Issues in Defining Mental Abnormality PAPER - Aliza Baker Mrs Mroczko AP Language Title How psychologists theorize the cause and nature of normal and

Issues in Defining Mental Abnormality PAPER - Aliza Baker...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 6 pages.

Aliza Baker Mrs. Mroczko AP Language February 17, 2017 Title How psychologists theorize the cause and nature of normal and abnormal behavior have significant results regarding the roles of the clinician and the client, how they conceptualize treatment, and what information is found in research. With the continual alteration of social norms and assumed social roles, the definition of abnormality has drastically changed throughout time; thus making it increasingly difficult for psychologists to define what is abnormal behavior reliably. In order to have a more extensive understanding of the conflict behind mental abnormality, it is essential to examine the key arguments, controversies, theories, ideologies, and how the inconsistency concerning this topic affects psychological treatment. Although the majority of psychologists disagree on one universal standard of normal behavior, virtually all of them can reach an agreement that social norms have one of the largest influences on what society accepts and is comfortable with. Social norms, or the violation of social rules regarding the right or wrong way to do things, shapes most all human behavior (Abnormal Psychology 2). However, if a psychologist were to completely base a diagnosis on what is acceptable and unacceptable merely by social standards, the clinician would be ignoring the vital fact that each person has a diverse culture, and what is normal in one society can be ludicrous in another. Inconsistency is the significant issue in diagnostics for mental abnormality. Falling short of a social ideal may potentially consider a person abnormal although they are functioning entirely without issue (Abnormal Psychology 2). If a diagnosis of mental abnormality should be based on what is acceptable in
Image of page 1
civilization, then famous social reformers such as Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. by definition, would be classified as abnormal (Abnormal Behavior 3). If there should be one set standard of normalcy, then by which culture’s standard should the judgment be made? Another common standard for abnormal behavior is maladaptive behavior. Maladaptive behavior is “an individual’s inability to reach goals, adapt to demands of life, and the tendency to disrupt and interfere with social group functioning” (Abnormal Psychology 2). An issue with this standard is that maladaptive behavior ignores the possibility of an unusual situation. For example, if a German man was unable to adapt to Nazi Germany although all of his friends and family accepted it and viewed it as normal, should he be classified as abnormal because he strayed from a social ideal, although in numerous other cultures and nations his beliefs were shared (Abnormal Psychology 4)? In addition to social norms, social roles considerably impact human
Image of page 2
Image of page 3

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 6 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes