Abnormal

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Abnormal'

Abnormal Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    abnormal adj
  1. not normal; not typical or usual or regular or conforming to a norm; "abnormal powers of concentration"; "abnormal amounts of rain"; "abnormal circumstances"; "an abnormal interest in food" [ant: normal]
  2. departing from the normal in e.g. intelligence and development; "they were heartbroken when they learned their child was abnormal"; "an abnormal personality" [ant: normal]
  3. much greater than the normal; "abnormal profits"; "abnormal ambition"
Abnormal Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Abnormal \Ab*nor"mal\, a. [For earlier anormal.F. anormal, LL. anormalus for anomalus, Gr. ?. Confused with L. abnormis. See Anomalous, Abnormous, Anormal.] Not conformed to rule or system; deviating from the type; anomalous; irregular. ``That deviating from the type; anomalous; irregular. '' --Froude.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Abnormal'


Abnormality, in the vivid sense of something deviating from the normal or differing from the typical (such as an aberration), is a subjectively defined behavioral characteristic, assigned to those with rare or dysfunctional conditions. Defining who is normal or abnormal is a contentious issue in abnormal psychology.

A common approach to defining abnormality is a Multi-Criteria approach, where all definitions of abnormality are used to determine whether an individuals behavior is abnormal. For example, if an individual is engaging in a particular behavior that is preventing them from 'functioning', breaks a social norm and is statistically infrequent, then psychologists would be prepared to define this individual's behavior as abnormal. A good example of an abnormal behavior assessed by a multi-criteria approach is depression: it is commonly seen as a deviation from ideal mental stability, it often stops the individual from 'functioning' a normal life, and, although it is a relatively common mental disorder, it is still statistically infrequent; most people will not experience significant major depressive disorder in their lifetime 3.

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