anti-social behavior

Anti-social Behavior: Meaning, Psychology, Types and Examples

This article discusses the meaning, psychology, types, and examples of anti-social behavior.

What is Anti-social Behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour is frowned upon in many societies around the world. It is considered unethical and in most cases a criminal offense as it causes harm or distress to the victims.

Anti-Social behaviour is the act of causing intentional harm to others. It infringes the human rights of others. The perpetrator has no compassion towards the victims. This is the reason this kind of behavior is considered a criminal offense as it alarms, disturbs others.

It can also be called as Unwanted behavior.

Anti-social behaviour psychology

One may ask What is the psychology behind anti-social behaviour?

Antisocial behaviour can be exhibited in individuals due to interaction between family members as well as the society.

Another reason can be negative peers which upsets the problem solving skills of an individual.

It can be seen in individuals suffering from depression, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and learning difficulties. Other developmental disabilities can also be a reason of such a behaviour.

Some individuals develop antisocial behaviour because of genetics or neurobiological factors too. Other reasons can be mental disorder or childhood abuse.

Types of Anti-social behavior

Since most law enforcement agencies need to tackle anti-social behaviour on a daily basis, they find that anti-social behaviour can be categorized into:-


This type of anti-social behaviour is as the title says self destructive. The individual showing antisocial behavior is destroying himself by indulging in various activities like

  • Excessive smoking
  • Drug addiction
  • Heavy drinking

Disruptive to others

When the antisocial behavior violates the rights of others than it tantamounts to Disruptive behaviour. This causes distress and trauma to other human beings as well as animals. This is often considered very serious and dealt with very seriously by law enforcement agencies. They can be

  • Stealing
  • Rioting
  • Vandalism
  • Racism
  • Dumping Rubbish
  • Loud Music or Noise making


Some behavior may not necessarily be anti-social but it is perceived as one by the society. It can be due to cultural or traditional reasons. It could be a case where an individual rebels against the beliefs and opinions of others. This can be a behaviour which is conflicting to predominant social conduct norms.

For example,

  • Confrontation with parents
  • Yelling at elders
  • Protests against the system is considered anti-social in some countries
  • Jaywalking

Examples of Anti-social behaviour

As discussed earlier in this article anti-social behavior is the type of behaviour which causes trouble to other people. There are various examples of anti-social behavior. Some of them are

Stealing is considered as a crime. It can be pick-pocketing or a major burglary. Taking away other peoples money and belongings is considered a criminal offense and can land the perpetrator in prison.

Vandalism of private property a causes a lot of distress to the victims. Vandalism of public property like graffiti or destruction of buses, government building, etc. is a big burden on the exchequer. This is financial distress to the country too.

Racially motivated attacks can cause a permanent scar on the victim’s mind and can lead to suicides and riots by the targeted community which can again lead to vandalism.

Heavy Drinking and Drug Addiction is a type of antisocial behaviour where the person who is under the influence of alcohol is capable of doing things which he has no control on.

Gambling is considered an antisocial behaviour in some societies.

Playing loud music in public can cause health problems in other people like tinnitus as well as permanent hearing loss.

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