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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

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... DIFFERENCES. DEFINING ABNORMALITY. MODELS OF ABNORMALITY. EATING DISORDERS ... context in which it occurs, e.g. wearing a bikini in the high street is deviant ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES


1
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2
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
  • DEFINING ABNORMALITY
  • MODELS OF ABNORMALITY
  • EATING DISORDERS

3
WHAT IS ABNORMALITY?
  • ABNORMAL means deviating from a standard.
  • NORMAL means conforming to a standard.
  • But how (and who?) do we establish this standard?

4
4 POSSIBLE APPROACHES
  • STATISTICAL INFREQUENCY
  • certain behaviours are statistically rare
  • 2. DEVIATION FROM SOCIAL NORMS
  • behaviour which is socially deviant
  • 3. FAILURE TO FUNCTION ADEQUATELY
  • the inability to function in ones social
    group
  • 4. DEVIATION FROM IDEAL MENTAL HEALTH
  • an alternative view would be to define what is
  • mentally healthy and judge abnormality by its
  • absence

5
STATISTICAL INFREQUENCY
  • People who score very low or very high on a
    psychological test e.g. anxiety are statistically
    rare.
  • Most people will score around the middle,
    according to the normal distribution p.184
  • So those with very low anxiety (psychopaths) and
    those with very high anxiety (neurotics) will be
    statistically rare

6
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7
LIMITATIONS OF STATISTICAL APPROACH
  • Some traits, e.g. IQ, are statistically rare, but
    also desirable. So this definition overlooks
    desirability
  • A cut-off point between normal and abnormal has
    to be decided
  • Different cultural groups may apply different
    cut-off points
  • Behaviour differs between different age groups,
    e.g. temper tantrum
  • It is less affected by value judgements than
    other definitions
  • Rare behaviour can become normal at different
    points in time, e.g. Killing during peace and war

8
DEVIATION FROM SOCIAL NORMS
  • A social norm is a standard of behaviour accepted
    by a society. Examples?
  • People who behave in a socially deviant way can
    be regarded as abnormal
  • Deviating from these norms is undesirable and
    abnormal.
  • So deviation from social norms examines behaviour
    which does not follow socially accepted patterns
  • Read case studies
  • Simon p.160/185 and Sarah p. 161/186

9
LIMITATIONS OF DEVIATION FROM SOCIAL NORMS
APPROACH
  • Social deviance relates to moral standards.
    These vary across cultures and across time, e.g.
    giving birth outside wedlock was socially deviant
    in Britain100 years ago, and still is in many
    cultures
  • Russians who disagreed with the Communist
    government were seen as deranged and sent to
    mental hospital

10
DEVIATION FROM SOCIAL NORMS AND CONTEXT
  • Social deviance is defined by the context in
    which it occurs, e.g. wearing a bikini in the
    high street is deviant
  • CULTURE The Kwakiutl Indians burn blankets to
    cast shame on rivals. This would be deviant in
    another culture
  • SUB-CULTURES different religious groups have
    different norms, e.g. Mormons believe it is
    acceptable to have several wives

11
KWAKIUTL INDIANS

12
IS SOCIAL DEVIANCE A BAD THING?
  • Not necessarily. Think of the Germans who
    deviated from the Nazi regime
  • If people never deviated from social norms, our
    norms would not change and society would not
    evolve.
  • Homosexuality was considered a deviant behaviour
    and gays were given behaviour therapy to cure
    them.
  • Today it is no longer considered deviant

13
DEVIANCE

14
FAILURE TO FUNCTION ADEQUATELY
  • Most people who seek psychiatric help are
    suffering psychological distress
  • If people are not contributing to society then
    they are described as failing to function
    adequately
  • Rosenhan and Seligman identified 7 factors
  • which define FFA

15
7 CHARACTERISTICS OF FFA
  • SUFFERING most abnormal individuals report that
    they are suffering. However, normal people do
    too in times of loss
  • MALADAPTIVENESS the person cannot adapt to
    situations, e.g. find fulfilling relationships or
    satisfying work. But this may be due to lack of
    skills

16
FFA CHARACTERISTICS
  • 3. UNCONVENTIONAL BEHAVIOUR abnormal people
    behave differently. But so do non-conformists
  • 4. UNPREDICTABILITY abnormal people are often
    unpredictable and out of control. But so are
    normal people when they are drunk

17
UNCONVENTIONAL BEHAVIOUR
18
FFA CHARACTERISTICS
  • 5. IRRATIONALITY abnormal behaviour does not
    make sense to others. But it probably does to
    the individual
  • 6. OBSERVER DISCOMFORT it is disturbing for
    others to watch abnormal behaviour. But this may
    reflect cultural differences

19
FFA CHARACTERISTICS
  • 7. VIOLATION OF STANDARDS people are considered
    abnormal if they do not conform to accepted
    social practice. But minorities frequently have
    different sets of moral practices, e.g. religious
    groups.

