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  • Consider the following behaviours. To what extent do they meet the criteria for abnormality?
  1. A six year old child who lives near you is encouraged to watch television for 10 hours per day.
  2. Your 60 year old uncle consumes two bottles of whiskey a day.
  3. When visiting a friend’s parent, she insists that before entering her house you remove your shoes and wash your hands in antiseptic.
  4. Neighbours allow their children to watch while they make love.
  5. A women leaves her husband and young children in order to concentrate on her career.
  6. You recognise one of your former teachers one evening. He is wearing women’s clothes.



  • Try to watch the film ‘One flew over the cookoo’s nest’ . Examine the behaviour of the characters portrayed in the film. Do they match the criteria for abnormal behaviour? Can you find evidence of the abuse of psychiatric diagnosis, including labelling?
  • Examine press reports for examples of labelling people who may suffer from mental disorders. How often are terms like schizophrenic, or alcoholic, or drug addict used? How might the story have been better presented.


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