Abnormal psychology is a sub-field of psychology that involves the scientific study of abnormal experiences and behavior, as well as specific incompletely known states of mind (such as dreams and hypnosis) in order to understand and help to change abnormal functioning.

The concept of "abnormal" psychology is frequently debated. What makes a person's mental condition abnormal any way? In our modern politically correct world, considering an individuals' state "abnormal" may be viewed as offensive. In order to counteract any negative connotation associated with the word "abnormal", abnormal psychologists tend to define an individuals' behavior or mental condition as "abnormal" when they are unable to adapt and function effectively in different conditions. Typically, a person with an abnormal psyche would be considered to have a mental disorder.

Throughout the course of history these generally mental unstable individuals have been subjected to both cruelty and decency. In the United States, typically these people are able to be more open with others regarding their problem. In many ways, these conditions are treated like any other disease; such as cancer or diabetes. Unfortunately in other societies throughout the ages, these individuals have been abused and mistreated due to widespread religious/spiritual concerns. If one examines the Dark Ages in Europe, there is much evidence available that is able to show how cruel many people were treated due to irrational fear. Oftentimes people believed that abnormal behavior was cause by demons, witchery, and other evil spirits sent from God as a punishment for individual sins. Cruelty set in when these individuals were given "treatments" that consisted of generally violent punishment. In modern times, these practices can still be found in still developing countries.

Fortunately, Western science and academics are beginning to replace these extreme viewpoints with more scientific and sensible beliefs. That is not to say those who believe in the supernatural are "wrong", however their actions are blatantly disregarding the need for these individuals to get help.

Abnormal psychology is ultimately a scientific feel motivated by the human desire to understand psychological disorders and treat them appropriately.