Anna Baker, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Office Hours: M 11-12pm or by appt.
Practicum: M 6:30-8pm
Spring 2018: PSYC 213 Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
MWF 1-1:52pm; O’Leary 201
This course is designed to provide an introduction to mental health and psychological disorders. We will investigate what constitutes normal behavior including the history of classifying those with what society deems problematic behavior and how we currently tackle classifying behaviors. This class also includes a required service-learning practicum on Mondays from 6:30-8.
Goals of the Course
- Students should be able to describe, compare, and contrast disorders as defined by the DSM and research. (D1, 4, 5)
- Students should be able to explain the current DSM categorization approach, why we use this method, and its problems. (D1, 4, 5, 6)
- Students should be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research on disorders and come up with future areas of research that will help delineate and clarify current problems in the field. (D4, 5, 6)
Textbook: Durand MV, Barlow DH. (2016). Essentials of Abnormal Psychology (7th Ed). Cengage Learning.
Research Articles: I have posted articles on the class website that correspond to topics we are going to discuss and are part of the required reading. They are listed in the schedule below. You will be given a short quiz/assignment on these articles as well.
You will be expected to have read the material assigned prior to the class for which it is assigned.
Additional readings: I have listed some suggested readings if you are interested in great books about some of these disorders. Keep in mind, most of these books are describing techniques and therapies that are not necessarily evidence based and may not be used widely anymore but give great historical context-
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison: This book was written by a clinical psychologist that works at Johns Hopkins and it is a firsthand account of her experience living with bipolar disorder. She is fascinating and I was lucky enough to see her talk at Johns Hopkins last year.
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber: It has been widely discredited as more information has come out but it’s a really interesting window into multiple personality disorder and psychoanalytic techniques.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl: Just a great book about resiliency and how his experience informed his later theory and practice.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks: Entertaining book about cases that a NYU neurologist saw in his clinical practice.
Without Conscience by Robert Hare: Really interesting book about psychopaths and sociopaths. Anyone interested in forensic psychology would find this useful.
There are plenty more so if you are interested in a particular area let me know and I may be able to direct you to more readings.
- There will be a formal, thesis-based paper (6 pages, double spaced; APA style) that you will work on and receive feedback on throughout the course of the semester. The format for the paper will be American Psychological Association (APA) style and will include an abstract and references. APA guidelines are easily accessible at Purdue OWL. APA style is the standard style in the field of psychology and you will likely have to use this style in all psychology courses so learning it as soon as possible will make your life easier.
I will be providing feedback in order to help you develop your final paper without the pressure of receiving grades on these drafts to better help you learn and incorporate the feedback. However, you must hand these in on time and will receive points for handing in the assignment. I am happy to meet outside of class to help with this. In addition, the Writing Center is available to help.
You will choose a topic that you find is interesting as well as important to the field and make an argument based on the literature. We will discuss some important problems in class and we can meet to discuss topic ideas if you are struggling to come up with a topic. You will submit your topic to me by 1/26 in a one-page document with a tentative thesis statement, three relevant references that you have read thoroughly and would like to include, and short summaries of why these references are relevant.
Papers will include 2 distinct sections: an introduction to the problem using the literature in the area, and a critique of the literature including what research needs to be done to help clarify how this problem should be dealt with in the future. You will submit a draft of each section and I will review and give feedback so that you can incorporate and make changes to the final draft due at the end of the semester. Due dates are in the schedule below.
Each section must be submitted to me in a dropbox folder I will share with you as a word document by midnight on the day they are due. Your name, date of submission, and section name must appear at the top of each submission, with the exception of the final draft (which will be in APA style).
- Annotated Bibliography: In order to prepare for the above paper there will be a required annotated bibliography that is due on 2/9, also uploaded to the dropbox in the format above. The bibliography should include sources that you will use for your paper and should include at least 10 sources. More detailed information on how to do an annotated bibliography along with great examples can be found at: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/03/
- There will be short quizzes on the additional article readings assigned. In addition, I expect you to find a relevant source related to the article to come to class with. You will upload the citation with a short summary of why you picked the article into dropbox the day it is due and we will spend some class time discussing these related findings.
DSH Service-learning practicum
Once a week, on most Monday evenings throughout the semester (TBD) you will interact with and get to know some adult psychiatric patients at Danville State Hospital (“DSH”) in the context of the “Just for Fun” program. These are people who have been diagnosed with some of the more severe and debilitating disorders that we’ll be discussing in the course. This practicum is an example of “service-learning” because you will be learning about psychological disorders by getting to know some people who have been diagnosed with them, and you will be providing a service to those people (and to the Hospital, and even to society) by giving them opportunities to socialize beyond those typically available at DSH.
