What are the psychological theories of deviance? Provide examples for each theory.

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The three main theories of psychologically deviant behavior are the following: psychodynamic theory, cognitive development theory, and learning theory. These all address deviant behaviors in different ways to explain and categorize them.

Freud’s psychodynamic theory attempts to examine deviant behavior from the perspective of conformism and regression to base instincts. He didn’t believe that deviant behavior was necessarily some form of rebellion or deviation but rather that it was a return to the animalistic instincts and desires inherent in human nature—essentially the overwhelming influence of the id above all else.

Cognitive development theory postulates that there are stages to our mental development, particularly in childhood. If a person doesn’t fully develop or progress through these stages they could become stuck, and that would influence later deviant behavior. A common example is the term “anal retentive” meant to describe someone who is overly organized and gets...

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