Biological, psychological, and socio-cultural theories explain the origin of abnormal behavior in human beings. The arguments express the different viewpoints developed by scientists and psychologists developed after many years of extensive study. According to the biological perspective, abnormal behavior is attributable to the genetic composition and underlying disorders that lead to mental sickness (Baumeister & Bushman, 2017). Psychological models take a different approach; they posit that the mental processes particularly the unconscious and unconscious parts of the brain significantly affect behavior (Sousa, 2017). On the other hand, the socio-cultural theories propose that exposure to specific environmental factors like social pressure and peer pressure is the primary contributor to abnormal conduct. However, biological, psychological, and socio-cultural theories of unusual behavior are not entirely correct as seen by some examples.
Primarily, the biological theories concentrate on the genetic factors as the primary determinant of behavior and disregard the environmental conditions. Although hormones and genetics have a significant impact on behavior, there must be an environmental trigger of action. Moreover, it is impossible to generalize behavior in a group of people given the unique nature of human beings. For instance, mental disorders like schizophrenia are not always manifested in twins, who have a positive genetic correlation; one of the twins may develop the abnormal behavior while the other remains normal. Moreover, eating disorders grow under conditions of social pressure notably when being thin is the standard of beauty.
Some of the concepts advanced by the psychological theories are not applicable in real life situation. According to the learning theories, the positive rewards like promotions, and recognition should encourage good behavior reinforcement, while negative attributes like punishment deter bad behavior. In real life, punishment is not a solution to altering the deviant behavior of a person. For example, there is a high rate of repeat offenders in the justice system, as criminals continue to commit a crime even after incarceration in high-level prisons. Besides, the psychological theories do not take into consideration the biological contribution to abnormal behavior. Noteworthy, the psychological theories do not explain why eating disorders are more prevalent in women than men. On the other hand, the mental methods fail to pinpoint the primary constructs that influence behavior despite arguing that behavior is controlled by an interplay of different thoughts. Therefore, teachers take long to identify the cause of a student’s poor behavior and initiate corrective action.
Socio-cultural theories also exhibit some weaknesses. Foremost, they do not accurately predict the behavior of every individual in the society. According to the method, people that undergo violence and sexual abuse at a young age tend to transfer the same action to their children (Greene, 2017). However, this is not the status quo as some people with poor upbringing grow up to be prominent and useful people in the society, while others grow to become violent after experiencing a good childhood. Moreover, people react differently to the same environmental features, hence the emergence of varying behavior. For example, youths in one peer group may have a disparity in behavior, meaning that there is an exception to the rules of social influence.
Although the biological, psychological, and socio-cultural theories provide critical knowledge about abnormal behavior, some weaknesses reduce their effectiveness. As such, it is evident that the three models are independent of each other, yet they continuously interact in the determination of behavior.
- Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2017). Social psychology and human nature. Belmont: Cengage Learning.
- Greene, R. R. (2017). Human Behavior Theory and Social Work Practice. Oxon: Routledge.
- Sousa, D. (2017). Existential psychotherapy : a genetic-phenomenological approach. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.