Deviant Behavior Characteristics and Examples

Deviant behavior, understood as a violation of social norms has become widespread in recent years and has put this problem in the center of attention of sociologists, social psychologists, and doctors. Sociological theories consider deviant behavior in the context of social processes and norms established within a given society. Social deviations are subject to social laws, and they depend on time and community. Deviant behavior should be explained based on the biological characteristics of the violators of norms – specific physical traits, genetic abnormalities, psychological characteristics – mental retardation, and various mental problems.

An example of deviant behavior is an incident involving police officers. Their abnormal behavior was noticed in relation to other police officers, and an investigation is currently underway to determine whether the complaints are justified or not. The study is currently being conducted by researchers at Northwestern University. They claim that it is necessary to identify the areas where the police committed crimes against other police officers, as well as to determine the actual number of complaints (Police officers’ exposure to peers,). Based on more narrow data, researchers will be able to determine whether this crime took place and whether it is a consequence of deviant behavior.

This deviant behavior can be classified as a social theory of disorganization. This theory is characterized by the presence of weak public relations and a lack of social control (Deviance and control,). Since a particular group of police officers realized that control over their actions was not being exercised, they could afford this deviant behavior in relation to other police officers. Most likely, this violation will be revealed and then the employees who committed it will be punished accordingly.

In conclusion, deviant behavior belongs to the category of certain psychological deviations that need to be eradicated. This type of behavior can be harmful to any individual and the whole society. Currently, deviant behavior is punishable by imprisonment, a monetary fine, or any correctional labor. Given that deviant behavior can cause harm, it is necessary to study this phenomenon, showing a differentiated approach. It should also be recognized that the overwhelming number of social deviations plays a destructive role in the development of society.


“Deviance and control.” Openstax. n. d. Web.

“Police officers’ exposure to peers accused of misconduct shapes their subsequent behaviour.” 2019. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Deviant Behavior Characteristics and Examples." September 7, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "Deviant Behavior Characteristics and Examples." September 7, 2023.