You will not be evaluating or treating the people with whom you interact. You will probably be a bit anxious about doing this at first, but try not to worry too much – some nervousness is a completely normal reaction. You will find that most of the patients really look forward to your visits. Previous students in this course have described this program as one of the most important learning experiences that they have had at Bucknell. We will coordinate carpooling and practicum activities, and will take attendance at the practicum site. DSH staff will give you an orientation to the Hospital’s rules, procedures, and expectations, both in class and on-site at the beginning of the semester. You will engage in an ongoing conversation about your practicum experiences in class.
Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the practicum site (carpooling will be coordinated). If a student driving a non-Bucknell vehicle is in an accident, the student’s auto insurance will be primary over any other coverages potentially secured by the University. Students should understand the terms of their personal automobile insurance policies prior to undertaking such travel. In limited circumstances, students may be able to arrange carpooling through the Department, using a University-owned automobile. University-owned vehicles are covered by the University’s insurance policy in the first instance. Students may also use one of the Zipcars available on campus by working directly with Zipcar. These vehicles are insured through Zipcar.
Note: If sharing the carpooling fuel expenses presents a significant financial burden for you, please let me know privately.
Your attendance at DSH is mandatory. You can miss one of these sessions but for each subsequent session you miss you will receive a point deduction. Travel plans do not constitute an acceptable reason for missing any part of this course.
In addition, you will write a short paragraph highlighting a part of your experience you would like to discuss (thoughts- judgments you found yourself having, preconceptions you may have had, insights about mental health facilities, etc) and share the paragraph with the class on the forum page. You will then respond to each other’s reflection paragraph. You need to post at least three responses to others. Please be respectful of your classmates and their experiences and remember you do not have to disclose private information that you do not feel like sharing (also remember to keep the confidentiality of the patients- NO NAMES). In addition, remember that information classmates share is confidential and should not be discussed with others outside of the class. So to summarize- for each trip to DSH you will post a reflection and then respond to 3 others in the group. Each will be graded as described below.
Each post/response must include the following:
- 300-500 words written in full sentences.
- Highlight (bold/italics/color-just make it stand out) aspects of your experience that correspond to one of three areas- cognition, affect, and physiology.
|4||Exceptional. The post/response is focused and coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis. The entry demonstrates awareness of its own limitations or implications, and it considers multiple perspectives when appropriate, integrating other course material. The entry reflects in-depth engagement with the topic.|
|3||Satisfactory. The post/response is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. The entry reflects moderate engagement with the topic.|
|2||Underdeveloped. The post/response is mostly description, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. The entry reflects passing engagement with the topic.|
|1||Limited. The post/response is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic.|
|0||No Credit. The post/response is missing or consists of one or two disconnected sentences.
There will short reading quizzes on all assigned journal articles. There will be a midterm and a final exam (see schedule). The midterm will cover the first 7 chapters and the final exam will cover the second 7 chapters.
Summary of Grading
Your final grade for this course will be based on the total percentage of points you obtain from the Thesis paper, in class writings, and the midterm and final exam. DSH attendance must be completed as described above in order to pass the course. Late papers, poor attendance, using electronic devices, and other issues may also affect your final course grade.
Midterm 20%, Final Exam 20%, Thesis paper 20%, Quizzes 20%, DSH 20%
Resulting percentages of points accumulated are converted to letter grades as follows:
A = 94 – 100% C+ = 77 – 79%
A- = 90 – 93% C = 74 – 76%
B+ = 87 – 89% C- = 70 – 73%
B = 84 – 86% D = 65 – 69%
B- = 80 – 83% F = 0 – 64%
Other Important Matters
Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic integrity so make sure you use proper citations if you use anyone else’s ideas and quotations if you use exact wording. Changing around a few words and then submitting the product as your own is not acceptable. Please consult the following sources for further information:
Purdue University’s Webpage “Avoiding Plagiarism”
If you are unsure and would like help, please come see me.
Your attendance during class sessions is vital to your learning in this course, and could affect your grade significantly. You have two free absences. After that you drop half a grade. Observance of religious holidays is an approved excuse for missing class, but please let me know beforehand if you will be absent. Leaving campus early for, or coming back late from, a break is not an approved excuse for missing class or the DSH practicum. I am willing to make alternative arrangements in the event of commitments to scheduled extra-curricular activities over which you have no control (e.g., out-of-town sporting events if you’re on the team) and, of course, in the event of emergencies. Please contact me about these as soon as possible, preferably well before your absence.
Any student who needs an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact Heather Fowler, Director of the Office of Accessibility Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-577- 1188 or in room 212 Carnegie Building who will coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.
If you become concerned that you are having psychological difficulties related to some of the course material, you might consider contacting the professional counselors in the Counseling & Student Development Center (577-1604) to discuss it. The Center and the service is free and confidential.
Maintaining the confidentiality of people about whom you might discuss or write is critically important. This applies whether you are discussing or writing about someone at DSH or someone in your family. When describing individuals in any context (e.g., discussion in or outside of class, papers), you must change descriptive details so that others cannot identify the person(s) who you are characterizing. If you have questions about how to maintain someone’s confidentiality, please ask me.