Saturday, May 18, 2024

What Is Abnormal Behaviour In Psychology

Don't Miss

Clinical Diagnosis And Classification Systems

The Psychology of Abnormal Behavior: Understanding the Criteria & Causes of Abnormal Behavior

To begin any type of treatment, the client/patient must be clearly diagnosed with a mental disorder. Clinical diagnosis is the process of using assessment data to determine if the pattern of symptoms the person presents with is consistent with the diagnostic criteria for a specific mental disorder set forth in an established classification system such as the DSM-5 or ICD-10 . Any diagnosis should have clinical utility, meaning it aids the mental health professional in determining the prognosis, the treatment plan, and possible outcomes of treatment . Receiving a diagnosis does not necessarily mean the person requires treatment. This decision is made based upon how severe the symptoms are, the level of distress caused by the symptoms, symptom salience such as expressing suicidal ideation, risks and benefits of treatment, disability, and other factors . Likewise, a patient may not meet full criteria for a diagnosis but require treatment nonetheless.

The most widely used classification system in the United States and Canada is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders currently in its 5th edition and produced by the American Psychiatric Association . Alternatively, the World Health Organization produces the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems currently in its 10th edition with an 11th edition expected to be published in 2018. We will begin by discussing the DSM and then move to the ICD.

Prescription Rights For Psychologists

To reduce inappropriate and over-prescribing it has been proposed to allow appropriately trained psychologists the right to prescribe. Psychologists are more likely to choose between therapy and medications, and so can make the best choice for their patient. The right has already been granted in New Mexico, Louisiana, Guam, the military, the Indian Health Services, and the U.S. Public Health Services. Measures in other states have been opposed by the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association over concerns that inadequate training of psychologists could jeopardize patient safety. Supporters of prescriptive authority for psychologists are quick to point out that there is no evidence to support these concerns .

For more information on types of mental health professionals, please visit:

Psychology In Everyday Life: Combating The Stigma Of Abnormal Behaviour

Every culture and society has its own views on what constitutes abnormal behaviour and what causes it . The Old Testament Book of Samuel tells us that as a consequence of his sins, God sent King Saul an evil spirit to torment him . Ancient Hindu tradition attributed psychological disorder to sorcery and witchcraft. During the Middle Ages it was believed that mental illness occurred when the body was infected by evil spirits, particularly the devil. Remedies included whipping, bloodletting, purges, and trepanation to release the demons.

Until the 18th century, the most common treatment for the mentally ill was to incarcerate them in asylums or madhouses. During the 18th century, however, some reformers began to oppose this brutal treatment of the mentally ill, arguing that mental illness was a medical problem that had nothing to do with evil spirits or demons. In France, one of the key reformers was Philippe Pinel , who believed that mental illness was caused by a combination of physical and psychological stressors, exacerbated by inhumane conditions. Pinel advocated the introduction of exercise, fresh air, and daylight for the inmates, as well as treating them gently and talking with them.

The mass media has a significant influence on societys attitude toward mental illness . While media portrayal of mental illness is often sympathetic, negative stereotypes still remain in newspapers, magazines, film, and television.

Recommended Reading: Ccl4 Valence Electrons

Exercises And Critical Thinking

  • Do you or your friends hold stereotypes about the mentally ill? Can you think of or find clips from any films or other popular media that portray mental illness positively or negatively? Is it more or less acceptable to stereotype the mentally ill than to stereotype other social groups?
  • Consider the diagnosis of ADHD, autism, and Aspergers disorder from the biological, personal, and social-cultural perspectives. Do you think that these disorders are overdiagnosed? How might clinicians determine if ADHD is dysfunctional or distressing to the individual?
  • What Are The Current Principles Of Abnormal Child And Adolescent Psychology


    The branch of psychology that deals with abnormal child and adolescent psychology is formed by various historical theories and movements. The objectives are to identify, describe and classify psychological disorders. It is also important to find out the causes of the problems and to prevent and treat disorders differently. Today there are six principles that are important for abnormal child and adolescent psychology:

  • Psychological problems have multiple causes. Increasing knowledge about these causes promotes the prevention of problems.
  • Normal and abnormal behaviour are interrelated. Both must be studied.
  • Human behaviour is complex and requires systematic conceptualization, data collection, observation and testing of hypotheses.
  • The effectiveness of treatment must be investigated, and new prevention programs developed.
  • Children have the right to high-quality care.
  • Adults must stand up for the health of children.
  • The choice of treatment technique must be tailored to the child’s developmental level. For example, play therapy is more effective in young children, while cognitive techniques are more effective in adolescence.

    You May Like: Eoc Fsa Warm Ups Algebra 1 Answers

    When Is Behaviour Considered Abnormal

    You can use many varying terms to describe abnormal behaviour. Consider, for example, mental disorder, psychological disorder, psychopathology of developmental disorder. This is why guidelines have been developed to help identify abnormality. What does abnormal behaviour actually mean?

    Abnormal behaviour occurs when the actions of a significant person deviate from the normal standard of behaviour. According to this definition, a child with a far above average IQ is thus also considered abnormal. So, abnormal doesnt immediately mean bad. Psychopathology research involves abnormal behaviours that are harmful to the individual. The APA defines a disorder as a clinically significant pattern in an individual . This pattern causes frustration, disruptions, an increased risk of harm or danger to ones wellbeing. Psychopathology interferes with the adaptation to the environment and impedes the individual from completing developmental tasks. A disorder can be seen as an internal problem or as a person’s response to circumstances. The final explanation tend to be more obvious to recognise.

    Topics Of Interest In Abnormal Psychology

    The primary goals of abnormal psychology include learning more about the causes of mental illness and finding ways to help people suffering from psychological disorders. Some of the major topics of interest within this branch of psychology include:

    • Defining specific mental illnesses
    • Developing treatments for mental illnesses
    • Understanding the causes of mental illness
    • Utilizing psychotherapy and medications to treat psychological disorders

    Also Check: What Does Amu Mean In Chemistry

    Classical Vs Operant Conditioning

    One of the simplest ways to remember the differences between classical and operant conditioning is to focus on whether the behavior is involuntary or voluntary.

    Classical conditioning involves associating an involuntary response and a stimulus, while operant conditioning is about associating a voluntary behavior and a consequence.

    In operant conditioning, the learner is also rewarded with incentives, while classical conditioning involves no such enticements. Also, remember that classical conditioning is passive on the part of the learner, while operant conditioning requires the learner to actively participate and perform some type of action in order to be rewarded or punished.

    For operant conditioning to work, the subject must first display a behavior that can then be either rewarded or punished. Classical conditioning, on the other hand, involves forming an association with some sort of already naturally occurring event.

    Today, both classical and operant conditioning are utilized for a variety of purposes by teachers, parents, psychologists, animal trainers, and many others. In animal conditioning, a trainer might utilize classical conditioning by repeatedly pairing the sound of a clicker with the taste of food. Eventually, the sound of the clicker alone will begin to produce the same response that the taste of food would.

    What Is Normal And Abnormal In Psychology

    Abnormal Behavior – Psychology

    It is difficult to define normal and abnormal because it is vary from person to person and also situation/condition, but in general we can say that normal is seen good thing something that is natural , regular and routine and abnormal is any kind of activity that is not good or that is not a common or regular.

    What are the symptoms of abnormal behavior? According to Boston Childrens Hospital, some of the emotional symptoms of behavioral disorders include: Easily getting annoyed or nervous. Often appearing angry. Putting blame on others. Refusing to follow rules or questioning authority. Arguing and throwing temper tantrums. Having difficulty in handling frustration.

    Don’t Miss: K+ Chemistry

    Abnormal Psychology: Definition And Examples

    Abnormal psychology is an area that focuses on people who exhibit behaviors that are considered atypical compared to a norm group. When most people hear the word psychology, abnormal psychology is probably what immediately springs to mind. Psychological disorders, psychotherapy, and psychiatric treatments are all subtopics related to the field of abnormal psychology.

