What is Abnormal Behavior?
- Behavior that is deviant, maladaptive, or personally distressful (Santrock, 2003).
- Maladaptive behavior detrimental to an individual and/or a group (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2004).
Abnormal Behavior in Everyday Life
Abnormal behavior is everywhere. Films such as “A Beautiful Mind” and “As Good As It Gets” portray people afflicted with a mental disorder. Books about personal struggle with depression and phobias abound store shelves. News stories depict famous artists who have drug or alcohol problems. Peer support groups for people with eating disorder and anxiety advertise their campaign in schools and universities.
Case Studies of Abnormal Behavior
Substance-Related Disorder. Anna is law student as a prestigious university. She is both bright and attractive. But Anna has been drinking alcohol continuously for 10 years already, and she’s smoking marijuana daily. Alcohol-drinking has caused her a lot of problems. She has been missing her morning classes because of hang-over; she occasionally blacks out; and, her family getting worried that she could be an “alcoholic.” However, she keeps on denying that she is an alcoholic because she doesn’t drink in the morning, although she drinks four glasses of wine everyday when out with her friends, and she drinks two more glasses of wine at night before she goes to sleep. Recently, she decided to stop smoking marijuana, but found difficult to do so.
Major Depressive Disorder. Denise is a very successful professor. He is well-regarded and well-respected in the whole university. His classes are always filled with eager students, and his colleagues continue to seek his advice and scholastic opinions about their profession. He is a very organized person, and he is always concerned about how other people view him and his work. But Denise recently committed suicide. Little did the community, not even his closest friends, know that Denise has been suffering from severe depression.
Schizophrenia. Steve used to live a relatively normal teenage life. He was a school athlete, and he’d always pass his high school classes. Steve never used drugs. But he was 17 years old when he started hearing voices. These voices were demeaning, insulting, and abusive. At first he thought that these voices were electronically transmitted from their neighbor’s house to their home speakers. Recently, he’s been considering the possibility that he produces the voices himself. He continues to hear these voices everyday, and rarely, if ever, stops hearing them. Often, he argues with the voices so much that he gets hospitalized. Consequently, even at age 33, he cannot keep a job even for a week, and he’s been living at a sheltered community.
Definition of Abnormal Behavior
Lots of definition of abnormal behavior has populated many psychopathology books. Mental health professionals has attempted to capture an accurate representation of abnormal behavior via a definition, but failed to do so. It seems like all the proposed definitions have their own problems and limitations. Furthermore, all definitions are subject to the current social values and expectations. For example, homosexuality and body piercing used to be classified as mental disorders.
Despite the lack of consensus regarding the definition of abnormal behavior, mental health professionals manage to agree quite well in classifying whether a behavior is abnormal or not. Perhaps this is because almost everyone adopt a prototypal understanding of abnormal behavior. That is, we have an idea of what abnormal behavior is, and we tend to compare how similar or dissimilar a person’s behavior is from this prototype. This prototypal thinking style is probably borne out of some clear elements of abnormality, such as “suffering,” “maladaptiveness,” “deviancy,” “violation of social standards,” “social discomfort,” and “irrationality” and/or “unpredictability.” Although these elements are not always present nor sufficient in themselves in identifying or classifying all agreed abnormal behaviors, they give us a workable prototype of abnormal behavior.
Total Context of Abnormal Behavior
In order to appreciate the nature and extent of abnormal behavior, textbooks about abnormal psychology attempt to discuss broadly the significant factors involving each and every abnormal behavior. Thus, a comprehensive understanding of abnormal behavior involves the clinical picture of the behavior, that is, how the behavior manifest itself along with some case studies; the possible causal factors, whether biological, psychosocial (intra- and interpersonal), or sociocultural; and, the available treatments coming from different psychological perspectives or schools of thought.
Scientific Approach to Abnormal Behavior
A scientific approach to the study of abnormal behavior not just involves an understanding of the scientific method, or the various research methods that can be used in the study of abnormal behavior; it also involves a sophisticated knowledge of concepts and research findings drawn from relevant fields of study, such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, genetics, neuroanatomy, and neurochemistry.
Historical Views of Abnormal Behavior
The earliest treatment of abnormal behavior, called trephining, was performed by shamans. The operation involves chipping away a part of the skull to serve as an opening to release “evil” spirits. Early skulls with trephines showed healing around the area, thus proving that the early dwellers survived the operation and lived for many more years.
