Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Discuss criteria used to define abnormal behavior, and various
methods used to study abnormal behavior, including the naturalistic,
observation method, the correlation method, the experimental method,
kinship studies, the epidemiological method, and the case-study
2. Distinguish among the following contemporary perspectives on
abnormal behavioral: biological, psychodynamic, learning based,
humanistic, cognitive, and sociocultural.
3. Describe approaches used by investigators to demonstrate
the reliability and validity of classification and methods of
4. Summarize the findings of research into the effectiveness of
psychotherapy in general and specific therapeutic approaches in
5. Explain the significance of stress factors in health and illness, and
discuss some of the psychological factors that moderate stress.
6. Define and describe generalized anxiety disorder, and be able to
identify various treatment approaches.
7. Describe the major features of the dissociative and somatoform
disorders and recount various theoretical perspectives for both.
8. Distinguish between normal and abnormally depressed moods, define
the term "mood disorder" and discuss the incidence of suicide and
theoretical perspectives on its causes.
9. Compare and contrast the three research clusters of personality
disorders: paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypol personality disorder.
10. Differentiate between psychological and physiological dependence and
describe the physical and psychological effects of depressants,
stimulants, and hallucinogens.
11. Describe the diagnostic features of anorexia, and bulimia, obesity,
and sleep disorders; and discuss the prevalence and treatment for
12. Describe sociocultural factors involved in classifying sexual
behaviors as normal or abnormal.
13. Discuss theoretical perspectives and schizophrenia, including the
psychodynamic learning, biological, and family theories in the
development of schizophrenia.
14. Identify ways of determining what is normal and what is abnormal in
childhood and adolescence. Discuss types, theoretical perspectives,
and interventions for learning disorders.
15. Discuss the basic features of dementia and the relationship between
dementia and normal aging.
16. Differentiate among biological, social-cognitive, and socioculture
perspectives in explaining human aggression.
17. Outline the legal procedures for psychiatric commitment and the
safeguards to prevent abuse of psychiatric commitment.
1. Introduction and Research Methods
2. Contemporary Perspectives on Abnormal Behavior
3. Classification and Assessment of Abnormal Behavior
4. Methods of Treatment
5. Stress, Psychological Factors and Health
6. Anxiety Disorders
7. Dissociate and Somatoform Disorders
8. Mood Disorders and Suicide
9. Personality Disorders
10. Substance Abuse and Dependence
11. Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Sleep Disorders
12. Gender Identity Disorder, Paraphilia, and Sexual Dysfunctions
13. Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
14. Abnormal Behavior and Childhood and Adolescence
15. Cognitive Disorders and Disorders Relating to Aging
16. Violence and Abuse
17. Abnormal Psychology and Society
1. Read approximately 30-35 pages per week.
2. Write at least two papers, 4 pages in length, in response to reading
and lecture material.
3. Two midterm exams and one final on lecture, reading
concepts and terminology, for the purpose of assessment and
4. Write a term or course research paper approximately five pages in
length for the purpose of learning research skills, enhancing course
knowledge, and improving writing skills.
5. Participate in class discussion.
6. Read case studies and be able to make theoretical diagnosis.
Abnormal Psychology: A Discovery Approach
Carson, Robert C.; Butcher, James N.; Mineka, Susan
Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life, Allyn & Bacon, 2002
Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life, Allyn & Bacon, 2001
Nevid, Jeffrey; Rathus, Spencer, A.; Greene, Beverly
Abnormal Psychology in a Changing World, Prentice-Hall, 2000