normal behavior definition

Normal also does not mean adjusted, if that word is used to refer to someone who accepts the dominant ethic of a particular society. The unwritten rules that govern sexual behavior in this country, for example, are scarcely those that issue from the pulpit. Even such a fundament of civilization as the law, which is spoken of invariably with esteem, is treated actually with bland disregard. People are not really expected to strictly obey the law, any more than they are expected to work a full day or to keep every promise they make. Someone who is significantly different from other people may be under special strain as a result, for in order to be with people, it is necessary to do pretty much the things other people do. A man who works two full-time jobs, for instance, is not likely to be at home when his family is. If he is away from the important people in his life most of the time, to some extent, inevitably, he will be emotionally deprived.

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Posted: Tue, 04 Jan 2022 06:24:10 GMT [source]

Treatments are designed to reshape disordered behavior and, using traditional learning procedures, to teach new, more appropriate, and more adaptive responses. For example, a behavioral analysis of a case of child abuse might suggest that a father abuses his children because he learned the abusive behavior from his father and must now learn more appropriate parenting tactics. The cognitive approach to abnormal psychology focuses on how internal thoughts, perceptions, and reasoning contribute to psychological disorders. Cognitive treatments typically focus on helping the individual change their thoughts or reactions. Although these specific results are necessarily limited to the methodological context we employed and the particular type of judgment we elicited, we suspect that the phenomenon is, in fact, much broader. Five participants in each expertise group were randomly assigned to each condition. Only the effect of life event explanations was examined in this experiment, because we suspected that this kind of explanation is what clinical psychologists spontaneously generate during therapy sessions.

Violation Of Social Norms

However, normal behavior is often only recognized in contrast to abnormality. In its simplest form, normality is seen as good while abnormality is seen as bad. Someone being seen as normal or not normal can have social ramifications, such as being included, excluded or stigmatized by wider society.

normal behavior definition

Context and SituationAt any one time, a type of behavior might be considered normal whereas another time the same behavior could be abnormal, depending on both context and situation. Examples of abnormality can take many different forms and involve different features, so that, what at first sight seem quite reasonable definitions, turns out to be quite problematic.

Ii Chapter 2: Contemporary Models Of Abnormal Psychology

Therefore, we can be guilty of refusing to accept divergent behavior as normal or incorrectly seeing a symptom as an indicator of mental illness. Abnormal behavior is behavior that is outside of what is generally considered normal.

How do you approach a dog with normal behavior?

Allow the dog to approach and sniff your hand without reaching your hand out to them. If the dog is comfortable being in your space and showing relaxed body language, you can try to stroke them. Gently reach out with the back of your hand and stroke the dog’s shoulders, chest or under their chin, which most dogs enjoy.

Behavior that goes against what is considered normal by society is abnormal. A man who takes off all his clothes and jumps in a fountain is likely to be seen as weird, whereas a three-year-old who does it might just be seen as cute. Second, people may attempt to discover a hidden cause underlying an observed behavior. One might wonder why Joan works so hard in the above example, or a clinician might want to uncover the cause of a patient’s normal behavior definition depressed mood. In Experiments 2 and 3, we provided an explanation for the first of the causally connected characteristics, to determine whether this additional explanation would further increase perceptions of normality. According to one of the principles in Thagard’s model, explanatory hypotheses are more acceptable if they are explained by other explanatory hypotheses (see Read & Marcus-Newhall, 1993, for empirical support).

Deviation From Ideal Mental Health

When a variable rate, such as virus spread within a human population, exceeds its normal infection rate, then preventative or emergency measures can be introduced. However, it is often impractical to apply statistical normality to diagnose individuals. Symptom normality is the current, and assumed most effective, way to assess patient pathology. When an individual’s abnormality is labelled as a pathology, it is possible for that person to take on both elements of the sick role or the stigmatization that follows some illnesses. Mental illness, in particular, is largely misunderstood by the population and often overwhelms others’ impression of the patient. As another example, understandings of what is normal sexual behavior varies greatly across time and place. In many countries, perceptions on sexuality are largely becoming more liberal, especially views on the normality of masturbation and homosexuality.

