In this journal activity, you will discuss the biopsychosocial origins of abnormal behavior, as well as challenges that clinicians face when addressing behaviors shared among psychological disorders.
As Jamal researched the factors that cause atypical patterns of human thought, emotion, and behavior, he had a revelation: Abnormal behavior is more complicated than many of us realize. For example, Jamal discovered that abnormalities in behavior can be caused by biological factors (e.g., genetics, neurophysiology, biochemistry). Also, abnormal behavior can be caused by psychological factors (e.g., severe emotional distress, grief, trauma). Finally, Jamal discovered that abnormalities in behavior can be caused by sociocultural factors (e.g., social norms, familial values). Of the many valuable takeaways of his research, Jamal found that abnormal behavior is a complex phenomenon that can have biological, psychological, and sociocultural origins. In many cases, it is not the result of one causal factor, but of several co-occurring, interdependent factors.
Given the dynamic interplay between biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors, the behaviors of various disorders often overlap, making the accurate diagnosis of psychological disorders a challenge for clinical professionals.
Disorder/Behavior List
Anxiety: A psychological response to a stimulus that is perceived as threatening
Example: Avoiding interaction at a party due to discomfort in social situations
Depression: A persistent feeling of sadness and despair that can result in a loss of interest in various life activities
Example: Excessive crying
Dissociation: A psychological detachment and separation from self and environment
Examples: Daydreaming, highway hypnosis
Mania: A period of intense energy expenditure that may involve delusions and engagement in high-risk behavior
Examples: Excessive spending, reckless driving
Obsessive thoughts/compulsive behaviors: Persistent and undesirable thoughts or urges and ritualistic behaviors often driven by preoccupation with a negative outcome
Example: Frequent hand washing that is motivated by a fear of being contaminated by germs
Panic: An intense period of fear combined with physiological symptoms (e.g., rapid speech, sweating, nausea)
Example: Stomach gets upset and hands shake while speaking in front of a group (public speaking)
Phobia: A fear of a specific, often nonthreatening stimulus
Examples: Seeks an escape route when in a crowded area (Agoraphobia: fear of crowded spaces)
Psychosis: A psychological state in which one experiences hallucinations, delusions, and/or a persistent and unchangeable belief in something that is obviously false
Example: Acting suspiciously due to suspecting that food is being poisoned
The following resources support your work on this activity:
Module Three Activity Template: You may use this template to complete the Module Three Activity assignment.
Psychology Research Guide: This resource was created to help you find psychology related content.
Purdue OWL: This resource is provided to assist you with referencing resources according to APA standards.
For this journal activity, use your template to address the following rubric criteria with a minimum of 3 to 5 sentences per bullet. Support your answers with a credible source when necessary.
Part One
First, select one option from the list in the Overview and address the following:
Describe the possible biological origins of your selection.
Describe the possible psychological origins of your selection.
Describe the possible social or cultural origins of your selection.
Describe the relationship between the biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors of your selection.
Part Two
Next, from the list in the Overview, select two disorders that are known to share symptomatology or behaviors.
Explain the ways in which the behaviors associated with the disorders overlap and discuss the potential diagnostic challenges presented by the overlap.

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