    A Brief History Of The Dsm

    The DSM 5 was published in 2013 and took the place of the DSM IV-TR but the history of the DSM goes back to 1844 when the American Psychiatric Association published a predecessor of the DSM which was a statistical classification of institutionalized mental patients and was designed to improve communication about the types of patients cared for in these hospitals . However, the first official version of the DSM was not published until 1952. The DSM evolved through four subsequent editions after World War II into a diagnostic classification system to be used by psychiatrists and physicians, but also other mental health professionals. The Herculean task of revising the DSM IV-TR began in 1999 when the APA embarked upon an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the DSM in coordination with the World Health Organization Division of Mental Health, the World Psychiatric Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health . This resulted in the publication of a monograph in 2002 called, A Research Agenda for DSM-V. From 2003 to 2008, the APA, WHO, NIMH, the National Institute on Drug Abuse , and the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse convened 13 international DSM-5 research planning conferences, to review the world literature in specific diagnostic areas to prepare for revisions in developing both DSM-5 and the International Classification of Disease, 11th Revision .

    Recommended Reading: Does Kamala Harris Have Children Of Her Own

    Sexual Norms And Situational Norms

    Something that can also influence behaviour and psychological wellbeing are sexual norms. For example, we are more worried about a shy boy than a shy girl. During behavioural assessments, situational norms are also taken into account: expectations in specific settings or social situations. It is normal to run on the soccer field, but not in the library.

    Mental Health Professionals Societies And Journals

    Explanations of abnormality
    • Identify and describe the various types of mental health professionals.
    • Clarify what it means to communicate findings.
    • Identify professional societies in clinical psychology.
    • Identify publications in clinical psychology.

    1.6.1. Types of Professionals

    There are many types of mental health professionals that people may seek out for assistance. They include:

    Table 1.2: Types of Mental Health Professionals


    1.6.2. Professional Societies and Journals

    One of the functions of science is to communicate findings. Testing hypotheses, developing sound methodology, accurately analyzing data, and drawing sound conclusions are important, but you must tell others what you have done too. This is accomplished by joining professional societies and submitting articles to peer-reviewed journals. Below are some of the organizations and journals relevant to applied behavior analysis. Professional Societies

  • Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Division 53 of the American Psychological Association
  • Website
  • Mission Statement Our mission is to serve children, adolescents and families with the best possible clinical care based on psychological science. SCCAP strives to integrate scientific and professional aspects of clinical child and adolescent psychology, in that it promotes scientific inquiry, training, and clinical practice related to serving children and their families.
  • American Academy of Clinical Psychology
  • Read Also: Chronic Lateness Psychology

    What Is The Dsm

    Although a number of classification systems have been developed over time for the diagnosis of mental disorders, the one that is used by most mental health professionals in the United States is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , published most recently in its 5th edition by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013.

    The DSM is the standard classification manual of mental disorders and contains a hierarchy of diagnostic criteria for every mental-health disorder recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM is used by psychiatrists and psychologists, doctors and nurses, and therapists and counselors. It is used for individual clinical diagnoses, but its codes and criteria are also used in the collection of data about the incidence of different disorders.

    The DSM is often considered a necessary evilit has many flaws, but it is also the only widely accepted method of diagnosing mental disorders.

    Criticism Of Abnormal Psychology

    Some theorists argue that the field of abnormal psychology stigmatizes and demonizes historically oppressed populations and people who exhibit behaviors outside of the cultural norm.


  • Colman, A. M. . Oxford dictionary of psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Kring, A. M., Johnson, S. L., Davison, G. C., & Neale, J. M. . Abnormal psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Please fill out all required fields to submit your message.

    Invalid Email Address.

    Please confirm that you are human.

