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No single definition of psychological abnormality has been completely accepted by the psychological community. Many of the definitions include common features, known as the four Ds. What are the four
Ds? Briefly describe each one. How may culture determine what is considered abnormal? Cite specific examples.
Deviance, distress, dysfunction, and danger comprise the four D’s commonly used in assessment. The first of the D’s is deviance. [ When we assess behavior to determine if the behavior is deviant in nature we essentially are examining behavior which differs from the social norm. Different cultures will have differing standards for acceptable or normal behavior. When assessing deviance we must
use caution and take care to identify any circumstances preceding the onset of the behavior. For example: In our society taking human life is undoubtedly to be viewed as deviant behavior. Should circumstances surrounding an individual who has taken another life reveal this behavior was the result of self-defense we may change our opinion of the level of deviance in regard to this behavior. In contrast the behavior of a serial killer would generally be seen as very deviant due to the fact that the serial killers’ taking of life is obviously not behavior resulting from a need to defend oneself. The second “D” is that of distress. Here behavior is examined for the level of distress caused to the individual. Determining levels of distress can be difficult as many people experience little, if any, distress with mental illness. In addition, should there be distress the individual may be unaware of his or her distress. For instance: The textbook familiarizes the reader with Brad who is experiencing obvious signs and symptoms of distress from his mental illness. Brad feels anxiety and a sense of dread as he struggles with the voices. Brad is also withdrawn and he is unable to properly tend to his physical health needs as he diets in preparation for the upcoming “invasion” he is warned of. While Brad shows obvious signs of distress another individual with similar mental illness may not feel any “distress” accompanying mental illness yet still exhibit abnormal behaviors, thoughts and ideas which would suggest mental illness and need for treatment. Dysfunction is the third “D”. ]
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Asked 9/13/2011 7:34:26 PM
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