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Abnormal Behavior and Social Norms

Abnormality has three definitions. The first definition is deviation from social norms. Social norms are the permitted and expected methods of behaving in a particular society. In terms of social norms, abnormal behaviour could be seen as behaviour that deviates from or violates social norms. The key weak point of the deviation of social norms is cultural relativity. Social norms by their very definition are specific to a selected culture or society so a behaviour seen as a deviation in one society might appear acceptable but may not be accepted in different society.

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Social norms vary as time changes and range from tradition to tradition. Secondly, abnormality may be defined as the failure to operate adequately. It implies that an individual is unable to love a standard life, they’ve experiences outside the conventional vary of feelings or don’t have interaction in the normal range of behaviour. This can be seen as the particular person not having the power to cope with life on a day-to-day foundation.

Functioning may be measured on the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF). The first power of failure to operate is it’s practical and focuses on treating the irregular behaviour.

Failure to operate means these outside the individual don’t have to label a person as mentally irregular which nonetheless carries stigma in many societies. Unlike the deviation of social norms specializing in public view, it acknowledges a person’s subjective expertise as a way of helping to define who’s irregular. We can focusing on treating the behaviour that’s hindering the particular person from leading an adequately regular life and provide treatment to encourage more adaptive behaviour.

However, it isn’t without its problems. The first limitation is that apparently abnormal behaviour may actually be useful, functional and adaptive for the person.

For instance, these with obsessive-compulsive problems discover that their obsessions (some maybe socially acceptable behaviour corresponding to hand-washing) make them feel joyful. The second limitation is some of its criteria depend upon subjective judgements of other individuals. It may be that someone is deemed abnormal simply because the observer experiences discomfort in watching their behaviour and in their very own mind believes them unable to operate adequately. Thirdly, abnormality can be defined as the deviation from ideal mental well being.

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