Visit the Psychology Handbook @ www. http://www.scar.utoronto.ca/~lifesci/psych-handbook/
University of Toronto Scarborough
Department of Psychology
Tuesday 7:00-10:00 pm, AC 223
Professor Konstantine Zakzanis
Office Hours: Tuesdays 4:00-5:00pm
Office Location: New Science Building
Zachariah Campbell [email protected]
Overview of Abnormal Psychology
Throughout history, whether a person’s behavior is labeled abnormal often has depended
on the cultural norms for appropriate behavior and the gender and ethnicity of the person.
Current definitions of abnormality focus on the person’s ability to function in daily life
and his or her level of distress and grasp of reality. Many biological and psychological
tests are used to assess people’s functioning and well-being. The information gathered in
these tests is compared to criteria for diagnosing psychological disorders provided in
provide different ways of understanding and treating people with psychological disorders.
Most disorders appear to be influenced both by biological and psychosocial factors, and
theories integrating these factors have proven most useful in understanding and treating
abnormality. The disorders that we will look at in detail involve maladaptive and distressing emotions,
thoughts, cognitive deficits and behaviors, that are often chronic and pervade every
aspect of people’s lives. For example, people with anxiety disorders and mood disorders
frequently experience extreme emotional distress that severely interferes with their ability
to function in life. Biology, stressful experiences, and maladaptive ways of thinking all
appear to contribute to the anxiety and mood disorders. Fortunately, there are several
effective biological and psychosocial treatments for these disorders. In addition,
psychosis is a loss of touch with reality, and is the hallmark of the disorder called
schizophrenia. Schizophrenia probably has strong biological roots, but can be influenced
by environmental stress. Moreover, people with personality disorders maintain a
consistent personality style, but it is a highly maladaptive style for them and for people
around them. Substance use disorders similarly involve specific maladaptive behaviors
and can have negative effects in many domains of life. Finally, cognitive disorders that
are progressive in nature (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, progressive
aphasia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and
multiple sclerosis) can have crippling effects and are becoming ever more prevalent given
the burgeoning elderly population.
After reviewing the aforementioned disorders and understanding the nature of
methodology, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, it is hoped that this course will better
able the student to answer the question “what is abnormality?”
Every effort will be made to post the Lecture Slides on the course web-page prior to each
lecture. However, on occasion, Lecture Slides will be posted following the lecture should
there be any server problems (which has happened in the past).
Also, please note that if for any reason (e.g., snow-storm cancellation, unexpected illness)
a lecture is cancelled because of an unforeseen circumstance, students are still
responsible for the material that was to be presented in the lecture. Moreover, if a lecture
is cancelled, please note, that the lecture will be made available on-line.
Lastly, there will be a handful of persons invited to give brief talks/demonstrations of
their work as it relates to course content. To this end, prior to each visit, I will announce
the content of the talk/demonstration. These health care professionals and former students
will join us to share their experience and understanding of specific course content, and it
is important that you attend. However, there may be some content that some individuals
might find offensive—such is the case when our topic is abnormal psychology, and if this
is such to anyone, you will not be penalized should you wish to leave a lecture. Again,
these talks/demonstrations are meant to help you answer the question “what is
Textbook: Abnormal Psychology (Fourth Canadian Edition)
By: Gerald C. Davidson, John M. Neale, Kirk R. Blankstein & Gordon L. Flett
• The study guide is highly recommended Grading Scheme:
(1) First Examination worth 40% of your final grade
• Your 1 examination will consist of 80 multiple-choice questions.
(2) Second Examination worth 30% of your final grade
• Your 2 examination will consist of 60 multiple-choice questions.
(3) Your Final Examination is worth 30% of your final grade
• Your final examination will consist of 60 multiple-choice questions.
Important Dates: 2012 Fall Session
Friday, August 17 Last day to pay fees.
Monday, September 3 Labour Day - University closed.
Monday, September 10 Cla