Subnormal, Supernormal and Paranormal in Abnormal Psychology

Clinical psychology primarily examines the spectrum of behaviors that fall outside of the norm. Deviant or abnormal (statistically, morally, or otherwise) behavior has been studied and managed at length, with considerable cultural variation in the approaches taken. What exactly is meant by the term "abnormal" remains a central question in abnormal psychology, which seeks to determine the root of a wide range of conditions by drawing on various theoretical frameworks. The historical separation of psychological and biological explanations can be traced back to a philosophical dualism concerning the mind-body problem. Multiple attempts have been made to classify mental illnesses, and the abnormal can be classified into subnormal, supernormal, and paranormal.

What are Subnormal, Supernormal, and Paranormal in Abnormal Psychology?

Many positive outcomes result from taking a statistical view of abnormality implications. It is important to remember that both extremely high and extremely low values, relative to the mean, are abnormal when discussing deviations from the norm. For this reason, extremes of intelligence and emotion are as abnormal as extremes of stupidity and memory capacity. Along with the "supernormal" and the "subnormal," a third category, which we may call the "paranormal," may be added to the spectrum of the abnormal, have irrational or fabricated responses to stimuli, on top of having extreme emotional reactions.



Hippocrates (460–377 B.C.E.) proposed that an imbalance of the body's vital fluids is the root cause of physical and mental illness. Black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood are all examples of body fluids. Fatigue comes from an excess of phlegm; depression comes from an excess of black bile; anger comes from an excess of yellow bile; and hopefulness, joy, and self-assurance come from an excess of blood.


Philippe Pinel in France popularised a more compassionate treatment method at the end of the 18th century. He believed patients should be treated humanely, and his radical idea of unchaining patients was questioned. The success of the "random acts of kindness" experiments changed mental hospital policy. Humanitarians like Dorothea Dix and the mental hygiene movement, which prioritized mental patients' physical health, improved institutional care for the mentally ill in the 19th and 20th centuries. Dix exposed the inhumane treatment of the mentally ill in the U.S. and Europe more than anyone else in the 19th century. This movement raised millions to build new mental health facilities. As new treatments became available, mental health facilities proliferated in the 20th century.


Many mental hospitals closed in the late 20th century due to funding issues and overpopulation. Only 14 of the 130 early 20th-century psychiatric institutions in England remained open at the start of the 21st century. Many patients were released without being fully cured of their disorders. Deinstitutionalization occurred. This movement wanted to treat people outside mental hospitals in communities with support systems. This movement also sought to avoid negative adaptations from long-term hospitalization. Many professionals feared that patients would stay in mental hospitals forever when life got too hard.


Major causes are


Investigated employing family studies, particularly of monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (fraternal) twins, and frequently in the context of adoption. Since monozygotic twins share 100% of their genetic material, they should be more likely to have the same disorder as each other than dizygotic twins, who share only 50% of their genetic material. This is consistent with the evidence for many different types of disorders. Even though they share a cent of their D.N.A., monozygotic twins are only half as likely to share the same disorders as each other as one might assume, given their genetic closeness.

Factors of a biological nature

Norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter imbalances and a chemistry mismatch in the head inherent flaws [in terms of health or personality] dysfunction and neural plasticity in the brain. Disruption or deprivation of one's physical environment (including one's ability to meet one's fundamental physical needs).

Aspects of society and culture

The psychological impacts of urban versus rural life, gender, and minority status. We must be careful to refrain from stereotyping individuals of any cultural group because broad generalizations about cultural practices and beliefs may fail to capture the diversity within and across cultural groups.

Systemic Factors

Childhoods marred by violent or sexual abuse Exposure to potentially fatal conditions consideration of the whole Relationships within families derogatorily expressed mood swings contribute to both anorexia nervosa and relapse-prone Schizophrenia. Aspects of biology and psychology disease with a "stress trigger" dependence.

How Abnormal Psychology Differs from Abnormal Psychopathology?

There is a difference between the unusual and the morbid. The pathological is a subset of the aberrant, but many disorders are not truly pathological. These are merely idiosyncrasies (unique behavioral patterns) that arise from a person's non-pathological basic makeup. These distinguishing features are transmissible either genetically or through social learning. Departures from the norm include extreme stubbornness, catatonic negativism, peculiar mannerisms, the stereotyped responses of dementia praecox, unusual egotism, the delusions of grandeur of the paranoid, marked grouchiness, epileptic ill-humor, and generally any significant deviation from the central tendency or deviations of pathological origin. Psychopathology is the branch of abnormal psychology dedicated to studying psychological diseases.

Abnormal psychology: A Different Point of View

Psychologists may employ a variety of theoretical frameworks in their quest to comprehend abnormal behavior, and some might be too narrow in scope, focusing on just one point of view. However, experts usually use a hybrid method, which combines data from different sources to make more accurate diagnoses and better treatments. "Behavioral" refers to a worldview that emphasizes what can be directly observed. In the medical model, the role of genes and neurochemistry in developing mental illness is given much attention. The cognitive stance considers how one's way of thinking, feeling, and perceiving may play a role in developing mental illness.


A problem exists when an individual's emotions, thoughts, actions, and speech are negatively impacted by their exposure to environmental stress. Adaptive behaviors facilitate mutual comprehension by conforming to individuals, their contexts, and their interlocutors