20
LIMITATIONS OF THE FFA APPROACH
  • It relies on subjective judgement, e.g. one
    person might experience observer discomfort but
    another may not
  • There are no clear objective measures of the 7
    characteristics
  • People who suffer mental disorder are not always
    aware of their failure to function
  • FFA can help us to assess a persons
    dysfunctional behaviour

21
DEVIATION FROM IDEAL MENTAL HEALTH

22
DEVIATION FROM IDEAL MENTAL HEALTH
  • If abnormality is lack of a contented existence,
    then this approach looks to define what ideal
    mental health is, and then measures the degree to
    which people depart from this ideal
  • The humanists proposed a state called SELF
    ACTUALISATION, to describe the state where a
    person fulfils his/her potential

23
THE HUMANISTS
  • Carl Rogers (1959) founded
  • client centred therapy.
  • He believed that maladjustment
  • was caused by a child receiving
  • conditional love (I will love you if)
  • rather than
  • unconditional love(I will love you whatever)
  • from its parents

24
CARL ROGERS
  • If a parent gives a child unconditional love,
    Rogers said that the child will grow up to have
    positive self regard, i.e. they will like
    themselves. So their self concept will be close
    to their ideal self ( the person they would like
    to become)

25
CARL ROGERS
  • If a parent gives a child conditional love, the
    child will feel they are good enough only if they
    behave in the way demanded by their parents.
  • This may lead to them never feeling good
    enough, with a large gap between their self
    concept and ideal self. This would lead to low
    self esteem (Im not good enough)

26
ABRAHAM MASLOW
  • He devised a hierarchy of needs p. 164/189
  • We can only move up the hierarchy once the basic
    needs are met.
  • The highest motive we all aspire to is self
    actualisation
  • Abnormality is the inability to strive for these
    goals

27
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28
CRITERIA FOR IDEAL MENTAL HEALTH
  • JAHODA proposed 6 characteristics related to
    good mental health
  • SELF ATTITUDE high self esteem and a strong
    sense of identity
  • PERSONAL GROWTH a personal sense of development
  • INTEGRATION ability to cope with situations

29
CRITERIA FOR IDEAL MENTAL HEALTH
  • 4. AUTONOMY a persons degree of independence
  • 5. PERCEPTION OF REALITY living with an
    undistorted sense of reality, showing empathy for
    others and social sensitivity
  • 6. ENVIRONMENTAL MASTERY an individuals success
    at living, including loving, working and playing.
    Being able to meet situational requirements

30
EVALUATION OF THE IMH APPROACH
  • It focusses on positive characteristics, on
    health rather than illness
  • The criteria are hard to define, abstract and may
    be culture bound
  • Collectivist societies strive for the good of the
    community rather than the individual
  • The criteria are hard to measure
  • Hardly anybody reaches self actualisation

31
CULTURAL RELATIVISM
  • All the definitions are limited because they are
    culturally specific, i.e. do not apply to all
    cultures
  • So what is normal in one culture may be
    considered abnormal in another

32
CULTURE-BOUND SYNDROMES
  • DHAT- this is a sex neurosis found in Indian
    males. They blame feelings of exhaustion on the
    presence of semen in the urine
  • Psychologists have diagnosed these patients as
    suffering from depression

33
HOMOSEXUALITY
  • Before 1980, homosexuality was classified as a
    mental disorder
  • In DSM III, it was removed, and overnight a
    segment of the population was no longer
    considered mentally ill or deviant.
  • So historical factors, as well as cultural ones,
    determine our understanding of mental health

34
UNIVERSALITY
  • However, some conditions are undesirable in all
    cultural and historical contexts, e.g. failure to
    eat,
  • chronic depression,
  • fear of going outside,
  • antisocial behaviour
  • So there are some universal indicators of
    abnormality
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