PSY 116 Abnormal Psychology

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PSY 116 Abnormal Psychology

    PSY 116: Abnormal Psychology

    Fall Semester 2009

    Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12:40 2:00 p.m.

    Location: Douglas Hall Room 126

Instructor: Joneis Thomas, Ph.D. ndOffice: CB Powell/John H. Johnson Bldg, Room N-276 (2 floor, psychology dept.)

    Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30 4:30 p.m. and by appointment


    Office Phone: 202-806-9454

    Mobile Phone: 804-761-1944 (best number)

Required Text: Durand, V.M., & Barlow, D.H. (2006). Essentials of Abnormal Behavior th(4 Ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth

    You may also purchase individual chapters for $7.99 using the following link:

    Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of abnormal behavior and the ways that mental health professionals study and attempt to treat it. We will integrate and emphasize multicultural factors throughout the course.

Learning Objectives:

    ? Discuss the primary objectives of abnormal psychology: describing, explaining,

    predicting and managing abnormal behavior.

    ? Evaluate historical perspectives on abnormal behavior and consider the usefulness

    of key theoretical perspectives used to explain abnormal behavior.

    ? Explain methods of assessment and classification and the research process

    involved in studying abnormal behavior.

    ? Describe the symptoms, diagnosis, etiology and treatment of major disorders

    covered in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-Text

    Revision (DSM-IV-TR), including anxiety disorders, personality disorders,

    substance-related disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, mood disorders,

    schizophrenia and eating disorders.

    ? Evaluate treatment approaches for specific DSM-IV-TR disorders and the

    effectiveness of various therapeutic interventions, with special attention to

    working with culturally diverse populations.

    ? Summarize legal and ethical issues in psychopathology.

Phone/Email/Text Messaging Policy: I am happy to correspond with you by phone

    and email only, not via text messages. I will do my best to respond within 24 hours of

    an email. Because of the overwhelming amount of SPAM mail that is sent on a daily basis, it is important to ALWAYS put “Psy 116” on the subject line of your email. If

    “Psy 116” is not listed in the subject line, I will assume that the email is SPAM and will not read it. Even if you have already corresponded with me in person or email in the past,

    please ALWAYS include “Psy 116” in the subject line. I’m happy to answer questions via email or phone up until 5 P.M. the day before exams. Questions after this time will not receive a response.

    Please do not send e-mail or text messages about personal life circumstances that are impacting your performance in class. Arrange a time to discuss these issues with me face-to-face.

Course Requirements:

    Exams: There will be four exams, each covering multiple chapters. Questions on exams can be multiple choice, matching and/or short answer and can include information covered in the textbook as well as information presented in lectures.


    Ten times during the semester, without notice, I will ask you to complete an in-class assignment. This assignment may consist of your answers to short questions about the topic of discussion or it may consist of a hands-on exercise related to the topic of discussion.

    These assignments will be worth 5 points each, for a total of 50 points. If you complete the assignment in a thoughtful manner (in complete sentences), then you will receive the five points. You must be in class to receive these points. If you miss class on a day that

    an in-class assignment is given, you will not receive the points. There are no make-ups, and no exceptions to this policy, no matter what the reason for the absence. Remember, these also function as random attendance checks!

    Extra Credit: You will have an opportunity to complete extra credit assignments worth up to 20 points. Detailed instructions and grading criteria for extra credit will be distributed separately.

    Written assignments are expected to be typed, double-spaced and stapled, grammatically correct, well-organized, and proofread for typos and clarity. Clearly unprofessional papers will be returned without being graded.

Print your paper and bring it to class on the day it is due (see daily schedule). Do not e-

    mail or text this assignment; electronically submitted papers will not be read.

A Word about Grading:

    This grading scale is absolute and there is no curve for the grades. If you earn a 90%, you will get an “A. If you earn an 89%, you will get a “B.” Anything above the cutoff for a

    particular letter grade, no matter how small, will allow you to get that grade. Anything below that cutoff, no matter how close, will receive the next letter grade below.

    Please do not come to me near the end of the semester and ask for additional extra credit or leniency in order to receive a higher grade! I value fairness in grading, and allowing

    some people an extra chance to raise their grades is not fair to those who have worked hard during the semester to maintain a high grade. I will not allow some people to have extra chances to raise their grades without allowing that chance to everybody. So, your best bet to achieve the grade you want is to work at getting it throughout the semester.

