theories and definitions of abnormality


There are many origins of abnormal behavior, and the development of abnormal behavior can be understood differently from various perspectives. Theories in psychology can help us understand how behaviors develop.

It is important for psychology professionals to understand how theories help us to recognize, explain, and treat the sources of maladaptive behavior. Through this process, we can recognize our own biases and better explore options for helping those who exhibit abnormal behaviors.

Defining Abnormality

Societies have defined abnormality in different ways throughout time. Understanding the past can help us understand how we got to where we are today. This course examines the progression of our understanding of abnormality and how we define normality versus abnormality. It also introduces the manual psychologists use to define, describe, and diagnose mental health disorders.

For this assessment you will write an analysis that considers possible causes for an abnormal behavior.

  1. To begin, select a theory from the biological or psychological perspective.
    • Examples of biological viewpoints are:
      • Neurotransmitter or hormone imbalance.
      • Genetic vulnerabilities.
    • Psychological viewpoints include:
      • Psychoanalytic theory.
      • Ego psychology.
      • Object-relations theory.
      • Classical conditioning.
      • Instrumental conditioning.
      • Humanistic perspective.
      • Existential perspective.
      • Cognitive-behavioral perspective.
  2. Select an abnormal behavior.
  3. Use your selected theory to describe the cause of the abnormal behavior you selected, completing the following:
    • Describe your theory in detail and explain how the theory views behavior in general.
      • Explain how your theory describes the cause of your selected abnormal behavior.
      • Locate two peer-reviewed journal articles on your theory and use these resources to support your description of the theory and the cause of the behavior. Refer to your course text as well.
    • Compare and contrast your chosen viewpoint to the sociocultural viewpoint:
      • How might they view the abnormal behavior similarly?
      • How might they view the abnormal behavior differently?
    • Describe the benefits and drawbacks to applying multiple theories to define abnormal behavior.

Be sure to write your assessment in APA format, cite all references in APA style, and include a reference list. Use the APA Style Paper Template [DOCX] to format your paper in APA style.

Review the assessment scoring guide prior to submission to ensure that you meet all criteria.

Additional Requirements

  • Title page: Include your name, course, date, and faculty member.
  • References: The course text and at least two peer-reviewed journal articles. Use additional references as needed to support your assertions.
  • Written communication: Written communication is free from errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
  • Length: 3 4 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 points.
  • SafeAssign: Submit your assessment to SafeAssign as a draft and make any needed changes before submitting for grading.