LECTURE 1: Concepts ofAbnormality
o What is abnormal psychology-easy to recognize but hard to define. Strange
behaviour is insufficient reason to diagnose someone
A)statistical criteria B) cultural norms C) developmental norms D) frequency, intensity, duration
DSM 4: deviation in the norm for language or mathematical ability. DSM: has tried to catch
A. Average I.Q:100 that means you intlligience for your age is exactly the same for
most people your age. Ideally this is what we want to do. Ideally define abnomral a
statistical criteria from the norm. Collect a lot of data from people on what they think, feel
and do to see what most people think feel and do.
Outline frequency is low, a normal distribution curve, not many at extremes. Memory is a
behaviour.Angry is an aggression and passive is a behaviour. Thirsty is a behaviour.
Abnormal-thoughts, feelings and actions are all behaviours if abnormal. Ie/blowing nose is
behaviour which can be abnormal. Too many times can be considered abnormal.
Caffeine regularly abused substance. Problem with Statistical criteria as a definition:
creates circumstances that are unfavourable ie/caffeine withdrawal
1)disregards to unfavourable common behaviours there are two.
In a non-objective world, abnormal means what most of the population does not display. Ideally,
psychiatrists would like to determine deviations based on statistical data.What most people do,
think, or feel. Behaviours include memories, emotions, actions, thoughts, etc. Restricted to
behaviours that are common and disregards deviant behaviours that are favourable. IQ of over
125 is considered gifted but abnormal, IQ of under 75 is also abnormal. Both are considered
pathological. To be gifted is favourable.DSM-5 states that substance abuse is pathological.
Regularly using any substance that can alter your mind (including caffeine).Includes most people
A. What may be normal in one situation or environment may not be normal in
another one. Certain behaviours that are distinctive to be considered abnormal in most
societies. Ie/so severely different from the norm, this disorder is abnormal: schizophrenia.
• Drinking not common in muslim or jewish
• Content behaviour differs. Ie/schiz: content of hallucinations differs among cultures
Example: public getting naked-abnormal and illegal.All public nudity is not abnormal but
normal in such as locker room therefore situationaly defined.
• What might be normal in one society, culture, situation, or environment may not
be normal in another
• Schizophrenia is so severe and distinctive that it is considered pathological
in almost all cultures
• The content of hallucinations differs between cultures
• NativeAmerican rituals
• Public nudity is abnormal (and illegal) in most places, but in a locker
room, it is okay
• Situationally defined
• Stealing and violence is okay for a child but illegal for adults Developmental Norms