Several forms of abnormality are an exaggeration of normal behavior and feelings. Therefore, this continuum is a means of taking into account for mental disorders and a means of highlighting the appropriate possession of an empathic attitude toward individuals who suffer from mental disorders. It is also a means of making abnormality more understandable because the potential for behavior that is abnormal is a part of common humanity (Hansell & Damour, 2008). However, this continuum makes it difficult for clinicians and researchers to find a dividing line between behavior deemed either normal or abnormal; therefore, this creates a challenge for scientific research in relation to psychopathology and treatment (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
The cultural and historical relativism concept makes note that definitions of abnormal behavior differ widely among different cultures. Therefore, because of this fact one cannot make definite universal notions concerning what defines abnormal behavior. The advantages and limitations of diagnosis concept makes note that researchers and clinicians benefit from diagnostic categories in order for studying and treating mental illness, and for communication with other researchers and clinicians. However, abnormal psychology struggles in the development of valid diagnostic categories to classify mental disorders with accuracy and consistence because of abnormal behavior’s complexity. This poses a challenge for psychologist to agree upon the same diagnoses of a patient but even if he or she had an agreement of diagnoses it may not be correct. Therefore, classification systems have to be reasonably valid and reliable.
The concept of multiple causality principle draws attention to the complexity of abnormal behavior because it is important to not oversimplify the causes of such behavior. Therefore, it is important to have varying theoretical perspectives that coexist in abnormal psychology. Abnormal psychology can move increasingly toward more effective means of treatments and explanations through combining components of varying theories (Hansell & Damour, 2008). The mind and body connection concept makes note that the connection between the mind and body needs examination to offer explanations and treatments for abnormal behavior. These six core concepts are a reminder that abnormal psychology’s focus involves studying disorders and diagnoses of disorders, and the field’s main concerns are individuals and ideas (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
Sue, D., Sue, D. W., & Sue, S. (2010). Understanding Abnormal Behavior (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.