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seVen's avatar

What is norm/normal? what's the source of that definition you derive from ?

Asked by seVen (3472points) August 29th, 2008 from iPhone
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15 Answers

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

Normal in terms of what exactly?

seVen's avatar

in terms of everyday living.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I’m not sure what norm/normal you are asking about, but I’ll go with behavior. Often the norm is seen as the average or common. But that’s a statistical equation, isn’t it? I’ve worked with retarded adults, who are hardly ever seen as normal, yet they held down jobs, took pride in them, and worked harder than the aveage IQ guy on their right and left. So, is normal following the rules? Rules of a society? Well, Hitler comes to mind, so that’s not always so.
So what is it? Some psych folks [psych major here0—] say if the person themselves is happy and functioning, they are normal…but Jeffrey Dalmer and Ted Bundy comes to mind….

Am I normal? I don’t know, I didn’t cry for about 12 years. I still find it hard. It’s easier and sometimes embarrassing because it’s easier to laugh than cry. Is that normal? But across time, my behavior is consistent to me. So I’m normal for me. I try living and being my authentic self and don’t much care what anyone else thinks about it. In the same living, I try and do no harm to anyone. So because I am living my transparent authentic self, one thing that is happening is that I am consistent. Folks who invent themselves or don’t know themselves might get lost in the tales they tell. But I’m pretty honest and therefore consistent. I’ll tell you the same story the same way I did today in five years.

Am I normal? I don’t know and don’t much care. I don’t care if anyone else is either. In fact, I quite like the oddballs!

jlm11f's avatar

Breathing is normal.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Good one PnL!!! Yes! Usually…hopefully…

augustlan's avatar

Normal in any given circumstance involving people, would consist of what most people would do. Normal does not always equal right.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Augustian, I think what most people would do is….average…not normal. Most people in Germany looked the other way—that’s not normal.

augustlan's avatar

I agree, it’s not normal for us, but it was normal for them…everyone (mostly) did it, and accepted that mode of behavior as “normal”. That was my point in saying “normal” is not the same as “right”.

MacBean's avatar

Looking the other way is normal. That’s why you hear about it on the news when people help each other in cases of robbery or attack or whatever. If it’s not happening to them, most people won’t do anything. Like augustian said, normal does not equal right.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Who would even want to be normal then? Not, I.

augustlan's avatar

Nope, me neither!

wundayatta's avatar

Normal is statistical. You score something on a particular measurement range, and the stuff that is in the middle of the scores, and occurs most often is considered normal.

With humans, it’s tricky, because you can’t really determine what normal is until you measure something. There are so many aspects to humans, and most of them are not yet measurable.

So people choose something like a standardized test or an IQ test, and let that stand as their measurement of normality. They do it because it’s all they can do, and something is better than nothing (usually they have to deliver services). But as Seeker pointed out, a person can be considered retarded on one measurement scale, yet perform better than average on another. But, we still call them retarded. How much sense does that make?

Personally, I hate the idea of normality, because I am off the scales by some measurements that I think, arguably, don’t require treatment. Basically, I’m bonkers, and I have the certificate to prove it. I’d prefer not to think of myself that way (now seeker is going to beat me up for even using that description about myself), but the diagnosis is on the charts, and will be forever on, now.

The problem with having ideas of normality, is that we become less tolerant of deviance. (Deviance is another statistical term, and it measure how different a measurement is from the average). Usually people consider their own kind to be normal, which makes others who look, act, or think different to be the deviant ones. Then they kill the deviant ones (or, at least, that has been the historical pattern).

I’m a deviant, so some lynch mob could find out, and decide I’m too dangerous to live, and come and kill me unless I do it first. My family will not appreciate that. Neither will my employer. There might even be a friend or two who shares their dismay, but I wouldn’t count on that.

augustlan's avatar

Daloon, we would be dismayed, as well. Deviants are quite welcome, here!

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Let’s begin a NotNormalAndProud movement!

wundayatta's avatar

Crazy Pride!

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