Egyptian papyri from the 16th century B.C. provide insight on how ancient culture viewed abnormal behavior. The Edwin Smith papyrus was the first written record of how the brain was considered the host of mental functions. The Ebers papyrus enlisted “abnormal behavior” as those disorders with unknown physical causes and treated them through magical incantations.
Further ancient writings of the Chinese, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Greeks referred to abnormal behavior as a kind of “possession” by angry or evil spirits, and thus needs to be exorcised.
The Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 B.C), considered as the father of modern medicine, has contributed a lot to the knowledge of abnormal behavior when he neglected the role of the “supernatural” as the cause of mental illness, and attributed abnormal behavior to natural causes; this is despite the strict government and religious rule of their time not to do any anatomical study of the human body. First, he believed that the brain is the central organ for all mental processes; thus, any abnormal behavior is related to organic problems of the brain. Consequently, heredity and environment play a significant factor in the development of any mental disorder. Second, he classified abnormal behavior in three categories - mania, melancholia, and phrenitis. Each classification is filled with rich and detailed clinical description of case studies. Third, he classified personality for the first time. According to him, personality is brought about by the four types of fluids that circulates the human body. These personality types are known as the sanguine, the phlegmatic, the choleric, and the melancholic. Fourth, he emphasized the importance of dreams in gaining insight of the problem, paving the way for psychodynamic psychotherapy. Lastly, he suggested treatments for abnormal behavior that are far from the supernatural. His treatments usually involve medicines and a change in lifestyle.
Greek philosopher Plato (429-347 B.C.) also shed some useful insight about the political and clinical aspect of abnormal behavior. He believed that people afflicted with mental disorders are not responsible for any criminal acts and should not be punished, although they are not exempt at paying for the damages they have caused. He recommended that these people should be institutionalized, and are to be engaged in daily dialogues and philosophical conversations. The content of such dialogues should consider that the dreams and fantasies of these people are merely substitutes to any unsatisfied worldly desires. These dialogues could have been the precursor of modern psychotherapy.
Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) subscribed mainly to the Hippocratic view of disturbances of bodily fluids. In addition to this, he believed that the goal of any mental activity is to eliminate pain and attain pleasure.
Medical practice in Alexandria, Egypt developed a wide range of treatment for abnormal behavior. These therapeutic measures include academics, bleeding, chains, dieting, gymnastics, hydrotherapy, massage, and purging. Temples dedicated to Saturn were high-class sanatoria. Mental patients in such sanatoria are introduced to a pleasing environment and are exposed to constant social activities, such as parties, dances, and concerts.
Greek physician Galen (130-200 A.D), who practiced in Rome, extensively contributed to the knowledge of the anatomy of the nervous system based on his dissections of animals. He also categorized the causes of abnormal behavior as either physical or mental. Among the physical causes he identified are head injuries, alcoholism, adolescence, and women’s menstrual cycle. Among the mental causes are shock, fear, romance, and the economy.
Roman physicians drew mainly from Galen’s practice and thus believed that psychotherapy must involve an environment free from avoidable physical and mental causes. Additionally, they believed in the concept of “contrariis contrarius”, meaning opposite by opposite, in which they introduce contrasting stimuli (e.g., cold drink in warm bath) in order to force physical and mental equilibrium.
Ancient knowledge of abnormal behavior are survived in the Middle Ages only from the Islamic regions. For instance, the first mental hospital was established in Baghdad in A.D. 792, and then in Damascus and Aleppo. Avicenna from Arabia, also known as the “prince of physicians” and author of “The Canon of Medicine”, elaborated on hysteria, epilepsy, mania, and melancholia. Western inquiry about mental health largely diminished during the Middle Ages because of the rise of the religious order. Surprisingly, incidents of abnormal behavior has also risen during this time, and all of them were considered caused by “sin,” which could come from the person himself, or which could be caused by a sinful person, like a witch through witchcraft.
Mass madness, or abnormal behavior manifested simultaneously in groups of people, is common in Europe during the last half of the Middle Ages. Tarantism and lycanthropy was the two most popular mass madness during this time.
Monasteries served as sanatoria for mentally disturbed individuals during the Middle Ages. Treatment involves religious practices, such as prayers, the use of holy water and sanctified ointments or herbs, visits to holy places, touching of religious relics, mild forms of exorcism, and witch burning.
