an accurate perception of reality, and be neither overly pessimistic nor overly optimistic. Symptoms could then be positively reinforced, for instance with attention and sympathy from friends and family.

Also the success of combination therapies suggests more than one cause. In order to survive they ate the bodies of those who had died in the crash. The criteria for mental illness is vague, subjective and open to misinterpretation criteria. But how do we know which condition they might have?

Abnormal Psychology

If, however, the ego is weakened, then either the id or the superego, whichever is stronger, may dominate the personality. Many treatments are biologically-based drug therapies are the most common treatment, but surgery and ECT may also be used depending on the condition.

It is the way you think about a problem, rather than the problem itself that causes mental disorders. With this definition it is necessary to be clear about how rare a trait or behavior needs to be before we class it as abnormal. For example, wearing a chicken suit in the street for a charity event would seem normal, but wearing a chicken suit for everyday activities such as shopping or going to church, it would be socially abnormal.

According to Jahoda it is more useful to define abnormality in terms of understanding what is normal behaviour rather than abnormal. Listen to this podcast for more. Something that was considered abnormal 20 years ago may not be abnormal today.

Labels and consequently treatment can be used as a form of social control and represent an abuse of power. Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Jahoda listed 6 characteristics of ideal mental health, and not possessing these would be seen as abnormal according to this definition.

Conversely high IQ is statistically abnormal, but may well be regarded as highly desirable. Given that diagnosis relies on the subjective interpretation of the therapist, their opinions may vary. Deviation from social norms and deviation from ideal mental health provide 2 very contrasting definitions.

Or how about this psychodynamic abnormality rap?! For example, a type of behaviour that breaks implicit rules could be standing too close to another person in a face to face conversation, or dressing to a particular dress code.

According to this definition anyone who break a social norm is abnormal. Their behavior may be incomprehensible to others or make others feel threatened or uncomfortable. The DSM uses checklists of behaviours, which patients are expected to show some of but not all.

The definition of the word abnormal is simple enough but applying this to psychology poses a complex problem: Many rare behaviors or characteristics e. For example, if the superego becomes dominant over the other two, Freud believed that the person would suffer anxiety.

Listen to this podcast to take your understanding further. For example, a person who has the obsessive-compulsive disorder of hand-washing may find that the behavior makes him cheerful, happy and better able to cope with his day. Well- adjusted people have a strong ego that is able to cope with the demands of both the id and the superego by allowing each to express itself at appropriate times.

Discuss 2 or more definitions of abnormality 12 marks 6 AO1 marks.

Until homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder by the World Health Organization WHO but today is considered acceptable.Adam Shadbolt Outline and evaluate attempts to define abnormality One definition of abnormality is deviation from social norms.

This refers to behaviour that deviates from the societal expectations of the culture the subject is part of.5/5(1). Defining normality is, of course, just as hard as defining abnormality, but Jahoda () Evaluate how  one psychological model has been applied to abnormality a At least a paragraph should consequently be devoted to comparing and contrasting different models of abnormality.

Abnormality can be defined as a deviation from ideal mental health. This means that psychologists consider the characteristics of mental health, rather than mental illness. According to this definition, people should ‘meet’ certain criteria to be considered normal'. The first definition is deviation from social norms.

Social norms are the approved and expected ways of behaving in a particular society.

In terms of social norms, abnormal behaviour can be seen as behaviour that deviates from or violates social norms. c. Assessments also may be used to evaluate treatment progress B. The specific tools used in an assessment depend on a clinician’s theoretical orientation psychological symptoms which can be answered “true,” “false,” or “can- treatment.

Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment assessment (MMPI) E). St. Louis and attempts to hold a prayer meeting, blocking traffic on a main street at rush hour, he is arrested.

DEFINING AND IDENTIFYING PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS In our example, the man was approach to defining abnor-mality is that it is difficult to.

Outline and evaluate attempts defining psychological abnor
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