PSYCHOLOGY 2230: ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY

                                   SYLLABUS, SUMMER 2009

                                        Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Erin Tone
Office: TBA
Office Hours: TBA
Phone: TBA
Class meetings: TBA

Overview: This course will provide an overview of psychopathology, or abnormal psychology,
from a current, scientific perspective and within a broader, historical & cross-cultural context. We
will explore abnormal psychology via readings, discussions, and experiential activities. I will strive
to make the course as skills-based and personally relevant as possible so that it will provide value
to you inside and outside of the academic setting. In addition, I hope that we will be able to create a
classroom atmosphere of unequivocal respect for opinions of everyone in the classroom and that
you will feel comfortable asking questions and commenting on the topics at hand.

Objectives: Psyc 2230 will provide you with a number of skills. Some of the goals I have are for
you to:

 1. Appreciate evolving societal and cultural views of individuals with psychological issues
 2. Gain insight into the ethical and legal issues related to the study of child psychopathology
 3. Understand psychopathology from different theoretical perspectives
 4. Discuss issues related to conducting research on individuals with psychological disorders
 5. Learn about how professionals assess, diagnose, and treat psychological problems, with an
    emphasis on evidence-based approaches
 6. Understand characteristics of, possible causes for, and available evidence-based treatments
     specific to psychological disorders
 7. Evaluate claims, arguments, evidence, and hypotheses relevant to psychopathology
 8. Communicate effectively in oral and written formats regarding diagnosis and treatment

Required Texts:
Durbin, C. Emily (Ed.). (2009). Current Directions in Abnormal Psychology (2nd Ed.). New York:
Pearson Publishers.

Jamison, K. R. (1997). An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. New York: Random

1. Reading. Readings, which will be drawn from the required texts and from articles distributed in
class or posted online, are listed in the schedule below. Please complete readings before the date
2. Midterm Examination. The midterm examination will cover all course content (i.e., readings,
lectures) for the first half of the course. You will need to study, understand, and be able to apply the
material to various situations in order to succeed on the tests. Study hard—these are challenging
tests. Arrive on time for the test - when the first person who has finished the test leaves the room,
no one else may enter to take the test. Make-up tests are not given unless you have one of the
following 3 valid reasons:
1) you are in a university-sanctioned event on the day of the test;
2) you have a prolonged or severe illness (doctor’s note required); or
3) there has been a death in your family that has been verified by Student Affairs.
If possible, inform me of your absence prior to the test. If you miss a test for an invalid reason, you
will receive a score of 0 on that test.

3. Final Examination. The final exam will not be cumulative. It will consist of questions
spanning the last half of the course. As with the midterm, arrive on time for the test - when the first
person who has finished the test leaves the room, no one else may enter to take the test.

4. In-class Exercises. Regular and frequent graded in-class exercises will provide a hands-on
opportunity to learn class material in an engaging and thought-provoking format. These will be
unannounced and computed into your overall grade as noted below. If you are not present, you
cannot earn these points.

2 Exams                                60% of grade (each examination: 30%)
In-class exercises                     40% of grade

Average at Semester’s End            Grade
90.0-100.0                            A
80.0-89.9                             B
70.0-79.9                             C
60.0-69.9                             D
0-59.9                                F

Miscellaneous Important Information:
Attendance Policy. Attendance is not only necessary to earn credit for in class exercises, but is
also mandatory.

Policy on Academic Dishonesty. I adhere to the University System policy on academic honesty,
which can be found on the web at: The policy represents a
core value of the University System and all members of the university community are responsible
for abiding by its tenets. Lack of knowledge of this policy is not an acceptable defense to any
charge of academic dishonesty. All members of the academic community, including students,
faculty, and staff, are expected to report violations of these standards of academic conduct to the
appropriate authorities. I will file a report if I discover any academic dishonesty, no matter the size
of the issue or the intent. Depending on the severity of the dishonesty, the penalty I pose will range
from a 0 for that assignment to a grade of ‘F’ for the course. For more information, go to:

Grade Disputes. All grade disputes should be settled at the earliest possible date. I will keep
course materials (e.g., grades) for a maximum of 1 semester. You MUST submit any questions
about grading to me in writing AT LEAST 24 HOURS AFTER an exam is returned. I will then
regrade the entire exam. The only exceptions to this rule are questions about incorrect totaling of
points, which you can submit to me and I will address immediately.

Class Courtesy. Arrive on time. If you arrive late, please sit on the entering side to avoid
disturbing others. Do not leave early except under exceptional circumstances. If you have to leave
early, inform me in advance. Do not prepare for departure before class ends. I encourage questions
and discussions, as long as the talking is with everyone. Turn off cell phones, pagers, and any other
electronic devices (including laptops) before class begins. Students who disrupt this class or its
learning activities will be addressed in accordance with the Board of Regents Policy on Disruptive
Behavior. Disruptive behaviors include but are not limited to the following: sleeping, habitual
tardiness or leaving early, interrupting others, talking out of turn, inappropriate behavior during
group work, romantic behavior, and verbal behavior that is disrespectful of other students or the
instructor. The instructor will verbally warn disruptive students. Continued violations will result in
a written warning and a meeting with the program director, and will be subject to disciplinary
procedures. See the Student Code of Conduct, for more information:
                                     Course Schedule
(Complete schedule of topics and readings after Week 1 to be distributed at the start of class)

 Date                              Topic
Mon, 6/29 –Thur 7/2                General issues in understanding, modeling, measuring, and
                                   treating psychopathology

Mon, 6/29                          Course introduction
                                   Reading: Jamison (1997) An Unquiet Mind, Prologue,
                                   Section 1

Tues, 6/30                         How do we define and categorize psychological disorders?
                                   Spiegel, A. (January 3, 2005). The dictionary of disorder. New
                                   Yorker, 56-62.
                                   Current Directions (Article 3): Krueger and Markon (2006).
                                   Understanding psychopathology: Melding behavior genetics,
                                   personality, and quantitative psychology to develop an
                                   empirically based model.

Wed, 7/1                           Theories and causes
                                   Current Directions (Article 3): Miller and Keller (2000).
                                   Psychology and neuroscience: Making peace.

Thur, 7/2                          Assessment and Intervention
                                   Current Directions (Articles 4 & 5):
                                   Moses and Barlow (2006). A new unified treatment approach
                                   for emotional disorders based on emotion science.
                                   Achenbach (2006). As others see us: Clinical and research
                                   implications of cross-informant correlations for

Mon, 7/6-Thur 7/9                  Influences of stress and environmental factors on

Mon, 7/13-Wed, 7/15                The intersection of biology and psychology

Thur, 7/16                         MIDTERM EXAMINATION

Mon, 7/20 – Tues, 7/28             Internalizing disorders

Wed, 7/29- Thur, 8/6               Externalizing disorders


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