Religious perspective is so powerful during the Middle Ages that even renowned scholars, like Robert Burton (1576-1640), in his work “The Anatomy of Melancholia” (1621) considered demonic possession as a possible cause of abnormal behavior.
The later part of the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance period brought back interest in scientific inquiry, and abnormal behavior was again studied in the light of the scientific method.
Humanitarian Approaches to Abnormal Behavior
The humanistic movement emphasizes the importance of the human life, our interests and social concerns. This is brought about by the end of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.
Paracelsus, a Swiss physician (1490-1541), criticized the religious explanation of abnormal behavior. He believed that abnormal behavior is a disease and should be treated medically. He claimed that abnormal behavior is caused by conflict between our instinctual and spiritual nature. He postulated that abnormal behavior can be treated by means of bodily magnetism, later known as hypnotism, which he thought operated similarly and along with mental processes. Although he criticized the role of religion, he himself is bias toward astrology. He believed that the moon can influence the functions of the brain, and referred to a mentally disturbed individual as a “lunatic”, from the Latin word “luna” or “moon.”
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) is a Spanish nun in charge of a group of hysterical nuns during the sixteenth century. She was able to save these nuns from the Spanish Inquisition when she argued that they were not possessed but rather were “as if sick,” also known as “comas enfermas.” She meant that they appeared sick despite lack of any physical evidence, which paved the way of thinking that the mind can get sick just as the body does. This argument led to a universal “understanding” of the concept of mental illness.
German physician and writer Johann Weyer (1515-1588), later acknowledged as the founder of modern psychopathology, was one of the first physicians who specialized in mental disorders. He wrote under the Latin name of Joannus Wierus when he published “The Deception of Demons” (1563) , a step-by-step counter-argument against the witch-hunting handbook “Malleus Maleficarum” (1486). He strongly argued that almost all of the people burned as witches were actually suffering from a mental or physical disorder, and that the clergy or the religious order, though the act of burning, actually sinned against this people. Weyer’s ideas were too far ahead of his time that he was scorned by his peers and banned by the Church as “Weirus Hereticus” or “Weirus Insanus.”
St. Vincent de Paul (1576-1660) is a clergy who started to question the religious practices of his time. He declared, risking his life, that the mind can be as sick as the body, and that the role of Christianity is to encourage the government in protecting the rights of the mentally ill, and the physicians in providing treatment and cure for them.
Asylums, often referred as madhouses, were built in various parts of Europe throughout the Middle Ages to house the mentally ill. Asylums served as storage for the insane, not meant as a “hospital” for treating mental illness, but a simple solution to remove or isolate problematic individuals from the society. Almost all of these asylums exhibit the mentally ill to the public for a fee, and some were even forced outside for charity. Among the most unpopular asylums are the monastery of St. Mary of Bethlehem at London, which was turned to an asylum by Henry VIII in 1547, and thus later known as Bedlam; San Hipolito, the first asylum in the Americas which was established in Mexico in 1566 by philanthropist Bernardino Alvares; La Maison de Charenton, which was founded in 1641 in a suburb in Paris, and La Bicêtre, a hospital also in France; an asylum in Moscow established in 1764; the Lunatics’ Tower in Vienna constructed in 1784; the Pennsylvania Hospital, established by Benjamin Franklin in 1756 at Philadelphia, USA; and, The Public Hospital, which was constructed in 1773 at Williamsburg, Virginia. In the United States, physicians in asylums force mental patients to choose rationality over insanity by means of intimidation, using powerful drugs, bleeding and blistering, electric shocks, and mechanical restraints.
Humanitarian reform in asylums started by the late eighteenth century, from the work of Baptiste Pussin and Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) in France. Pusin and Pinel were in charge of La Bicêtre in 1784 and in 1792. Pussin started removing chains in some mental patients and used less painful straitjackets. He also issued orders forbidding his staff from beating patients. Pinel, on the other hand, fought for the removal of chains on most patients. He was granted permission by the French Revolutionary Commune to proceed with his experiment that mental patients will fair better if treated with kindness and consideration, in expense of losing his own head. Fortunately, the experiment was a success. The hospital turned less noisy and filthy when mental patients were provided with well-ventilated and well-lit rooms, when they were allowed to roam about in hospital grounds, and when they were treated with care and respect, as other sick people have.
