||Tabitha R. Holmes
- To understand the current diagnostic system used to categorize,
classify and conceptualize abnormality.
- To explore contemporary theories of abnormal behavior, considering
biological, psychological, sociocultural and evolutionary approaches.
- To understand abnormal behavior in context, looking at developmental,
cultural and social determinants.
- To investigate current and historical treatments of abnormality.
- To explore major controversies in the field.
- To think critically about issues related to abnormal psychology.
- To consider the reliability and validity of web resources.
- Nevid, J. S., Rathus, A. A., & Greene, B. (2006). Abnormal psychology in a changing world (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Oltmanns, T. F., Neale, J. M., Davison, G. C. (2003). Case studies in abnormal psychology (6th ed.)Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Additional reading assignments will be available through on-line
library reserves or as links to web-based articles or websites.
A comment on reading assignments…
This class requires you to read a tremendous amount of material
in a short amount of time. When you look over the reading assignments
try to keep a few things in mind… First, this is obviously a summer
class, so a semester's worth of information is crunched into six
weeks. Secondly, given the obvious nature of an on-line class,
you have no "live" instruction; everything depends on what you
read. As with anything, you will get out of the reading what you
put into it. That said, try to read for "the gist" rather than
for small details. For the purpose of this class, you do not need
to memorize or learn through rote repetition. Instead, try to
focus on large, conceptual ideas and "take home messages" rather
than specific particulars. For example, it is not important that
you be able to recite from memory the diagnostic criteria for
a clinical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It
is important, however, that you understand basic principles thought
to contribute to such a problem, how GAD is different from "adaptive"
anxiety, and ways that different theorists explain and treat individuals
experiencing symptoms of GAD. Again, try to focus on the big picture.
Overall, the course is broken down
into 11 modules. A module is a concentrated topic area that typically
revolves around a specific chapter in your text. For example, one
module deals with assessments used in the diagnostic process; others
focus on specific disorders such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic
For each module, there is a brief summary of course content
that I have prepared to introduce you to the topic. This is followed
by an assignment that will include readings from the textbook
and case study book, library reserve articles (available on-line)
and Internet websites and articles. At the end of the module,
you are required to respond to a series of discussion questions.
Each module has a corresponding discussion board that you should
use to post your responses. Discussion questions are critical
to your success in the course!
Participation is two-fold.
- First, you must contribute an original posting that answers
the question(s) posed to the class. Response length will vary,
however, initial posts should be a minimum of two solid paragraphs.
This posting should be based on class readings and academic
sources, as well as personal experiences and anecdotes.
- In addition, for each discussion question, you are required
to read the postings of your classmates, selecting two posts
to which you will respond. These responses should be well thought
out and relevant to the original post. This is the minimal assignment.
You are encouraged to dialogue back and forth with one another,
discussing topics relevant to the course. I will be reading
all postings, joining in on many of the discussions. While these
postings are somewhat informal, they should be well written
and grammatically correct. No one wants to muddle through misspelled
and careless contributions (see the section entitled "Web Etiquette.")
Important:To make the reading load manageable,
the class will be broken down into two groups (Group A and Group
B). On the first day of class, you should go to the discussion
board labeled "Announcements" where there will be a list of group
assignments. Once you have been assigned to a group, you should
post all of your initial discussion posts and two required responses
to the discussion board labeled for your group. You are not
required to answer or respond to the second group, however, you
should feel to read and respond to everyone in the class.
You should strive to complete original posts and responses BEFORE
midnight on the day that the next module begins. For example,
Module 1 is assigned on May 23th ; Module 2 is assigned on May
25th. You should complete the reading, discussion assignment, and
responses for Module 1 by midnight on May 25th. The majority
of class "processing" occurs through your participation in discussions.
As such, everyone must work at a similar pace to facilitate dialogue
back and forth while the topic is "fresh". If someone is several
days behind, the class has moved on to a new topic and it is difficult
Be sure to post your responses under the correct topic in the "discussion"
tool which is found on the "communication" page. It is recommended
that you compose your response offline in Word. When you're finished,
you'll need to highlight and copy your text, then be sure to open
the correct assignmnent topic in the discussion tool, choose "Compose
Discussion Message" and paste. This way, you can save your work
offline and develop reflective responses before posting. To make
reading easier for us all, leave one or two blank lines between
your paragraphs, rather than indent the new paragraphs.
25% Participation in class discussions (description)
25% Conceptual Exam (description)
40% Case Analysis #1 (description)
10% Personal Reflection (description)
- Always be respectful of each other.
- Using capital letter is like SHOUTING. (Use sparingly).
- Asterisks around a word can be used to make a stronger point.
- Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Without face-to-face
communications, your joke may be interpreted as criticism.
- Your messages reflect on you—be proud of them.
- Stay on topic.
- Try not to repeat what you have already said (“Yup”
and “I agree” don’t add much).
- Please refrain from using profanity.
- Try to dialogue back and forth as if you are conversing.
- Read over your messages BEFORE you send them.
- Ask others to clarify if you don’t understand something.
- Civility is important... all ideas are equally valued in
this interchange. If youdisagree, do so with good temper.
- Have an adventurous spirit!