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MCAT Psychology – Social Norms

A young woman hears voices in her head, a problem for which she regularly meets with a psychiatrist. This woman is:

I. deviant
II. criminal
III. labeled
IV. stereotyped

a) I only

b) II only

c) III and IV

d) I and III



Deviance refers to individuals engaging in behaviors outside of the social norms. While not all deviants are mentally ill, almost all mentally ill people are considered deviant. A mentally ill or deviant individual is not a criminal until they have broken the law. Receiving treatment from a psychiatrist labels a person as “mentally ill.” A stereotype is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things; these thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality. While many deviants are stereotyped, it is not necessarily true in all cases, and requires the thought processes of another individual.

a) I only, incorrect, Being treated by a psychiatrist “labels” an individual as mentally ill in addition to the patient being outside the norm, and therefore deviant.

b) II, incorrect, Mentally ill individuals are not necessarily criminal.

c) III and IV, incorrect, The thought processes of a person beyond the young woman must be involved for stereotyping to occur.

d) I and III, correct.


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