Class Conduct:

    Attendance and Participation: To get the most out of this class, and to be successful in learning this material, it is important that you attend each session. We will study a lot of ideas in a short period of time. Students are expected to keep up with all reading assignments. While some of the ideas presented in lecture will elaborate what is in the textbook, many ideas will not be in the text. Please ask questions, provide examples, and participate in class discussions. This will not only enhance your learning, but also enhance the quality of the class.

    Additionally, I expect you to show respect and civility to everyone in the classroom. Show respect for the perspectives of others, and present differing points of view politely. Please be polite as well in outside communications (i.e. e-mails, office hours, study group meetings). As indications of respect, please refrain from reading a newspaper/magazine, sending/reading text messages, holding side conversations, entering/leaving the room in front of me, and similar discourteous behaviors during lecture.

Cell Phones/Electronic Devices: Please mute (not low or vibrate) all devices. Return

    calls after class.

General Policies:

    Late assignments: Students are expected to complete and submit written assignments (including extra credit) on the designated due date (see daily schedule). All written assignments are due at the beginning of class. Any papers turned in more than 10 minutes after the start time for class will be considered late and 10% will be deducted. Assignments will be penalized 10% for each calendar day late.

    Make up exams: Students are expected to take all in-class exams on the designated date (see daily schedule). I will offer make-up exams to those students who obtain permission in advance from me in cases where students are required to take part in HU-sponsored activities, significant illness documented in writing by a professional (e.g., physician) on letterhead, or extremely serious family problem (e.g., death of a family member). The will be a time-limit for taking a make-up exam. If you miss an exam due to a planned HU-sponsored activity without at least one-week prior notification you will receive a

    grade of zero for that exam. Make-up exams will include different questions from the in-class exams and may be in a different format (e.g., all short answer).

    Summary of Course Requirements and Grading:

    Final course grades will be assigned as follows: Assignment Points

    Exam 1 75 (18.75%) = 90 100% or 360-400 points A Exam 2 100 (25%) = 80 - 89.9% or 320-359.9 points B Exam 3 75 (18.75%) = 70 - 79.9% or 280-319.9 points C Exam 4 100 (25%) = 60 - 69.9% or 240 -279.9 points D Attendance/Participation 50 (12.5%) <= 59.9% or <= 239.9 points F

     Total Points 400 (100%)


    Date Topic Assignment Aug 25 T Welcome to Psychology 116!

    Aug 27 Th Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context Ch. 1

    Sept 1 T Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context, Ch. 1


    Sept 3 Th An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology Ch. 2

    Sept 8 T An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology, Ch. 2


    Sept 10 Th Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis & Research Ch. 3


    Sept 15 T Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis & Research Ch. 3

     Methods, continued

Sept 17 Th Exam 1 on Chapters 1, 2, 3

    Sept 22 T Anxiety Disorders Ch. 4

    Sept 24 Th Anxiety Disorders, continued Ch. 4

    Sept 29 T Mood Disorders Ch. 6

    Oct 1 Th Mood Disorders, continued and Suicide Ch. 6

    Oct 6 T Eating Disorders Ch. 8

    Oct 8 Th Eating Disorders, continued and Sleep Ch. 8


    Oct 13 T Physical Disorders and Health Psychology Ch. 7

Oct 15 Th Exam 2 on Chapters 4, 6, 7, 8

    Oct 20 T Personality Disorders Ch. 11

    Oct 22 Th Personality Disorders, continued Ch. 11

    Oct 27 T Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders Ch. 12

    Oct 29 Th Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders, Ch. 12


    Nov 3 T Somatoform Disorders Ch. 5

    Nov 5 Th Dissociative Disorders Ch. 5

Nov 10 T Exam 3 on Chapters 5, 11, 12

    Nov 12 Th Sexual Disorders Ch. 9

    Nov 17 T Gender Identity Disorders Ch.9

    Nov 19 Th Substance-Related and Impulse-Control Ch. 10


    Nov 24 T Mental Health Services: Legal and Ethical Ch. 14

     Issues Extra Credit Due

Nov 26 Th No Class enjoy your break

    Dec 1 T Unfinished business, review and wrap up

Dec 3 Th Exam 4 on Chapters 9, 10, 14

    * The instructor reserves the right to make changes in this course.*

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