Stress disorders are psychological issues related to how a person reacts to stress in their life. Explore the definition and perspectives of stress disorders and learn about stress, approaches to stress, and managing stress. For example, when British settlers first moved to America, they were used to fencing land and raising livestock on it. They had a good idea of the difference between public and private land. Making sense of a person’s behavior is a much more multifaceted interpretive endeavor than simply evaluating how normal or abnormal the person is. Thus, we suspect that similar findings would be obtained for other types of evaluative judgments. For instance, when the morality of another person is judged, that person might appear more moral if one can understand the reason behind seemingly immoral behavior.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health , nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Emotional abuse means behavior that could harm a child’s emotional development, such as threatening, intimidating, humiliating, demeaning, criticizing, rejecting, using profane language, or using inappropriate physical restraint. ConditionImplausiblePlausibleNoncausalJarrod always chooses solitary activities.

  • Often norms take the form of unwritten and unspoken rules—the guidelines that help us understand how to behave.
  • Many of the diagnoses in the DSM are “disorders” or otherwise contain no implication at all that the underlying cause is a chemical imbalance.
  • A large group of people are tested, and normal is the result 95% of those people show.
  • But others may embrace the decision, slowly altering their behavior to make voice phone calls with less frequency than using Twitter.
  • Some part of the biological/behav­ioral system of a person is not work­ing correctly .

He could not yet tell where normal behavior came to an end and something else began. He had not seen orange and red set up against each other often enough to tell one from the other. As for his classmates—it is likely that he was right and that among them there were a few who were indeed mentally ill, for emotional disturbances are common, and no one is immune.


Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Explain the concept of dangerousness as it relates to mental illness. Sickness means an illness, disease, or condition of the Covered Person that causes a loss for which a Covered Person incurs medical expenses while covered under this Policy. All related conditions and recurrent symptoms of the same or similar condition will be considered one Sickness. A fearful over-reaction to an object or situation is labelled a phobia. Learn the definitions of two kinds of phobias, specific and social, as well as their causes and treatment. A woman walking down a street in America without a top on would be considered to be acting abnormally.

Older adults across the globe exhibit increased prosocial behavior but also greater in-group preferences –

Older adults across the globe exhibit increased prosocial behavior but also greater in-group preferences.

Posted: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Normal behavior.Means the customer is genuine and there is no suspicion detected by the expert system, so he can well proceed to the transaction with the normal flow. Some people don’t think their actions through or don’t experience the same types of feelings as others. For example, a person who does not feel embarrassment might say things that are inappropriate without the censor of embarrassment to stop them. As a member, you’ll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

They are idiosyncratic or eccentric, even peculiar; yet in their strangeness, there is nothing unrecognizable. They experience no impulse nor longing that is foreign to a normal person, and they suffer no illusion that a normal person has not known.

Some people cope with these feelings by engaging in behaviors that some people would consider odd. For example, a person who feels anxious about germs might wash their hands over and over again. Our work on this issue was inspired by an informal observation made by Meehl . He noted that when clinicians felt that they understood a patient, the patient seemed normal; that is, “understanding it makes it normal” (p. 244). Meehl identified this as a fallacy in clinical reasoning, arguing that understanding why a man deliberately killed his wife does not make the act a normal, excusable one.

normal behavior definition

Human development, or developmental psychology, is a field of study that attempts to describe and explain the changes in human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capabilities and functioning over the entire life span, from the fetus to old age. Deviation from Social Norms defines the departure or deviation of an individual, from society’s unwritten rules . For example if one was to witness a man jumping around, nude, on the streets, the man would be perceived as abnormal, as he has broken society’s norms about wearing clothing, not to mention ones self dignity. There are also a number of criteria for one to examine before reaching a judgment as to whether someone has deviated from society’s norms. The first of these criterion being culture; what may be seen as normal in one culture, may be seen as abnormal in another. The second criterion being the situation & context one is placed in; for example going to the toilet is a normal human act, but going in the middle of a supermarket would be seen as highly abnormal.

