Abnormal psychology is the scientific study of abnormal behavior in an effort to describe, predict, explain, and change abnormal patterns of functioning. As in any science, workers in this field, called clinical scientists, gather information systematically so that they may describe, predict, and explain the phenomena they study. The knowledge that they acquire is then used by clinical practitioners, whose role is to detect, assess, and treat abnormal patterns of functioning (Comer, 2010, p. 2).
Abnormal psychology is the application of psychological science to the study of mental disorders. It includes investigation of the causes and treatment of psychopathological conditions (Oltmanns & Emery, 2012, p. 499).
Comer, R. J. (2010). Abnormal psychology (8th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Oltmanns, T. F. & Emery, R. E. (2012). Abnormal psychology (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.