Approaches: Psychology

Psychological Explanations of Deviant Behavior

Behaviors are acts of people that are related to those social expectations. Different modes of action exist. Deviant conduct is a type of conduct that does not resonate with the prevailing norms of society. Different psychiatric versions have described this behavior. Two of the main ideas of psychiatry that describe deviant behavior are psychoanalytic theory and cognitive growth theory. Sigmund Freud advanced the former theory. It holds that in the unconscious, humans have innate impulses and drives that are inhibited. It further notes that all beings have criminal inclinations that are limited by the mechanism of socialization. A child that is improperly socialized, could develop a personality disturbance that causes him or her to direct antisocial impulses either inward or outward” (Crossman, n.d.).

The Cognitive Growth Theory

On the other hand, the latter theory states that deviant or criminal behavior emanates from the way people organize their thoughts around the law and morality. During the middle childhood or the preconventional stage of moral reasoning according to a development psychologist known as Lawrence Kohlberg, the basis for moral reasoning is avoidance of punishment. In the next stage – conventional level – the basis for moral reasoning is the anticipations of the family for a child. In the last stage, people are expected to traverse the social conventions by valuing the laws. Cognitive development theory dictates that individuals who do not progress through these levels of moral reasoning are likely to become criminals or deviants.

Although these psychological explanations of deviant behavior differ, they consent on two key things. They agree that an individual is at the center of the analysis of deviant behavior. Individuals are responsible for their deviant acts. The theories also consent that the personality of a person is the major motivational element that dictates the form of behavior in an individual.

Work Cited

Crossman, Ashley. Psychological Explanations of Deviant Behavior. ThoughtCo, 2017. Retrieved from https:\/\/\/psychological-explanations-of-deviant-behavior-3026268

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