William Ross, Ph.D.
July 13, 2009
Major Abnormal Behavior Theories of Psychology
Abnormal behavior has been witnessed by humans throughout the age of modern man. From the pre-industrialized societies of the past that correlated abnormal behavior to evil spirits and supernatural and magical forces to be cast out by spiritual healers or magician with magical spells and holy ritualistic incantations, to the purveyors of modern day scientific medical and psychological treatments that include psychotherapy and genetically engineered medicines, human abnormal behavior has been scrutinized and reconstructed under countless theories of causation through the annals of history. Witches from the middle ages on were thought to cast evil spells or hexes on people that would cause them to act in unusual ways. Well into the age of The Renaissance, demonic possession was believed to be one of the chief causes of abnormal behavior that could only be cured through religious rituals known as exorcisms. Even with the prevalence of such ideas throughout much of the past, progress was made towards identifying where the causes of such abnormal behavior might originate. Examples of attempt to move away from the beliefs that abnormal behavior was a form of punishment delved out by the gods towards those who angered or offended them can be seen from some of the great thinkers of the ancient Greeks such as Hippocrates, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle who rationalized that such behaviors could possibly occur from diseased brains.
“Another general approach to the cause of abnormal behavior reflects what might be called the psychological perspective. According to this point of view, behavioral disturbances are caused by inadequacies in the way an individual thinks, feels, or perceives the world. According to the psychological perspective, people are at least potentially capable of examining their own...