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Psychopathology – Understanding Mental Ill Health

1. Abnormality

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about defining abnormality and understanding what normality is in the context of mental health, focusing in particular on: (i) example behaviours which are deemed abnormal under certain circumstances but might be considered normal or expected under others; (ii) the four key factors which can impact how we view abnormality being statistical frequency, social norms, personal distress, and distress to others.


In this course, Dr Jude Stevenson (University of Glasgow) explores concepts of mental health. In the first lecture, we look at what abnormality means. In the second lecture, we approach the practice of diagnostic labelling, discussing both the positives and negatives of doing this, as well as walking through two key databases used to do it officially. Next, we take a deep dive into Rosenhan’s 1973 paper ‘On Being Sane in Insane Places’ which investigated the legitimacy of psychiatric diagnoses, with some concerning results. In the fourth and final lecture, we take a walk through the history of understanding mental ill health, contextualising the timeline into three primary models – the supernatural model, the medical model, and the cognitive behavioural model.


Dr Jude Stevenson is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Glasgow, with a primary focus on mental health and well-being. Dr Stevenson’s research centres around body focused repetitive behaviours and is a UK ambassador for the TLC Foundation for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours. Some of Dr Stevenson’s recent publications include 'Social media peer support groups for obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: understanding the predictors of negative experiences' (2021) and 'Pathogen disgust predicts stigmatization of individuals with mental health conditions' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Stevenson, J. (2021, November 30). Psychopathology – Understanding Mental Ill Health - Abnormality [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Stevenson, J. "Psychopathology – Understanding Mental Ill Health – Abnormality." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Nov 2021,

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