According to Spoor (1999), the simplest way to define abnormal is when someone or something deviates from the norm. She goes on to say that when using abnormal or normal in psychology that a very complicated problem occurs. Several questions come up: What is normal? What norms are we using to decide what is normal? For what age is the behavior or action normal? For what culture or religion are the measures normal?
There are many ways to go about defining normal or abnormal in psychology. One of the most popular ways is by using psychological statistics. Spoor states that most human behaviors are measured using standard deviation, and these characteristics are usually distributed in a neat bell-shaped curve when graphed. When these behaviors drift to far from the average on the curve, these behaviors are considered abnormal. Of course, it is very important to measure these characteristics based upon a random sample, and these samples must be taken from age groups, cultures, and religions similar to the one in question. For example, behaviors in the United States may vary from the behaviors of individuals in the jungles of South America. Therefore, if measuring normality of the behaviors of a South American resident of the jungle, the sample must be taken from people with similar cultures. The same goes for age. For example, the behaviors of a 10 year old vary greatly from the behaviors of a 65 year old man. Therefore when deciding normal behavior for a 10 year old, it would be ...
This solution discusses abnormality and how it may affect life. The text contains 921 words and references.