English Quaker named William Tuke (1732-1822) established the York Retreat, a country house where mental patients lived and worked in a religious and tranquil atmosphere. The York Retreat caught the attention and support of famous English medical practitioners John Connolly and Samuel Hitch.
Samuel Hitch trained nurses and supervisors under the humanistic tradition to take care of mental patients in an orderly and peaceful manner. He introduced these trained personnel at the Gloucester Asylum in 1841.
In the United States, the humanitarian reform in asylums was first reflected with the works of Benjamin Rush (1745-1813). Rush was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, and he was also known as the founder of American psychiatry. Rush encouraged a less inhumane treatment of the mentally ill while he was working at the Pennsylvania Hospital at 1783. Although his primary remedies include bleeding and purging, and even if his invention of the “tranquilizing chair” is more painful than expected, he was able to reduce violence and humiliation within the hospital. Additionally, he wrote the first systematic treatise on psychiatry in America, “Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon the Diseases of the Mind” (1812); and, he was the first American to develop a course in psychiatry.
Asylum reformation continued to foster philosophical tendencies on the nature of treatment. Moral management, at first, became popular, followed by the mental hygiene movement and advances in biomedical science.
Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) facilitated the growth of the mental hygiene movement in America. She started out as a young schoolteacher in New England, and was forced to teach in a women’s prison in 1841 after recurrent bouts of tuberculosis. It was then that she discovered the deplorable conditions of the mentally ill in jails, almshouses, and asylums. She submitted a “Memorial” to the U.S. Congress in 1848 exposing the conditions of these people. Her campaign brought public awareness, and 20 states have responded directly, raising millions of dollars, which she used to build 32 mental hospitals. She reformed the asylum system in Scotland, and organized nurses for the northern armies of the Civil War. The U.S. Congress, in a resolution in 1901, recognized her as one of the most noble examples of humanity throughout history.
Clifford Beers (1876-1943), a Yale graduate, exposed the time when he was mentally ill and how badly the treatment was given to him by three different mental institutions. He described how painfully excruciating and inhumane the use of a straitjacket was to “quiet” patients like him. He told how he was put to a straitjacket for 15 consecutive hours and how the pain was like to biting a fingertip for such a long period of time. He eventually recovered from his illness and from such trauma in a friendly nursing home. He advocated for a more humane treatment of the mentally ill and gained the interest and support of the psychologist William James and Adolf Meyer, the “dean of American psychiatry.”
Mental health professionals are used to be called alienists because they treat the “alienated.” At first, under the moral management philosophy of treatment, lay persons and clergies were still in charge of asylums and mental hospitals, providing little objective medical care to mental patients. During the later part of the nineteenth century, alienists were then recognized as the suitable head of such mental institutions, and they began to incorporate moral management with medical treatment aimed directly at treating the mental disease. For example, depression, or neurasthenia, as they call it that time, was believed to a medical condition due to the deterioration and depletion of energy, brought about by nervous exhaustion. Therefore, such condition can be treated with sufficient rest, balanced nutrition, and exercise.
The development of outpatient psychiatric clinics and the establishment of humane inpatient facilities in general public hospitals started in 1946 when Mary Jane Ward published “The Snake Pit,” which aimed to tap the possible role and capability of the community itself to take care of the mentally disturbed without relying too much on overcrowded public mental hospitals. On the same year, the Hill-Burton Act was passed; it is a funding program aimed at helping the establishment and maintenance of community mental health hospitals. Additionally, in the same year, the National Institutes of Mental Health was organized to support research and training in psychiatry and clinical psychology.
Sociologist Erving Goffman continued the battle for humanitarian treatment in mental hospitals by further exposing irregularities, neglect and abuse among the mental health staff, in his book “Asylums” (1960).
Scientific advancements in the later half of the twentieth century paved the way for a better mental hospital environment. The introduction of lithium and phenothiazines, respectively, in the treatment of manic depressive disorders and schizophrenia, reduced agitation and aggression within the hospital, leading to less use of straitjackets and other punitive measures.
Advancement in the field of medicine proved that even the most severe abnormal behavior can be managed outside the confines of any mental health institution. Furthermore, overcrowding in such establishments led many political activists to believe that the mentally ill were completely forgotten and abandoned by their own relatives, and left to the hands of the government to fund their treatment that could go on even forever. Reducing the responsibility of such people, who are supposed to be the first to support their mentally disturbed relative, is taking its toll on government resources. Thus, the deinstitutionalization policy took effect. The policy closed many mental health institutions, and hospital-based treatment was replaced by community-based care, day treatment/outpatient hospitals, and outreach programs. Mental hospitals are now viewed as the last resort toward mental care. However, in spite of the noble idea behind deinstitutionalization, many mentally ill people are homeless and roam the streets.
