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PSYB32+Fall+2009+-+Course+Syllabus[1]

PSYB32+Fall+2009+-+Course+Syllabus[1] - ChapVisit the...

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ChapVisit the Psychology Handbook @ www. http://www.scar.utoronto.ca/~lifesci/psych-handbook/ University of Toronto Scarborough College Department of Psychology Abnormal Psychology Psy B32 Monday 7:00-9:30 pm, AC 223 Professor Konstantine Zakzanis Office Hours: Monday 5:00-6:00pm Office Location: New Science Building Teaching Assistant: Diana Jovanovski E-mail: [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 guidebooks such as the DSM. Several modern biological and psychological theories 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
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