PSYC& 220: Abnormal Psychology

Credits 5
Quarter Offered
Distribution List
Social Sciences,
Academic Elective

Applies principles of science to study of abnormal behavior. Develop broad understanding of origin, characteristics, and classification of mental disorders from perspectives of psychological theory and research. Introduction to applied areas of diagnosis and assessment incorporated. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)


  1. Be able to define and explain the concept of abnormality.
  2. Explain how disorders are caused and influenced by many different factors including biology, culture, psychology, genetics, and more.
  3. Understand the nature, use, advantages, and limitations of diagnostic tools for psychological disorders, including but not limited to the DSM-5 (or any future updated edition of the DSM).
  4. Recognize and explain major research methods and techniques used to investigate disorders in abnormal psychology.
  5. Identify and describe the symptoms, etiologies, features, and treatments of the following disorder families:
    a. Anxiety disorders, including phobias and generalized anxiety disorder;
    b. Stress disorders, including post traumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder;
    c. Mood disorders, including the various forms of depression and bipolar disorder;
    d. Suicide and suicidal behavior;
    e. Psychotic disorders, with an emphasis on schizophrenia;
    f. Neurocognitive disorders including but not limited to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, and Vascular dementias;
    g. Personality disorders;
    h. Dissociative disorders and somatoform disorders;
    i. Eating disorders, with an emphasis of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa;
    j. Substance abuse disorders;
    k. Developmental disorders, with particular emphasis on ADHD and Autism;
    l. Sexual disorders