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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: PSYC 450
Course Title: Abnormal Psychology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Major categories of behavior disorders are considered in terms of theory, etiology, symptoms, and treatment. Fundamental questions related to diagnosis, definitions of disorders, and reactions of society are discussed. Prerequisites: Six hours of PSYC courses; junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Six hours of PSYC courses; junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Essentials of Abnormal Psychology
By Durand & Barlow (Wadsworth)
Abnormal Psychology
By Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., Hooley, J. M., & Carson, R. (Pearson)
Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life
By Carson, R. C. & Butcher, J. N. (Harper Collins)
Abnormal Psychology
By Holmes, D. (Harper Collins)
Abnormal Psychology in a Changing World
By Nevid, J. S., Rathus, S. A., & Greene, B. (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives
  • To identify, define and explain physiological and behavioral correlates of abnormal behavior.
  • To critically examine issues surrounding methods of diagnosing and treating disorders of mind and behavior.
  • To understand the historical and philosophical foundations of current methods of diagnosis and treatment for mental disorders.
  • To analyze, synthesize, and evaluate psychological theories, principles, concepts, and interventions as they relate to the ethical understanding and treatment of mental disorders in a changing world.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and describe historical foundations for human understanding and treatment of abnormal behavior.
  • Define normality and the indicators and methods for evaluating abnormality.
  • Explain context as a factor in diagnosing abnormality.
  • Explain basic classification of mental disorders.
  • Differentiate between legal and medical terminology in the classification and treatment of persons with mental disorders.
  • Define diagnostic characteristics of personality and anxiety based disorders.
  • Define diagnostic characteristics of psychosis, delusional disorders and schizophrenia.
  • Define diagnostic characteristics of mood disorders.
  • Define diagnostic characteristics of other classes of disorders including dissociative, sexual and gender disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders and substance related disorders.
  • Define and describe different treatment modalities.
  • Evaluate ethical behavior in the context of the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
  • Analyze the social context and predict how diagnosis and treatment will change in the future.
    Topical Outline:

    Students in this course are expected to conduct archival research, write a paper using APA style, and report their research findings to a forum of their peers. • Defining abnormality • Historical and contemporary views of mental disease • Classification and assessment • Anxiety disorders • Personality disorders • Mood disorders • Sexual and gender identity disorders • Schizophrenic disorders • Dissociative disorders • Addictive disorders • Childhood and adolescent disorders • Sleep disorders • Substance related disorders • Therapies • Society, ethics and mental disease


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at http://www.ccis.edu/offices/library/index.asp. You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Graham Higgs Date: January 14, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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