Contrasting Normal and Abnormal Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Abnormal psychology, Mental disorder Pages: 1 (324 words) Published: May 21, 2013
Compare and contrast normal and abnormal psychology

Normal psychology is the study of the state of being okay mentally. It studies the common or average human behavior of individuals. Individuals who are in the normal category of psychology do not display any mental illnesses, disorders, psychological problems or abnormal behavior. Psychologist tend to focus just as much on the study of normal behavior as they do abnormal behavior. “To understand the abnormal, psychologist need to study normal functioning first, in the same way that medical doctors need to understand healthy bodies before they can understand sickness and disease (Nairne, 2008 p.3).”

It is important to note that the distinction between normal and abnormal are not synonymous with good or bad. “ Abnormal psychology is the study of mental disorders (also called mental illness, psychological disorders or psychopathology)-why they occur (etiology), how they are maintained, and what effect they have on people's lives (Abnormal, p.315).” The term abnormal can cover a broad range of disorders from depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation. Another practical way to define abnormal behavior is to ask whether the behavior causes impairment in the person's life. “The more a behavior gets in the way of successful functioning in an important domain of life (including the psychological, the interpersonal and achievement/ performance domains) the more likely it is to be considered a sign of abnormality (Abnormal, p.316).”

There are several different perspectives or approaches used in abnormal psychology. They are the Behavioral, Medical and Cognitive Approaches. All three of these approaches are used alone or in combination to better understand and treat psychological disorders.

Works Cited
Abnormal Psychology. (nd). Retrieved from:...

Cited: Abnormal Psychology. (nd). Retrieved from:
Nairne, James S. (2008) Psychology. Retrieved from:
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