Jim's Case Study

Topics: Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Psychology Pages: 3 (1064 words) Published: January 20, 2013
Running head: Jim’s Abnormal Behavior

Jim’s Abnormal Behavior
Laughing abruptly, talking to self, killing animals, forcing someone to have sex, and attempting to commit suicide are just a few characteristics that would be considered as abnormal behavior. We all might know someone or have crossed paths with someone who has displayed abnormal behavior, but what is abnormal behavior? Is a person considered abnormal because they behave differently from you, or is abnormal behavior defined by our socio-cultural background? To define, abnormal behavior is behavior that is socially unacceptable, distressing, atypical, maladaptive, and /or the distortion of one’s cognitive ability (Comer, 2005). According to Wayne Weiten, author of Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9E, Weiten maintains abnormal behavior as a mental disorder. Weiten further validated his decision by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR). The DSM is used to explain abnormal behavior or psychopathology. For example, DSM-IV-TR provides a definition for abnormal behavior based on the belief that mental disorders lack a theoretic operational definition which covers all encounters (Weiten, 2012). According to DSM-IV-TR there are six elements used to classify abnormal behavior. For example, suffering, maladaptiveness, deviancy, violation of standards of society, irritationality , and social discomfort are the behaviors which are identified in order to diagnose abnormal behavior ( Lefton, 2000). Since classifying is the core of science, it is imperative that abnormal behavior is classified accordingly. If we think about it, without labeling and establishing patterns of abnormal behavior, it might be difficult for researchers to communicate their findings to one another, and progress toward treating the various disorders would cease.

Prior to diagnosing abnormal behavior, the condition must...
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