Abnormal Psychology examines the biological, humanistic, behavioural and psychological perspectives of mental illness It surveys the description, causation, prevention and treatment of maladaptive behaviour and psychological disorders. The first study unit covers general issues such as what constitutes normality and abnormality, how mental illness is defined and whether psychopathologies are culture-specific or culture-free are also considered. Other topics covered in this include major classification systems used by mental health professionals, and research methodology in the study of human behaviour and in particular, psychological disorders. The science of psychopathology is emphasised throughout. Clinical assessment, diagnosis, and the study of abnormal behaviour using scientific research processes are presented. This second study unit covers specific disorders including anxiety disorders, somatoform and dissociative disorders, mood disorders and suicide, eating disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, schizophrenia, developmental and cognitive disorders. The concept of the scientist-practitioner approach underlying the curriculum design is discussed. This module aims to familiarise students with a broad understanding of psychological disorders including their description, prevalence, causes and treatment; to recognise the contributions of cognition, behaviour, socio-cultural context and biology in understanding the various psychological disorder; to critique current thinking on aspects of psychopathologies that are culture-specific and aspects that are culture-free; and to introduce awareness and understanding of psychological disorders that exists based on the classification system.
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester