PS401 Abnormal Psychology

for U1M 2005

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

CoursePS 401 Abnormal Psychology CH
FacultyGalley, Donna J.
TitleSenior Instructor of Psychology
Degrees/CertificatesM.A. Psychology with Graduate Minor in Social Work -  SUNY/Buffalo
B.A. Psychology with Honors -  SUNY/Buffalo
A.A. Liberal Arts/Social Sciences -  Erie Community College
Office LocationPark University -  MCAS Cherry Point
Office HoursBy Appointment.
Daytime Phone466-2655
Semester Dates5/30/05 - 7/24/05
Class Days-M-W---
Class Time7:30 - 10:00 PM
PerquisitesPS 101 (or PSY 150 at Craven Community College)
Credit Hours3


Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, (2005), Ronald J. Comer, 4th Ed., Worth Publishers.


“Abnormal Psychology,” (Jan. 2004), Sparks Charts.  ISBN:  1411400526.  $4.95 or MBS


Warning!  This course requires a large amount of reading in a compressed amount of time. If you are not a good reader, do not like to read, or do not have time to read, do not take this course.  

NOTICE FROM PARK UNIVERSITY: Students are required to order their books and have them available for the first night of class. lt. is recommended to order your books through MBS. Many students are having trouble getting their books from companies other than MBS, often not receiving them until the 4th week. If you purchase a used text, be sure it is the correct edition. Instructors should not and will not delay instruction due to students not having their books.

Is A Compressed (Minimester) Course For You?
Park University at MCAS Cherry Point offers courses in a minimester format. Minimester courses are compressed - each class meeting is equal to one week in a semester course. If you are highly motivated, have the time to keep up with the reading assignments (usually 2 chapters per week), can attend all or nearly all class meetings, and need to finish the course quickly, the minimester schedule can work for you.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
(Suggested Outside Reading Sources:

Majoring In Psychology:

The Psychology Major: Careers and Strategies For Success by Eric Landrum
Forty Studies That Changed Psychology, 3rd edition, by Roger Hock
How To Think Like A Psychologist, by Donald McBurney (question/answer format)
Experiencing Psychology by Gary Brannigan (hands-on activities)


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -IV-R, American Psychological Association

Mental Health:

The Essential Guide to Mental Health:  The Most Comprehensive Guide to the New Psychiatry for Popular Family Use, by Jack M. Gorman

Emotional Blackmail:  When the People In Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You, by Susan Forward and Donna Frazier

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D.

The Self-Esteem Workbook, by Glen R. Schiraldi, Ph.D.

The Life Strategies Workbook:  Exercises and Self-Tests to Help You Change Your Life, by Phillip C. McGraw

Codependent No More:  How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, by Melody Beattie

Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Sims Townsend

When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness, by Rebecca Wolis and Agnes Hatfield

Mood Disorders:

The Depression Workbook:  A Guide for Living With Depression and Manic Depression, by Mary Ellen Copeland, Matthew Kay, Ph.D., and Mary Liz Riddle

The Freedom From Depression Workbook, by Frank Minirth

Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One, by Ann Smolin

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide:  What You and Your Family Need to Know, by David J. Miklowitz
A Brilliant Madness, by Patty Duke


The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D.

The PTSD Workbook:  Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms, by Mary Beth Williams, Ph.D.

Alzheimer's Disease:

The 36-Hour Day:  A Family Guide to Caring for Persons With Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life, by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins


Alcoholics Anonymous, by Alcoholics Anonymous World Service

Adult Children of Alcoholics -   Expanded Edition, by Janet Gerringer Woititz

Sober for Good:  New Solutions for Drinking Problems:  Advice From Those Who Have Succeeded, by Ann Smolin

Letting Go With Love:  Help for Those Who Love An Alcoholic/Addict, Whether Practicing or Recovering, by Julia Howard and Randy Davis


How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children:  Practical Techniques, Strategies, and Interventions for Helping Children with Attention Problems and Hyperactivity, by Saundra F. Rief

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults, by Paul H. Wender

Borderline Personality Disorder:

I Hate You, Don't Leave Me, by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus

Stop Walking on Eggshells:  Coping When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder, by Paul T. Mason, Randi Kreger, and Larry J.  Siever

Eating Disorders:

The Eating Disorder Sourcebook:  A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Eating Disorder, by Carolyn Costin