Are Two Actual People Still Required For A Relationship?

A group may decide that it’s acceptable to speak loudly on a mobile phone in a closed space, like a train or bus. This then becomes the cultural norm, and those who don’t participate in or appreciate the norm may find themselves in a minority when voicing objections or disagreement.

While the concept of video game addiction has gained traction, it remains controversial. After all, based on observation, “clinical impairment is low,” and there are no clear diagnostic criteria (Bean, Nielsen, van Rooij, & Ferguson, 2017). Many onboard personnel, including engineers and conductors, retired or left Amtrak during the pandemic, leaving the company stretched thin and unable to resume normal operations. Human behaviour, the potential and expressed capacity for physical, mental, and social activity during the phases of human life. I disagree with attempts to restrict the debate on mental illness using semantics (usually taking the form of objecting to the term “mental illness”).

normal behavior definition

On the other hand, the brain is an organ, it is biology, and it can malfunction biologically just like any other organ. Further, even a biologically healthy brain can be pushed beyond tolerance limits resulting in an unhealthy mental state. There is a common pearl of wisdom in clinical science that, before you can recognize the abnormal you have to recognize the full spectrum of what is normal. At the other end is the obsessive partitioning of every nuance of human behavior into one or another abnormal category – the medicalization of all human problems. This may be connected to an overly reductionist approach to psychology, seeing all behavior in terms of neurotransmitters and brain function and giving insufficient attention to higher order situational and cultural factors. This is a healthy debate to have, as the concepts involved are tricky and there are real implications for societal perception, insurance coverage, and treatment strategies.

While some psychologists or psychiatrists may focus on a single viewpoint, many mental health professionals use elements from multiple areas in order to better understand and treat psychological disorders. In other words, dysfunction refers to a breakdown in cognition, emotion, and/or behavior. For instance, an individual experiencing delusions that he is an omnipotent deity would have a breakdown in cognition because his thought processes are not consistent with reality.

  • The manual represents each disorder as a checklist of symptoms, without any organizing theory to tie the symptoms together (Follette & Houts, 1996).
  • Medical treatments are often pharmacological in nature, although medication is often used in conjunction with some type of psychotherapy.
  • Coming from Engineering cum Human Resource Development background, has over 10 years experience in content developmet and management.
  • Armed with this understanding, let’s discuss what mental disorders are.
  • Behavioral approaches may bequite useful in treatment of anxiety and have occasionally been helpful in themanagement of more severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • While our genetics are fundamental to who we are, so is our upbringing and the culture in which we grew up.

In the situations that Meehl described, clinicians spontaneously generated causal explanations, which presumably they believed were highly plausible (otherwise they would not have generated them!). It makes sense that only plausible causal relations increase the appearance of normality, because only such explanations would be expected to increase understanding. Implausible causal relations, on the other hand, are likely to decrease understanding. In the present experiments, participants received descriptions of people, each with three characteristics taken from the DSM–IV , and were asked to judge the normality of these people. The experiments manipulated the comprehensibility of these characteristics.

What is a normal behavior What is an abnormal behavior?

“Any behavior that pertains to accepted societal patterns is called normal behaviour whereas that is against social norms is called abnormal behaviour.”

For example, in terms of biochemistry – the dopamine hypothesis argues that elevated levels of dopamine are related to symptoms of schizophrenia. For example, it is common in Southern Europe to stand much closer to strangers than in the UK. Voice pitch and volume, touching, direction of gaze and acceptable subjects for discussion have all been found to vary between cultures.

This is a trickier situation, and psychologists recognize that often the “identified patient” is not the problem so much as the dynamic within a family or other social group. However, some forms of mental illness, like a delusional disorder, may not be apparent to the person themselves but obvious to those around them. In order to understand better how these participants define and redefine a child’s behavior, Cederborg analyzed the content of 28 family therapy sessions with seven different families.