Jan F. Terelak


This theoretical paper aims at assessing scientific status of the notion of ‘norm’ in clinical psychology and psychiatry. The author analyses methodological consequences of three models of the norms that function in social sciences: (a) quantitative (statistical), (b) cultural (qualitative), (c) theoretical (ideological), and three models functioning in clinical psychology and psychiatry: (a) normative objectivism, (b) developmental (c) normative subjectivism. The discussion emphasize the ambiguity of the term ‘norm’ that weakens its scientific status, indispensible in empirical research, which entails a tendency to underline the reporting and ideological/declarative aspect and excessive attachment to definitional reductionism, referring to biological or cultural aspects of the norm. Another issue addressed concerns methodological difficulties connected with a holistic definition of the norm in the so-called systemic psychology and psychiatry.


Keyword(s): norm, pathology, clinical psychology, psychi-atry, norm’s quantitative model, norm’s qualitative model, norm’s theoretical model, normative objectivism, normative subjectivism, norm’s developmental spects, psychic health
DOI: 10.5200/267
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