Hope, Help, and Healing for Eating Disorders:  A New Approach to Treating Anorexia, Bulimia, and Overeating, by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz

Dying to Be Thin:  Understanding and Defeating Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia -  A Practical, Lifesaving Guide, by Ira M. Sacker and Marc A. Zimmer

Sexuality/Sexual Difficulties:

The Joy of Sex, by Alex Comfort
The New Male Sexuality, by Bernie Zilbergeld

The Sexual Desire Disorders:  Dysfunctional Regulation of Sexual Motivation, by Helen Singer Kaplan

The Courage to Heal -  Third Edition -  Revised and Expanded:  Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis


Surviving Schizophrenia:  A Manual for Families, Consumers, and Providers, (4th Ed.), by E. Fuller Torrey

Course Description:
An introduction and investigation of the causes, development, symptomatology and treatment of abnormal behavior.  Primary focus is an eclectic view of persons and their adaptation of their environment.  Pre-requisite:  PS101.   3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
To learn, you must want to be taught.
(Proverbs 12:1)

My educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, reading assignments, quizzes, discussions, projects, one final examination, internet and website exploration, videos, and writing assignments.  My goal is to engage each learner in the lively exploration of ideas, issues, and contradictions.  I believe that the greatest value of the course material is the many ways it can be applied to students' practical real life experiences and prepare students for further study.

I view a 400-level course as an opportunity for students to sample a near-graduate-level experience.  This course will include a seminar approach to engage each learner in preparation, presentation, and discussion of material.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will demonstrate via tests, projects, essays, and class discussions, that they:

1. Understand basic terminology and concepts related to the study of Abnormal  Psychology.
2. Know the major theoretical perspectives on the development of mental disorders.
3.  Recognize and recall the symptomatology of mental disorders.
4. Grasp the multiaxial diagnostic system.
5. Comprehend the leading treatment alternatives for mental disorders.
6.  Appreciate practical, sociocultural, and ethical issues associated with the study and treatment of psychopathology.
7. Integrate course material by completing projects and writing college-level essays.
8. Demonstrate, upon completion of the course, a basic declarative knowledge of Abnormal Psychology in the topic areas covered.
9. Achieve a broad academic preparedness for further education and training in the study of psychopathology.

Course Assessment:
Class will consist of lecture, discussion, and video material.  The student will arrive prepared, having read the assigned material, and ready to discuss the material.  

Students are expected to read the assigned chapter before each class (not after), and participate in class activities and discussions.

Grades will be based on 6 quizzes (worth 25 points each), 4 mini-projects (worth 80 points), 1 take home assignment (worth 10 points), and class participation (worth a total of 20 points).

QUIZZES:   will consist of 25 questions (multiple choice, identification, and/or short answer).

MISSED QUIZZES:  may be given in the Park University office, usually the next day.  Please don't let it become a habit.  It is too late to take a missed quiz once all quizzes have been returned.

MAKE UP QUIZZES:  may be given for excused absences and may be in essay form.

Quizzes cannot be postponed because a student missed a previous class and does not feel prepared.  If you attend class on a quiz day, you should expect to take the quiz.  If you miss a class, please make arrangements to get the notes from a classmate.

PROJECTS:  The projects consist of four assignments.   Each part is worth 20 points.  All projects must be typed or word processed with 1” margins on all sides.  Projects must be  double-spaced, using multiple paragraphs, and a standard font in 12-point print size.  Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs.  Include a cover page.  Neatness, spelling, and grammar as well as content and thoroughness are part of your project grade.  Use complete sentences in your answers.   I want a hard copy of your paper.  Do not email it to me or give me a computer disk.   Material quoted from your text or any other source must be put in quotation marks and cited, otherwise it is plagiarism and will be graded accordingly.  Please keep quotations to a minimum.  I will be happy to accept any projects early.  

Two points will be deducted per class period for late projects.  If you will be absent from class on the day a project is due, turn it in to the Park Office before class.  If there is a legitimate reason why you could not know that you would have to be absent when a project is due, turn it in to the Park Office the next day before 4:00 PM.

Parts 1- 4:   The student will complete Assignment 1 and any three of the remaining 7 assignments:  

Note:  Some assignments require more “doing” and less “writing” (or vice versa) than others.  There are no minimum length requirements.  Assignments will be graded on quality of writing, and the thought and effort that went into them.  Work that is dashed off in a hurry will NOT get a good grade.