In summary, the humanitarian approaches to abnormal behavior has a rich history. Humanitarian reforms developed from the oppressive attitude of the treatment of the mentally ill during the Middle Ages, to the moral management philosophy of the early Renaissance, the mental hygiene movement in the late nineteenth century, the attention to biomedical science in the early part of the twentieth century, and lastly, deinstitutionalization in the later half of the twentieth century.
Contemporary Views of Abnormal Behavior
Understanding of abnormal behavior reached a scientific impetus during the 19th and 20th centuries. Scientific developments in this period involves advancements and discoveries in biology and medicine, a system for classifying mental disorders, recognition of psychological causes of mental problems, and endeavors in experimental psychological research.
The most important biomedical discovery of the time entails uncovering the organic factors behind general paresis. Also known as syphilis of the brain, general paresis is one of the most disturbing mental illness of the time, producing paralysis, insanity, and even death within 2-5 years. With this discovery, the brain became the central focus of research, and knowledge of how the brain is involved in any mental illness expanded.
Apart from emphasizing the involvement of brain pathology in mental disorders, Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) was the first person to classify mental disorders according to symptom patterns, and to postulate that the course of all mental disorders are consequently consistent, predetermined, and are therefore predictable. Such scheme of classification is the primer of today’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. All these things he did in one monumental book, “Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie.”
Attributing the cause of mental disorder to biological reasons posed certain limitations. Some physicians have started the course of identifying the psychological factors involved. It all started with the technique of mesmerism, named after its developer Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), an Austrian physician who expanded on Paracelsus’ idea that the planets have an influence on the human body. Mesmer believed that the planets exert magnetic influence on all humans and that all humans have the capacity to restore balance on our own bodily fluids, and in turn, magnetically influence others who have imbalanced body fluids. Mesmerism is all about restoring balance in other people’s bodily fluids through the help of magnets, coupled with simultaneous sensory stimulation.
The psychological attribution of mental disorder continues on with the popular debate between the Nancy School and Jean Charcot (1825-1893), and the development of the psychoanalytic theory. The Nancy School of thought was developed by Ambrose August Liébeault (1823-1904), a French physician, and Hippolyte Bernheim (1840-1919), a professor of medicine, both in the town of Nancy in France. Bernheim has been unsuccessfully treating a patient with hysteria using conventional methods for 4 years; and the same patient was successfully treated by Liébeault using hypnosis. Both Bernheim and Liébeault worked together to develop their hypotheses with regard to the relationship between hysteria and hypnosis. Over time, they expanded the benefit of hypnosis to other anxiety disorders as well. Meanwhile, Charcot, the head of the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris and the leading neurologist of his time, resisted the Nancy School and believed that hysteria is caused by brain degeneration. Eventually, Charcot gave way to hypnosis and helped promote its study. The debate between the Nancy School and Charcot is the hallmark of the triumph of the psychological viewpoint over the biological one. Another neurologist, this time from Vienna, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) studied under the watch of Charcot and then became acquainted with the Nancy School of thought. His study about hypnosis continues on with his involvement with Josef Breuer (1842-1925), a physician in Vienna, who allowed patients to talk freely about themselves. This technique is called free association. Freud then probed further and realized that mental processes that underlie many mental disorders are hidden and can be exposed and therefore treated through the help of hypnosis. To uncover such hidden powerful psychodynamics, he developed psychoanalysis, a technique that utilizes dream analysis and catharsis.
Research about the psychological factors involved in mental disorders started to develop into an experimental approach. Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) established the first experimental psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig in 1879. Wundt’s student, McKeen Cattell (1860-1944), brought and practiced the experimental tradition to the United States. Lightner Witmer (1867-1956), another of Wundt’s students, established the first American psychological clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied about mentally deficient children. Witmer was considered the founder of clinical psychology. Soon thereafter, other psychological clinics were built. William Healy (1869-1963) established...(to be continued)
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is abnormal behavior?
- How do the concepts of deviancy, maladaptiveness, and distress identify whether a behavior is abnormal or not?
