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This article needs additional citations for verification. This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page. Behavior is considered abnormal when it is atypical or out of the ordinary, consists of undesirable behavior, and results in impairment in the individual’s functioning.
Abnormal behavior should not be confused with unusual behavior. Behavior that is out of the ordinary is not necessarily indicative of a mental or psychological disorder. Abnormal behavior, on the other hand, while not a mental disorder in itself, is often indicative of mental and psychological disorders. There are five main criteria of abnormality. Abnormal behaviors are “actions that are unexpected and often evaluated negatively because they differ from typical or usual behavior”.
Behaviors which, due to circumstance, are not fully adapted to the environment become malfunctional and detrimental to the individual or others. For example, a mouse continuing to attempt an escape when escape is obviously impossible. Behavior that violates the standards of society. When people do not follow the conventional social and moral rules of their society, the behavior is considered abnormal. If a person’s behavior brings discomfort to those in observation, it is likely to be considered abnormal. The standard criteria in psychology and psychiatry is that of mental illness or mental disorder.
Determination of abnormality is based upon medical diagnosis. Statistical Infrequency: Statistically rare behaviors are called abnormal. Though not always the case, the presence of abnormal behavior in people should be rare or statistically unusual. Any specific abnormal behavior may be unusual, but it is not uncommon for people to exhibit some form of prolonged abnormal behavior at some point in their lives.
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. 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. A behavior is abnormal if the individual is unable to cope with the demands of everyday life. Psychologists can disagree on the boundaries that define what is ‘functioning’ and what is ‘adequately’, however, as some behaviors that can cause ‘failure to function’ are not seen as bad. For example, a firemen risking their lives to save people in a blazing fire. DIM: Deviation from Ideal Mental health defines abnormality by determining if the behavior the individual is displaying is affecting their mental well-being. As with the Failure to Function definition, the boundaries that stipulate what ‘ideal mental health’ is are not clearly defined.