PSY 215 Syllabus


Division:        Arts and Sciences                                                                                                               Date:  February 2014


Curricula in Which Course is Taught: Administration of Justice, Liberal Arts


Course Number and Title:           PSY 215, Abnormal Psychology


Credit Hours:   3       Hours/Wk Lecture:   3       Hours/Wk Lab:  0      Lec/Lab Comb:  0 



I.              Catalog Description:         Explores historical views and current perspectives of abnormal behavior. Emphasizes major diagnostic categories and criteria, individual and social factors of maladaptive behavior, and types of therapy. Includes methods of clinical assessment and research strategies. Prerequisite PSY 201. Lecture 3 hours per week.


II.            Relationship of the course to curricula objectives in which it is taught: 


The subject matter covered in this course is essential knowledge for students who plan to work in criminal justice areas (such as corrections) or who plan to pursue a four-year degree with a major or minor in psychology. The material covered in this course will provide students with a knowledge and understanding of mental disorders that also would be helpful to those who pursue baccalaureate degrees in fields other than psychology, such as education, health sciences, humanities, or other social science specialties.

III.           Required background: 


Successful completion of Psychology 201, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor is required to enroll in Psychology 215.

IV.          Course Content:


A.               The study and treatment of abnormal behavior throughout history

B.               The biopsychosocial approach to understanding mental disorders

C.               Research and assessment methods related to abnormal behavior

D.               The DSM classification system of mental disorders

E.               Symptoms and treatments for various mental disorders

a.       anxiety disorders

b.       mood disorders

c.       personality disorders

d.       eating disorders

e.       sleep disorders

f.        substance use disorders

g.       developmental disorders

h.      cognitive disorders.

V.  Learner Outcomes


The student will:


VI.  Evaluation

A.   Know the major historical trends, develops, and events that have shaped our current understanding of mental disorders.

B.   Understand the complex problems associated with identifying and defining abnormal behavior.

C.   Be familiar with the basic taxonomy and symptomology of mental disorders, and the principal therapeutic approaches used in the treatment of psychological disorders.

D.   Understand the primary theoretical approaches used to explain the etiology of mental disorders, as well as the treatment implications of each theory.

E.   Know the physiological and psychological consequences of stress and how stress is believed to relate to abnormal behavior.

F.    Learn to appreciate the complexities of making decisions about abnormal behavior and diagnosing mental disorders.

G.   Develop an appreciation of the need for theoretical diversity for understanding the complexity of abnormal behavior and its causes.

H.   Be able to critically evaluate theories, research, and assertions about mental disorders and abnormal behaviors.

Student performance will be evaluated by a combination of tests, quizzes, exams, papers, and other special projects or assignments as defined by the individual faculty member. This course includes a mandatory writing assignment defined by the instructor.

All written assignments will be assessed for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and consistency according to the conventions of standard English.



VII.         This course supports the following objectives:


            DCC Educational Objectives:


            Critical Thinking

            Cultural and Social Understanding