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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Powered By Docstoc
					INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
 1. DEFINING ABNORMALITY

 2. MODELS OF ABNORMALITY

 3. EATING DISORDERS
   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 POSSIBLE APPROACHES
1. 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 one’s 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
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
  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
     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
    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
   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
    KWAKIUTL INDIANS
•
   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
    DEVIANCE
•
      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
7 CHARACTERISTICS OF FFA
1. SUFFERING: most abnormal individuals
   report that they are suffering. However,
   normal people do too in times of loss
2. MALADAPTIVENESS: the person
   cannot adapt to situations, e.g. find
   fulfilling relationships or satisfying work.
   But this may be due to lack of skills
    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
UNCONVENTIONAL
  BEHAVIOUR
    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
    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.
   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 person’s
  dysfunctional behaviour
    DEVIATION FROM IDEAL MENTAL
               HEALTH
•
   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
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)
              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)
           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 (I’m not good
  enough)
       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
       CRITERIA FOR IDEAL
        MENTAL HEALTH
•   JAHODA proposed 6 characteristics related to
    good mental health:

1. SELF ATTITUDE: high self esteem and
   a strong sense of identity
2. PERSONAL GROWTH: a personal
   sense of development
3. INTEGRATION: ability to cope with
   situations
      CRITERIA FOR IDEAL
       MENTAL HEALTH
4. AUTONOMY: a person’s 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
  individual’s success at living, including
  loving, working and playing. Being able to
  meet situational requirements
   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
    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
        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
        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
           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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