    • 1 comment

    Also Check: What Causes Parallax Error And How Do You Avoid It

    Effects Of Stigma And Self

    This internalization contributes to feelings of shame and usually leads to poorer treatment outcomes. Experience of stigma or self-stigma can also lead to the following:

    • Refusal to receive treatment. An individuals fear of stigmatization and alienation may lead them to refuse treatment altogether. Anxiety about others perceptions and the social consequences that come along with a label of mental illness often deter people from seeking help in any therapeutic, familial, social, or pharmacological context.
    • Social isolation. An individual with mental illness may avoid social settings altogether for example, an individual struggling with depression may choose not to see or speak with friends and family for fear of bringing them down or being a burden. This is especially dangerous in light of the knowledge that social connectedness is one of the key factors in recovery from mental illness.
    • Distorted perception of the incidence of mental illness. Although approximately one in three people will experience mental illness at some point in their life, there are still many people who do not acknowledge mental illness as a public health concern. By causing people to not seek out treatment, societys stigma of mental illness leads to fewer diagnoses and fewer people getting help. This means that mental illness seems far less common than it actually is.

    A Description Of A Normal Person And Determining Who Is Ill

    AP Psychology Unit 12 Abnormal Behaviour Part 1

    The concept of physical illness is readily understood: the body becomes infected or inflamed, or grows abnormally, or is affected in any number of ways, all of which can be studied conventionally with laboratory tests or under a microscope. But a mental illness is something else altogether. Mental illnesses, or emotional illnesses, are disturbances of behavior and of feeling and thought. They are disorders of function that do not correspond readily to precise physical impairments and that seem, therefore, intangiblevague, aberrant expressions of the mind. At the same time, they are elusive, because they seem to be only exaggerations of the way ordinary people think and behave. And so they are.

    A medical student assigned to a psychiatric ward evaluated his first patient, an 18-year-old girl who had been admitted to the hospital because her mother had complained that there was something the matter with her. Following an argument with a teacher, the girl had become withdrawn and preoccupied with religion. She began eating poorly and leaving her room in a mess, which was out of character, for she was usually very neat. Then on the day before her admission, she was found sitting on a subway platform, dangling her feet over the edge.

    This passage is excerpted from Caring: Home Treatment for the Emotionally Disturbed.

    You May Like: Unit 1 Test Geometry Basics Answers Key

    Abnormal Behavior: Four Standards

    One aspect of psychology is identifying abnormal behavior. Many people have asked what makes behavior abnormal. There are four basic standards that are generally agreed upon as criteria for abnormal behavior for the field of psychology. They are statistical infrequence, disability or dysfunction, personal distress, and violation of norms. These four standards have been called by other names, but the meanings are all the same.

    Statistical infrequence are behaviors that are infrequent but when they do occur, they are abnormal and are somehow psychologically linked to a reason. For example, I am claustrophobic. Not just funny about being in small spaces. I seriously do not like small places and can freak out. If I had to take an elevator, I am the last person to get in and will stand directly in front of, and facing, the doors. And I hold my breath. If that elevator got stuck, I would have a series of panic attacks. I am a professor and I have great control over my behaviors however, being stuck in small spaces will evoke abnormal behavior. That is statistical infrequence.

    Professor Mercy

    What Is Normal And Whats Not

    There are a number of different ways that we can define abnormal behavior. One method involves statistical deviation, or looking at how frequently something happens. If a person exhibits a behavior that rarely occurs, it could be said that the action is abnormal.

    Another method is to look at how the person compares to other people in his or her peer group. Do other people engage in similar actions? If a specific behavior or pattern of behaviors violates social norms, then we tend to think of it as abnormal. However, it is important to note that social norms tend to change over time. Things that were once considered abnormal by a previous generation may now be viewed as perfectly normal and acceptable.

    The impact that behaviors have on an individuals ability to function also plays an important role in how we identify abnormal behavior. When certain maladaptive actions interfere with a persons ability to function in day-to-day life or lead to psychological distress, they are often viewed as abnormal and in need of change.

    Obviously, you can probably think of some potential problems with each method of defining abnormal behavior. Just because something deviates from a statistical norm does not mean that it is a bad thing. For example, extremely high intelligence would be one example of a quality that lies outside of the statistical norm.

    Recommended Reading: Holt Geometry Chapter 7 Test Form A

    More articles

    Popular Articles