Definitions of Abnormality


Definitions of Abnormality


  • Objective once 'frequency' established
  • real-life application to diagnosing IDD
  • protects society from unwanted behaviour
  • real-life application to mental disorders that differ from norm
  • patient's perspective considered
  • easy objective checklist
  • positive thing to aim for
  • comprehensive


  • subjective measure of 'frequency'
  • ignores desirability of characteristic such as IQ
  • not all abnormal behaviours are rare
  • not everyone benefits from being labelled
  • cultural relativism
  • social control abuse may occur
  • subjective measure of whether functioning adequately
  • cultural relativism
  • some behaviours normal in context
  • impossible to attain
  • cultural relativism
  • subjective measures of if people are happy


never used in isolation due to limited approach


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