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Abnormal Psychology

One Section Available to Choose From:

Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
July 13, 2015 - July 24, 20152M-F 8:30A-11:20AOpenKasey Claborn10358

Course Description

If you have ever wondered if your friend has an eating disorder, if your uncle is an alcoholic, or if your math teacher is depressed, you have already thought about abnormal psychology. The study of abnormal psychology includes, but is not limited to: (1) identifying aberrant behavior and (2) determining when the behavior qualifies as a mental illness. Researchers in this area seek to learn more about what causes these problems and how to treat them effectively, and clinicians learn how to implement treatments to help people lead mentally healthier lives. By taking this class, you will be better able to identify the topics within abnormal psychology that researchers study and the ways that clinicians can help!

This is an introductory seminar that will provide a broad survey of mental health problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, addictive disorders, psychosis, eating disorders, and personality disorders. This course will not simply present a list of “facts” about different forms of psychopathology; rather, students will develop critical thinking skills as applied to theories, assessment, and treatments relevant for each disorder. Students will also be encouraged to consider the role of stigma in mental illness.

After taking this course, students will have a greater understanding of: (1) the role of psychologists in the medical and psychosocial setting (e.g., what is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?); (2) how to read and critically evaluate how mental illness is presented in popular culture (e.g., did Bradley Cooper play a convincing role in Silver Linings Playbook?); (3) how psychological assessment occurs (i.e., when someone has an anxiety disorder versus being shy, when someone is depressed versus being a little “blue”); (4) the role of theory in developing treatments for psychological disorders (e.g., how therapists know what to say to a patient to help him or her change); and (5) how to de-bunk myths about psychological disorders (e.g., is it true that people act “crazier” when there is a full moon?).

The format of this 2-week course will include discussions, video presentations, group projects, lectures, and use of social media (e.g., Instagram, Twitter). Assignments will include readings, projects, class presentations, and short quizzes.

No prerequisites are required. Material will be presented at the level of one who does not have any prior didactics in psychology or clinical science.