This textbook is available Logo
Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications 5th Edition

Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications (5th Edition)

Book Edition5th Edition
Section 13.1: What Is Abnormal Behavior?
Figure Questions
Think About It
Section 13.2: Anxiety-Related Disorders
Figure Questions
Recite It
Section 13.3: Dissociative and Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
Recite It
Think About It
Section 13.4: Mood Disorders
Section 13.5: Schizophrenia
The Brain Loves a Puzzle
Section 13.6: Personality Disorders
End of Chapter
Chapter 13, Section 13.1, Figure Questions, Exercise 01
Page 489















Is this man abnormal? Abnormality must be judged in relation to cultural standards. Are heavy body tattooing and piercings a sign of abnormality or a fashion statement?

Here is a tip:

Some people relate tattoos to religious practices.


Behavior is said to be unusual when it is not displayed by the majority of the population. Unusualness depends on cultural norms. In certain cultures, tattoos are used to denote ranks, protective symbols, and convey certain beliefs.


Body art does not conform to the various standards by which abnormal behavior is measured. It does not lead to an unpleasant reaction to one's behavioral conduct or conflict within the mind. It is not emotionally distressing. It also does not involve faulty perceptions of reality. Inaccurate interpretations refer to the incorrect perception of the information, received by our senses. It is not a threat to the safety of the individual or society. 


These are generally considered bad, as they were seen in larger numbers among criminals like murderers, rapists, and thieves. Earlier, they were heavily practiced by gangsters or bikers. But, they do not necessarily state a mental illness. Nowadays, it is considered a sign of fashion. A trend that started in the early nineties.

Verified Answer

No, the person is not unconventional. 

Just because it is uncommon or socially deviant from what most people do, it cannot be classified as abnormal. It can be done out of love for God, feeling of association with a "sect", noble passions (for example, remembering a deceased friend), or one's own amusement.

How would you rate this answer and explanation?
Did you like this example?
Subscribe for full access
Page 489