Normality: What Does It Really Mean? - Deepstash
Normality: What Does It Really Mean?

Normality: What Does It Really Mean?

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Understanding the term “normal”

An easy way to understand the term is through the opposite of normal - which is "pathological" or abnormal.

There are four different criteria for defining abnormality:

  • Statistic approach. It is based on the idea that normality is what is most common. But it loses effectiveness when there are many variables.
  • Biological approach. In this approach, behaviors or processes follow biological normality. But the problem with these criteria is that biological laws can be wrong or incomplete.
  • Social approach. It's based on the idea that normality is what society accepts as normal.
  • Subjective approach. If a person considers their behavior as abnormal, it is enough to consider them as such.

Although these criteria are used to diagnose and treat disorders in clinical psychology, we can use them to better understand our personal concept of normal and abnormal.


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Normality according to social constructivism

Social constructivism explains that the interaction people have with their environment creates all knowledge. The idea of normal is constructed through our relationship with our surroundings. It means people will always see normality and abnormality from a social point of view.

This theory may stir up an ethical and moral debate. It is society who ends up excluding behaviors, ideas, or characteristics through prejudice and criticism. This explains how the consideration of what is normal and abnormal has changed throughout history. Normality can be considered as the process for self-regulation.


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