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What are the five criteria used to identify abnormal psychology and mental disorders?
Several conventional criteria * One criterion for "abnormality" that may appear to apply in the case of abnormal behavior is statistical infrequency. This has an obvious flaw — the extremely intelligent, are just as abnormal as their opposites. [ Therefore, individual abnormal behaviors are considered to be statistically unusual as well as undesirable. The presence of some form of abnormal
behavior is not unusual. About one quarter of people in the United States, for example, are believed to meet criteria for a mental disorder in any given year 1. Mental disorders, by definition, involve unusual or statistically abnormal behaviors. * A more discerning criterion is distress. A person who is displaying a great deal of depression, anxiety, unhappiness, etc. would be thought of as exhibiting abnormal behavior because their own behavior distresses them. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of their own mental state, and while they may benefit from help, they feel no compulsion to receive it. * Another criterion is morality. This presents many difficulties, because it would be impossible to agree on a single set of morals for the purposes of diagnosis. * One criterion commonly referenced is maladaptivity. If a person is behaving in ways counter-productive to their own well-being, it is considered maladaptive. Although more tenable than the above criteria, it does have some shortcomings. For example, moral behavior including dissent and abstinence may be considered maladaptive to some. * Another criterion that has been suggested is that abnormal behavior violates the standards of society. When people do not follow the conventional social and moral rules of their society, the behavior is considered abnormal. However, the magnitude of the violation and how commonly it is violated by others must be taken into consideration. * Another element of abnormality is that abnormal behavior will cause social discomfort to those who witness such behavior. * The standard criteria in psychology and psychiatry is that of mental illness or mental disorder. Determination of abnormality is based upon medical diagnosis. ]
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