Can someone define the term, Normal Behavior?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Normalcy is defined within the parameters of what each culture classifies as "acceptable behavior". Since this depends on culture, i.e creed and society, it is quite difficult to generalize normalcy to the point of making it universal. Therefore, what OUR society, in particular, has done to resolve the issue of normalcy is to juxtapose it to what is NOT considered appropriate. This way it is easier to judge "right from wrong".

The venues that we use to extrapolate inappropriateness come in two forms:

  • The Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM-IV), which lists and describes psychopathology in behavior and,
  • Etiquette- which is the phenomenological study of what is considered as "proper" according to the historical context when this appropriateness manifests.

Examples of what "normal" behavior is may include:

  • following essential rules such as having respect, a moral code, or a system of values
  • considering the wants and needs of others as worthy of as much acknowledgement as our own
  • respecting boundaries, opinions, and views
  • not obstructing the basic freedoms of others

In all, the respect that we pay to the personal space, views, and expectations of others leads to the creation of social constructs and to the overall respect that we owe to others as they owe the same respect to us. Yet, just for the sake of argument, consider that the definition of "normal" is "conforming to the standard". This corroborates the previous statement about society rules and what cultures expect as far as behavior goes.