The study of any case in Abnormal Psychology views multiple aspects of self-concept and various behaviors and is the foundation of defining normal and abnormal behaviors. In the complex process of defining and exploring the vast concepts of behavior multi faceted information must be incorporated. Individual behaviors, perspectives, attitudes, and personal identity reveal the internal workings of how specific aspects of life coincide to determine ones concept of normal and abnormal behavior. Throughout history individuals have sought to find out the difference between normal and abnormal perspectives and the purpose for ones existence thus it is only through self realization that society and the people within can find this answer. The exploration of behavior and the many areas that humans search to find a deeper understanding of exactly what the concept of normal behavior leads to a profound investigation of internal and external aspect of life which shapes every angle of one’s self definition. As previous generations have sought to find the answers to this important life question it is the purpose of this paper to continue that great quest into the most definitive goal of society, which is the comprehension of the many, interlinked experiences that define self.
The various aspects of behavior and attitudes such as personality traits, abilities, physical characteristics, beliefs, values, goals, and roles help psychologist define normal and abnormal behavior. During the early stages of life children develop an organized and multilevel perspective of information about themselves in the process of acquiring the ability to understand the relation between self and the behavior. Behavior is present in children and centered on many levels of concrete cognitive characteristics, such as physical characteristics and skills. While the focus and perspectives of behavior change from childhood to middle childhood, behavioral concepts become more integrated and differ as the child engages in social comparison and more clearly perceives the self as consisting of internal, external, and psychological characteristics (Self Concept, 2010). The process of understanding behavior becomes more defined as individuals reach adolescence. It is during this developmental stage of adolescence that individuals become increasingly aware of the presence and influence of the definition of behavioral characteristic through acquiring a broader perspective of new concepts such as abstract views of the world around them, new experiences with complex issues of cognitive mental representations or self-schemas, which direct the processing of self-relevant information.
Social interaction is a key element of behavioral development in which individuals learn foundational skills that aid in the comprehension of self. Through interaction with peers individuals explore or investigate new aspects of self and social interaction by recognizing like interest with peers, social behaviors, emotional responses, and social learning and problem solving skills. These developmental building blocks teach individuals vital insights of self that can be incorporated throughout life such as the development of cooperation, social exchange, demonstrating and understanding empathy as well as experimenting with different roles with behavioral settings. Interaction with society is a defining factor in ones understanding of behavior and is the building block for future and present relationships and definition. Through these various interactions with society integral relationships shape the individuals connection to the world around them and in turn lead to stability within the internal processes which determine the individual’s perspective of behavioral concept, self esteem, and self efficiency and aids the psychologist in treating an individual with behavioral problems.
Definitive concepts that an individual must comprehend in addition to understanding in relation to the hierarchy of normal and abnormal behavior concept in order to understand the complexity of self and the role that individual plays within society. Behavior is by definition the positive or negative reactions to individuals’ society and towards oneself and is viewed as the internal evaluation of one’s self worth and value. It is clear that behavior is one of the fundamental aspects of development and self, a healthy perspective of one’s life must reflect positive values and definitions of self in order for an individual to develop a healthy mental state. The totality of an individual’s comprehension regarding behavior is a valid developmental concept that must reflect all thoughts and feelings in relation to self and society (Paterson, 2010). Self efficiency describes an individual with confidence in his or her ability to think, understand information, self control, and a defined sense of self worth. It is an important aspect of development of perception to thoroughly understand the impact that these concepts of behavior have on an individual’s life and should be valued as priority (Paterson, 2010).
Two distinct experiences that affect personal development are the values of personal beliefs and social factors. In a case study of children’s behavior parents instill values that have shaped the children’s’ perspective of many social and self perspectives. In this case the behaviors displayed by a child growing up in a lower middle class family in rural America was viewed by the parents as abnormal or normal, the child’s behavior in many factors are defined by what he or she has accomplish, and the belief or worth came from validation that he or she needed and that all other aspects of life were just reflections of what society viewed as normality. Over the years many the individuals’ behavior felt as if he or she did not really know that the displayed perspectives of behavior were being viewed as abnormal.
Growing up the individual gained a new perspective of exactly what normality was and realized that many of the behaviors displayed were abnormal it was this behavioral awareness that lead to psychological help. When the individual entered high school more abnormal behaviors were displayed and societal definitions determined many of the treatments used by the psychologist. There is no other concept within psychology that shapes individuals as much as behavior. It is in understanding how one’s life is changed based on the situation and experiences, the behaviors and attitudes, and the internal sense of self worth that motivates individuals to step into a deep understanding of life.
Self Concept. (2010). Self Concept. Retrieved March, 2011 from: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/itf09socemodev.asp
Paterson, C. (2010). Measuring Changes in Self-Concept. Retrieved March 7, 2011 from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/6/7