For All Students (worth 20 points):

1. Survey 10 people using the “Survey on Psychological Terms” (a copy of the survey is attached to this syllabus).  Copies will be made.  Complete one copy for each person you interview.  Do NOT hand the survey to your subjects and tell them to fill it out.  Include your completed surveys with your project. Do not use people in this class or other people who have taken psychology courses with you as your subjects.  Subject should be at least 18 years old.  After you conduct the surveys, answer the following questions in your essay (in order):  
a)  In general, what did you find?  Were you surprised?  
b)  Did your subjects feel that they were familiar with the terms (whether they were or not)?  
c)  What appear to be the most commonly misunderstood psychological terms?  In what way?    
d)  What terms would you include on the survey in the future, and why?

Include your completed surveys with your essay.

Complete any three of the following six projects (worth 20 points each):

2. Choose a movie (with prior instructor approval) featuring a prominent character who is suffering from a mental disorder.  No anti-socials, serial killers, or other films primarily about crime or violence, please.  Watch the movie and write a brief summary.  Then, describe the character's disorder, including specific examples of symptoms, and give a diagnosis.   Critique the film's portrayal of this disorder using the relevant diagnostic criteria from the textbook.

3. Have you ever “panicked” or had an “anxiety attack?”  What were the circumstances, and what were your feelings?  What is the difference between these experiences and having Panic Disorder?  Define it.  Use the information in chapter 4 to help you understand Panic Disorder.

4. Write a book review recommending a psychological self-help book (with instructor approval) you enjoyed.  This may be a book you already read or a new one you read this semester.  Give the name, author, year of publication, and name of publisher.  In your essay, include the following information (in order):
a)  A review and critique of the book.
b)  Why do you recommend it?
  c)  Who might benefit especially by reading it?

5. Read Alison's Story of Recovery (attached to this syllabus).  Answer the following questions in your essay:
a)   What diagnosis is most appropriate for Alison and why?
b)   What is your impression of the treatment she received?
c)   Do you think natural methods can be helpful to people with mental disorders, and why or why not?
d)  What outcome do you foresee for Alison?

6. Have you ever known someone well (friend or family member) who suffered from a mental disorder?  State the person's age and sex.  Describe his/her symptoms.  Answer the following questions (in order):
a)  Assess this person using the DSM multiaxial system.  See the handout      attached to this syllabus.
b)  Did the person ever receive help?  Please describe.
c)   How is the person doing today?
d)  What was it like for you to deal with this person?
7. Do you know someone who committed suicide?  Write a Psychological Autopsy.  Your essay should include the following (in order);
   a)  describe the person (background, relationship to you)
   b)  describe the events, symptoms, and stressors leading up to the suicide
   c)  did the person communicate their intent prior to suicide?
   d)  looking back, what do you think motivated the person's act?

8. Choose a culture-bound disorder from the list attached to this syllabus.  Research the disorder via the internet or printed sources and include your sources (at least 2).   Describe the disorder, including symptoms, and the culture in which it occurs.  Why do you think this disorder is not prevalent in the United States?

CLASS PARTICIPATION:  Students will take turns preparing for and leading class discussion of the lecture material (seminar approach).  Participation points will be based on active participation in all class discussions, which includes being prepared by having read assigned material in advance.  Obviously, you must be present to earn participation points.

Students are expected to read the assigned chapter before each class (not after), as the material in the book will not be completely covered in class. Please don't try to get everything you need from class lectures alone.

How To Succeed In This Course: Successful students read the assigned pages for a chapter prior to the lecture on the material. They listen attentively, take notes, participate, and ask questions during lectures. They begin the projects early and ask for help when needed.  Last but not least, successful students thoroughly make use of the study guides by reviewing the material many times prior to each quiz. Making flash cards can be helpful. Recopying notes can also be helpful because it improves organization and understanding of information.

EXTRA CREDIT: Each quiz will contain one extra credit question.  Extra credit points are equal to quiz points.


