Pathological Psychology : Abnormal Behavior

948 Words4 Pages
According to the modern perspective of abnormal psychology, abnormal behavior exists when an individual is behaving dangerously and/or showing patterns of behavior that are dysfunctional. Nevertheless, determining insanity among sanity has proven to be much more complicated than it sounds. An individual whose behavior strays from societal standards is not necessarily abnormally deviant or insane. John Hu simply exhibits behaviors that are different from that of typical European/French social norms and is hence considered to be insane. Hu is perceived by Father Foucquet to be improper and savage-like just because he helps himself to more than one serving and speaks out of turn. The Renault’s view Hu as unappreciative and “out-of-place” because he strongly voices his preference of not wanting to eat with the housekeeper, further rejecting the social position to which he was assigned. Lieutenant D’Argenson finds Hu bothersome and unwise for leaving the Bayneses’ house without permission and getting himself lost in the process. Hu’s behaviors to this extent cannot be considered as dysfunctional, but rather just peculiar. As a way to make sense of all the strange activities that they have never witnessed before, people bear a negative perception of Hu and label him as insane. Having a strong sense of pride and preference is not the same as being insane. Hu prefers to sleep on the floor with the windows open probably due to a common Chinese custom. He just simply wants to feel
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