The science of abnormal psychology studies two types of behaviors: Adaptive and Maladaptive behaviors.
Clinical psychology is the applied field of psychology that seeks to assess, understand and treat psychological conditions in clinical practice. The theoretical field known as ‘abnormal psychology’ may form a backdrop to such work, but clinical psychologists in the current field are unlikely to use the term 'abnormal' in reference to their practice.
Psychopathology is a similar term to abnormal psychology but has more of an implication of an underlying pathology (disease process), and as such is a term more commonly used in the medical specialty known as psychiatry.
MAJOR PERSPECTIVES ON ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR Each of the approaches emphasizes different factors believed to contribute to abnormal behavior, but they do overlap in varying degrees in actual practice. * Sociocultural- problems reflect cultural values and beliefs. * Behavioral- inappropriate conditioning or modeling. * Evolutionary- exaggerated form of an adaptive reaction. * Humanistic- blocked personal growth. * Psychoanalytical/psychodynamic- unconscious, unresolved conflict. * Cognitive- faulty thinking * Biological- problems with brain function, genetic predisposition, biochemistry.
ABNORMALITY - (or dysfunctional behavior), in the vivid sense of something deviating from the normal or differing from the typical (such as an aberration), is a subjectively defined behavioral characteristic, assigned to those with rare or dysfunctional conditions. Defining who is normal or abnormal is a contentious issue in abnormal psychology.
IDENTIFYING ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR: FOUR BASIC STANDARDS
1. Statistical infrequency. (How rare is the behavior?) A behavior may be judged abnormal if