Yale University - Psychology 131 - Human Emotion

Psych 3303 - Abnormal Psychology - Home

Welcome to Abnormal Psychology!

This course focuses on surveying the scientific study of psychopathology and mental health disorders. The main aim of the course is to introduce you to the language and terminology of the field through consideration of contemporary issues regarding the definition of abnormality, classification and assessment, etiology or causes of mental disorders, and different modalities of treatment. The course will begin with a core set of foundational lectures focused on developing a common language for talking and thinking about psychopathology. We will next consider and apply these topics to specific clinical disorders and their treatment. The course will conclude by considering approaches to optimize mental health and promote clinical outreach efforts. By the end of the course, you will develop an appreciation for the description of various signs and symptoms defining specific disorders; the continuity and discontinuity between normal and abnormal behavior; the assessment and diagnostic process, including the criteria used to evaluate classification systems; causal models of psychopathology; the ways in which questions about psychopathology are asked and answered; and different approaches to treatment including each of their relative strengths. As evidenced by the quote on the first page of this syllabus, throughout the course we will directly and indirectly address potential stigma surrounding mental illness and scientifically based approaches to ameliorate it.

Professionalism Note: Given the nature of the course, some of the topics covered may be sensitive or elicit strong personal feelings for some class members. It is our collective responsibility as students and faculty to maintain a professional, appropriate and inclusive learning environment, and to be considerate of the feelings of others in class. Given the nature of this course in particular, we place special emphasis on ensuring the privacy of personal information is respected. Although class participation is encouraged, no student should be expected or encouraged to share personal information or discuss any topic that makes them feel uncomfortable. In fact, this course is strongly oriented toward scientific evidence (rather than anecdotal or personal experience) in the service of helping you to think about current theories, findings, and treatments of specific disorders. If you anticipate an upcoming topic may be particularly difficult, please come and speak with me in office hours and I address your concerns to the best of my ability.

Campus Resources: If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone about experiences or symptoms potentially discussed in class, you may contact CU Boulder’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Walk-in services are available at several on-campus locations including the C4C and the Wardenburg Health Center; 24/7 support is also available with a licensed professional at 303-492-2277. This service is free and confidential. For more information: https://www.colorado.edu/health/counseling.

Prerequisites: Psych 1001 (General Psychology) or permission of instructor. The course is typically intended for psychology majors.

Course Information

Class Twitter: https://twitter.com/psych3303 (@psych3131)

E-mail: june.gruber@colorado.edu

Note: Please include “PSYC 3303” in the subject line. You will receive an answer or acknowledgement within 24 hours on normal business days.