Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What factors should be considered in distinguishing between normal and abnormal behavior? What relationships of importance might exist between social psychology and abnormal psychology?

     Since normal behavior is viewed as a social norm and abnormal behavior is viewed as deviating from social norms; there are some factors to consider in distinguishing between normal and abnormal behavior. In order to determine what is an abnormal behavior one must determine what are socially normal behaviors are in order to determine and understand what deviates from those norms. Another factor to consider is if a behavior is the cause of distress or is disruptive in one's life and if the behavior disrupts other individuals or their lives. If the behavior does cause disruptions then the behavior is considered abnormal behavior. Therefore, in distinguishing between what is normal or abnormal behavior one should not determine if the behavior is good or bad but if the behavior causes distress or is disruptive in society.   
     Social psychology makes an examination of the influence of social processes on the way individuals think, feel, and behave (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Abnormal Psychology is the study of psychopathology, or the study of behaviors and emotions deviating from what is normal. Abnormal psychology aims to understanding the abnormal behaviors of individuals. The relationship between social and abnormal psychology is that abnormal psychology can use what is learned about an individual through social psychology to determine and diagnose what behaviors are abnormal.


Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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