Overview and Meaning

Stereotypic behavior is a malfunctional abnormal behavior. It is the consequence of an abnormal animal in an abnormal environment. These behaviors are unvarying in form and are performed almost identically on each repetition. Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive and  fixed in posture and behavioral sequencing. Stereotypic behaviors are apparently functionless in form and can develop in strength over time.


Various lines of evidence indicate that animal stereotypies are equivalent to human stereotypies in autism and schizophrenia. Stereotypies are widely misinterpreted as a model of OCD. However, human stereotypy precludes a diagnosis of OCD (i.e. they are mutually exclusive diagnoses in humans), and the neuopsychological and neurobiological findings in animals support the conclusion that animal stereotypies are not a model of human OCD.


Stereotypy is a top level classification, which includes:

  1. Bar-mouthing
  2. Circling
  3. Jumping
  4. Looping
  5. Route Tracing
  6. Twirling
  7. Wiping


Abnormal Behaviors