Abnormal Behaviour Psychology Essay

Abnormal Psychology


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Abnormal human behavior carries such a powerful stigma when it challenges the status quo and foreign, not understood, and challenges the social norms. Jamal viewing himself as deviant in his thinking, feeling, and behavior, probably has a different outlook on life from the social norm in trying to explore his youthful ideas.

Question One

Abnormal psychology is behavior that is disturbing, distressing, maladaptive in a clinical context. Denial is the most common psychological reaction to hearing abnormal behavior. For instance, if individuals suffer from abnormal behavior, they are likely to deny their truth to protect themselves from what is happening in their lives (Butcher et al., 2017). However, short-term denial is positive since it allows an individual to utilize the time to adjust to the painful or stressful situation. But long-term denial can have dire consequences if an individual refuses to seek medical assistance.

Question Two

Witnessing abnormal behavior is seen as crazy behavior since it is out of the norm. They at times provide cringy feelings due to the extent of the abnormal behavior, but at times they are crazy good and informative or fascinating (Butcher et al., 2017). Since abnormal behavior can be dysfunctional, distressful, or deviant, it depends on the psychological distress it causes. Therefore, witnessing abnormal behavior that is out of the ordinary causes psychological discomfort.

Question Three

Deviant behavior is any behavior that is regarded to go against the contrary, to the norm of society. There are two forms; formal deviance that violated the rule of law, such as rape, robber, theft, or murder. Informal deviance referred to the violation of the social norms that do not fall under the constitution or are considered unlawful. Furthermore, deviance varies dramatically from one culture to another. Robert K. Merton established deviant behavior’s social strain typology. His deviance typology is based on a person’s motivation or faithfulness to cultural expectation, and the other is based on a person’s credence in attaining their goals. Merton additionally established the five kinds of deviance: innovation, ritualism, retreatism, rebellion, and conformity (Lawson & Williams, 2019).

An individual exposed to deviant behavior might fear, anger, compassion, curiosity, or guilt. Fear is brought about when one feels threatened or is afraid that it might happen to them. Fear can also come about when a person is afraid of the repulsion the deviant will face. Anger is brought about by a moral authority when the deviant is violating and has total disregard for normal behavior. Compassion is brought about when the deviant behavior is not due to their fault or are forced by circumstances to partake in the deviant mannerism. Curiosity comes about when one either wants to partake or is interested in discovering why the deviant is engaging in the behavior. Guilt is triggered when one has no power to intervene or help the deviant and considers the behavior not worth the punishment.

Question Four

Labeling theory provides a distinctively sociological approach that gives titles to specific groups of people that fuels them to become deviant or engage in crime (Walklate, 2020). The close association due to the perception of people leads people to become deviants. And due to these close associations, linking leads to mental abnormalities that result in physical abnormalities. Uttered words over a long period lead to people believing something, breeding stigma and causing people to engage in abnormal behaviors physically. Due to the negative stereotypes, individuals are likely to face new problems resulting in defense, attack, or adaptation. Thus, being called deviant, a criminal, or an offender tends to reinforce the involvement in crime and deviance negatively (Walklate, 2020).


Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. M. (2017). Abnormal psychology. Pearson Education India.

Lawson, A. S., & Williams, L. (2019). Theorizing Deviance.

Walklate, S. (2020). Labelling Theory. SAGE Publications Limited.