- Behavior that is rare according to statistics. (think bell curve extremes)
-Some infrequencies such as talent in sports or a high IQ are rare, but not abnormal
1.2 Violation of norms
Social norm: What society (the general population) thinks as common/acceptable.
They are the unwritten rules of society
-talking to oneself
-Not all societies consider the same behaviors "abnormal" or "normal"
-Social norms can be overlooked by an individual through "personal preference"
1.3 Failure to function adequately
This is when the "abnormal" person goes through suffering/distress.
Limitation: Not all disorders don't involve stress ex psychopathology.This isn't really a sufficient condition for abnormality
1.3.2 Observer duscomfort
This is when the observing person feels discomfort either in understanding or morally
Also known as disability or dysfunction, this is when the abnormality renders the individual unable to perform what s/he must do. This would include work, maintain healthy relationships with people, etc.
- Not all disabilities are considered abnormalities.
- There isn't really a clear rule that defines which are disabilities that pertain to abnormalities
-The individual and his/her actions can be considered out of the ordinary.
-The individual cannot render a consistent pattern
-Just because a person fails to function adequately, it does not mean that the person is abnormal.
We should know the context of the behavior
- Students before A levels are nervous and not relaxed due to high stress levels and expectations set for them by themselves or others.
- A new mother may be tired, sensitive, and stressed because she has never raised a child before, and also because she is unaccustomed to her new schedule.
- Some mental disorders don't necessarily prevent people from functioning adequately
Example: Even though a scientist is afraid of the public, s/he can work in isolation.
- The reason of failing to function adequately may have nothing to do with abnormalities and it may just be to social and economic reasons
Example: A poor person may not be able to fulfill some commonly expected goals because s/he is likely to lack the economic ability and not mental instability.
1.4 Deviation from ideal mental health
In 1958, Marie Jahoda argued that it would be better to focus on common concepts to describe mental health and then look for deviation from these.
AIM of Perfectly Healthy People (AIMPHP)
A - Autonomy: can act independently and make own decisions
I - Integration: can form positive relationships
M - Mastery of environment: can meet demands within different situations and adapt to changing circumstances
P - Personal growth and Development: developing talents and abilities to the full
H - High self-esteem: positive view of self
P - Perceiving reality accurately: seeing the world as it really is
What an individual may or may not possess matters. Poorer people are not necessarily mentally unhealthy.
- Different cultures and generations may have different definitions as to what is mentally healthy