   6 QUIZZES worth 25 Points Each = 150 points
  4 MINI-PROJECTS worth 20 Points Each = 80 points
  1 TAKE HOME ASSIGNMENT worth 10 points
  CLASS PARTICIPATION (discussion & attendance) worth 20 points
= 260 Possible Points

In assigning grades, I will use the following scale:

(93% - 100%)=  A
(84% - 92%)  =  B
(75% - 83%)  =  C
(68% - 74%)  =  D  
(Below 68%) =  F

The percentile range for each letter grade is in accordance with Park University policy.

To determine your percentile, divide the total number of points you earned by the total number of points possible, and adjust the decimal point.  Ex: 225 (pts earned) / 260 (possible pts) = .865 or 86.5%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All projects and the take home assignment are due in completed form at the beginning of the designated class.  Absent/excused students may turn in projects for credit at the next class meeting.  Unprepared students' work will lose credit for late projects and assignments.

A student who is absent/excused on the day s/he is scheduled to turn in a project or take home assignment, should contact the instructor as soon as possible.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
1.  Be present for each class.  

2.  Be on time.  

3.  Be prepared by having read any assignments in advance of the class, and completed any projects or take home assignment carefully and completely, and on time.

4.  Respect the opinions of others.

5.  Participate actively and constructively in class discussions and activities.  

Following these rules contributes toward classroom participation points.

For written assignments:  Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must also recognize that technology can cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students are responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, back up your hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Memorial Day
Class Will NOT Meet
*  Park Office Will Be Closed.


*  Park Office Will Be Closed.

A.    History of Abnormality
pp. 1-18

B.   Theories of Abnormality
Chapter 2

QUIZ #1 (A, B)
C.   Assessment & Treatment
Chapter 3

Project Part 1 (Surveys) due
D.   Anxiety Disorders
Chapter 4 & pp. 133-4; 136-9; 151; 153; & 452-3

QUIZ #2 (C, D)
E.     Mood Disorders
Chapter 6

Project Part 2 due
F.     Suicide
Chapter 7

QUIZ #3 (E, F)
G.     Substance Use Disorders
Chapter 10

Project Part 3 due
H.     Eating Disorders
Chapter 9

Independence Day
Class Will NOT Meet
Take Home Assignment
*  Park Office Will Be Closed.

QUIZ #4 (G, H)
I.      Sexual Disorders
Chapter 11
Take Home Assignment Due

Project Part 4 due
J.     Personality Disorders
Chapter 13

QUIZ #5 (I, J)
K.    Schizophrenia, Dissociative Disorders
Chapters 12 & pp. 175-189

L.     Disorders of Childhood
Chapter 14

QUIZ #6 (K, L)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.  
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog
Page 101
Students may only leave the classroom with permission during tests.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. <a href="">
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog</a> Page 101
Plagiarism -- the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's original work -- sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Plagiarism is defined as stealing and using the ideas or writings of another as one's own; appropriating passages or ideas from another and using them as one's own; and, taking and using as one's own the writings or ideas of another. Lifting sentences or paragraphs from original sources without using quotation marks and citing your source is plagiarism. Paraphrasing someone else's ideas without giving credit to the source is also plagiarism, in other words -- give credit where credit is due and think for yourself whenever possible!

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog Page 100
Park University now requires instructors to post attendance weekly online. Posting must be done by Monday of the following week at 12 noon. Instructors must state whether an absence is excused or unexcused. Therefore, the student is responsible for contacting the instructor before 12 noon on Monday to explain why s/he was absent, provide documentation (if “duty” -  a statement from your senior enlisted person or OIC; if “SIQ” -  a copy of your SIQ chit) and must make up any missed work.  If students do not contact the instructor, the absence will be entered as unexcused.
Students who leave early or arrive very late may not receive full credit for class attendance.

After 3 absences, the student will be administratively withdrawn, unless the University determines that extenuating circumstances exist (duty, illness, deployment, etc.).  

Remember, though, attendance is no substitute either for studying or for class participation and does not guarantee a particular grade.

If your work schedule or personal issues cause you to miss many classes, you may be better off dropping a course and retaking it at another time.

If you expect to miss three or more classes in a row, you should STRONGLY consider taking this course at another time.

Sorry -  Park University does not consider Personal Leave to be an excused absence.

ADD/DROP/WITHDRAWAL:  Adding, dropping or withdrawing from a class must be done officially by the student through the University at the office.

Disability Guidelines:

Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a physical or learning disability, or if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangement in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.