Aug 2 2017

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Abnormal Psychology

The experimental approach to the understanding, description and modification of abnormal behaviour is emphasized in the analysis of disorders of cognition (e.g. learning, memory and thinking), disturbances of affect (e.g. anxiety and depression), and problem behaviours (e.g. addictions, sexual disorders and psychopathy).

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

The specific course objectives are:

  1. To understand the DSM-V—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—its language and categories, why it is so important to diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental disorders, as well as its drawbacks.
  2. To identify the major mental disorders throughout the lifespan and begin to differentiate between the disorders using client symptoms.
  3. To appreciate the role of basic and clinical research in understanding mental disorders and their treatment.
  4. To apply various psychological theories to the conceptualization of individuals with various mental disorders.
  5. To understand treatments and therapies for mental disorders and begin to evaluate their effectiveness.
  6. To be acquainted with a range of issues, controversies, and thinking regarding human abnormality.


This course aims to provide you with the underlying knowledge base and opportunity for critical thinking about abnormal psychology necessary for students planning on going into helping professions such as clinical psychology, counselling, and social work. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the contributions of empirical research to the classification, etiology and treatment of the behavioural disorders examined. Other than the introductory chapters, generally each chapter deals with a major diagnostic category, describing the symptoms that distinguish each disorder from others. Each chapter will describe the incidence and natural history of the disorder and etiological theories as well as evaluate treatment approaches.

** Note : Although this is an online course, keep in mind that it cannot be completed entirely at your own pace. You will be required keep up with the course material via online participation (e.g. quizzes, forum discussions, and tutorials) within certain time frames.


** Evaluation Subject to Change **

You must write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

**Note: The weighting of the different evaluation components is subject to change prior to the beginning of the course. The types of evaluation components will not change.

Live Sessions

This course has optional live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities).


The assignments will consist of written responses to questions or case studies.

Online Participation

Participation marks can come from participating in tutorials, contributing to discussion forums, and doing online quizzes. More information about these requirements will be available closer to the course start date.

Final Examination

The midterm will cover material from approximately the first half of the course. It may consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, definition, matching, short answer, long answer, or other types of questions. The final exam will cover material that is addressed after the midterm exam. Similar to the midterm, it may consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, definition, matching, short answer, long answer, or other types of questions. In keeping with the Psychology Department’s policy concerning correspondence courses, you must write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Students must write their exams on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc. during the exam period.


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