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Antisocial Behavior

  • By: Ximena B. Arriaga & Nicole M. Capezza
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Antisocial behavior refers to actions that violate social norms in ways that reflect disregard for others or that reflect the violation of others' rights. The major reason to study antisocial behavior is that it is harmful to people. Also, it raises issues of whether people are inherently prone to be harmful to others and whether harmful, reckless people can be cured.

Distinctions and Examples

Antisocial behavior encompasses a wide range of behaviors, such as initiating physical fights, bullying, lying to others for personal gain, being reckless toward others, and even engaging in unlawful acts that do not directly hurt others but indirectly affect others in a negative way (such as stealing or vandalizing personal property). One distinction among various antisocial acts is whether the acts are ...

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