- Has abnormal behavior been viewed before as a kind of demonic possession? If so, when did this happen? What events in history caused us to adopt this kind of thinking? When had this kind of thinking been massively revoked, and what caused such a revolution? What were the consequences of such perspective in the development of a mental health facility?
- What are the different ways in which mental health professionals define abnormal behavior?
- Can we observe abnormal behavior in our common, daily lives? Can we consider abnormal behavior as prevalent or rare?
- Do you know of some case studies pertaining to abnormal behavior? Are you aware of where these case studies originated from?
- What are the causes and risk factors for abnormal behavior? How were these causes and risk factors identified through the history of studying abnormal psychology?
- What challenges did psychologists face when characterizing abnormal behavior?
- How do psychologists classify abnormal behavior? Is there an official classification system being used nowadays? How did mental health professionals come up with such a system? Is it dependent on a specific viewpoint?
- What are some of the clinical perspectives on the study of abnormal behavior? How are they different from other types of perspectives?
- Are there any colloquialisms pertaining to, or relating to, abnormal behavior? If so, where did they originate from?
- What are the conceptual definitions of abnormal behavior? What are the criticisms of such kind of definition?
- What are the modern perspectives on abnormal behavior? How are these views different from the ancient and middle ages? What events in the past led to the development of these contemporary views?
- What is the definition of abnormal behavior? Is the definition embraced across the different fields pertaining to mental health? What are the difficulties, loopholes, and problems do mental health professionals continue to face when coming up with a comprehensive and precise definition of abnormal behavior?
- What is the diathesis-stress model of abnormal behavior all about? How does it bring about a logical understanding of the development of abnormal behavior? Who thought about it? Are there any variations of it? What are some criticisms about it?
- What is distress? How is it different or similar to stress? Does it contribute to the development of abnormal behavior? Or, is it an abnormal behavior, by itself?
- What are the notions of "feedback" and "circularity", and how do they fit into the picture of how abnormal behavior develops into some, but not all, individuals?
- How does history of abnormal behavior give us a rich perspective into its nature?
- What are some historical views about abnormal behavior? How did history contribute to the development of the study of abnormal behavior?
- How do mental health professionals with humanitarian inclinations approach the study of the causes and treatment of abnormal behavior?
- How does "impairment" characterize abnormal behavior? Who was the first person who introduced this concept in characterizing abnormal behavior?
- What is the significance of conducting research in the study of abnormal behavior?
- What are the integrated definitions of abnormal behavior? How are they different from the conceptual ones? And, what challenges and criticisms are present on such definitions?
- Who are the major historical figures in the study of abnormal behavior? What are their contributions?
- What are the different models and viewpoints currently adopted among mental health professionals, particularly, those in the field of psychopathology, in understanding abnormal behavior?
- What models are being used to study and understand the nature of abnormal behavior?
- What are the multicausal developmental models of abnormal behavior? How are they different from other models or viewpoints?
- What are the practical definitions of abnormal behavior? How are they different from the conceptual and integrated ones? Who are the proponents? What are the criticisms?
- Do abnormal behaviors always pose a risk or risks to one's self and/or to other people? Is it a necessary requirement to consider a behavior as abnormal or not? What is its significance in understanding and studying about abnormal behavior?
- What does the scientific approach to abnormal behavior entail? How does an approach becomes scientific?
- Does abnormal behavior fall under social and cultural categories? Do the social standards pose by the society and the culture within it identify specific forms of abnormal behavior? What behaviors are considered abnormal only in certain societies and cultures?
- What insights does the sociocultural perspective bring into the study of abnormal behavior? How does the sociocultural perspective enrich our understanding of abnormal behaviors?
- Hows does the Surgeon General and the DSM define abnormal behavior?
- What are the theoretical viewpoints of the causes of abnormal behavior? What theories and personalities are behind these viewpoints?
- How can one describe a total or comprehensive context of abnormal behavior, or a specific abnormal behavior?
- What are some of the unresolved issues in the study of abnormal behavior? How can it influence undergraduate students of psychology and psychology enthusiasts on their grasp and understanding of abnormal behavior?
- What is abnormal behavior? When did we start thinking about classifying whether a behavior is abnormal or not? How did our thoughts and ideas about abnormal behavior evolve in time?
- Abnormal behavior can be observed in our everyday lives. True or False?
- Abnormal behavior can manifest even in people who seem to be normal and well-adjusted. True or False?