Before we can truly understand ABNORMAL behavior, we have to understand NORMAL behavior. One way to do this is by examining the social norms that dictate what is acceptable, and unacceptable, behavior. In my face-to-face classes, I use riding an elevator as an example. In general, students consider the following to be the social norms governing appropriate elevator behavior:
- face forward
- stand, don’t sit
- no talking
- allow people to exit before entering
- hold the door
- push the floor button for other riders if they can’t reach it or if the elevator is crowded
Would you notice if you were riding an elevator and someone got on and immediately sat on the floor? YES! You would notice that behavior because it is outside of what we consider “normal” based on the list above. Sitting on the floor would be considered “abnormal” elevator behavior. To be formally considered abnormal, behavior must be statistically rare, deviate from social norms, cause personal distress (this is distress to the person exhibiting the behavior, not distress to other people) and impair daily functioning.
- In your initial post, address the following questions:
- Think about your daily activities. Consider something that you do almost everyday (go do work, go to school, drive a car, ride a bus, exercise, play outside with your kids, etc.).
- What are the social norms that govern your behavior during that activity? Do you follow these “rules”? In other words, would other people consider your behavior during the activity to be “normal”?
- Considering the formal criteria of abnormal behavior listed above, explain what would be considered abnormal rather than normal, in your chosen daily activity.
- Provide thoughtful, substantial discussion/feedback/replies to at least two classmates by the module due date.