West Valley College_
Department of Psychology___
Michelle D. Reed
408.741.4029

Abnormal Psychology

General Information:
Classes will be held twice weekly in room LA/SS 21. Students who fail to attend the first class session will be dropped from the roster, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. After that time, if for any reason a student has to stop participating in this course, it is his or her responsibility to formally drop the class with Admissions and Records. Any student failing to formally drop the course under such circumstances, will receive an F on his or her transcript.
 
Course Description:

Abnormal Psychology provides an overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatments for a wide range of disorders. A few categories discussed include: anxiety and stressor-related disorders, mood disorders, addictive disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia, as well as disorders of sex and gender. Other topics include bias (stigma) in society, children as the "identified patient" in some families, the relationship between psychiatry and criminal culpability, and the like. Lecture Format: 3 units. Acceptable for credit: UC and CSU.  Pass/No Pass Option.

 
Course Objectives:
The student will be required to demonstrate an ability to analyze, synthesize, and critically evaluate basic concepts in abnormal psychology both in testing formats and practical applications. By the completion of this course, one must be able to explain the biopsychosocial determinates of behavior, discuss various models' explanation of abnormality, identify the fundamental aspects of a wide range of diagnoses, and critically analyze & evaluate research findings in selected topics of abnormal psychology..
 
Office Hours:
Regular office hours will be held in SS 2d on Mondays from 12:30-1:30 P.M., Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 P.M., and Thursdays from 8:30-9:00 A.M. Appointments may also be scheduled at other times on an individual basis. Students are encouraged to discuss any difficulties or questions they may have regarding the course content. Prior to the beginning of the semester, students may also contact me via my e-mail address: michelle.reed@westvalley.edu. During the term, all email communication will occur from within Canvas at: https://wvm.instructure.com/login/canvas
 
Disability Statement:
West Valley College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. College materials will be available in alternate formats (Braille, audio, electronic format, or large print) upon request. Please contact the Disability and Educational Support Program at (408) 741-2010 (voice) or (408) 741-2658 (TTY) for assistance.
 
Testing Format and Policy:
Students will be given three exams during the course, which will cover both lecture material and reading assignments. The exam format will consist of multiple choice, fill-in and short answer questions, as well as essays. Students requiring a make-up exam will receive 7.5% off their exam score, if taken by the next class session. For exams taken after that time, additional deductions will be taken for every calendar day. Makeup exams must be taken within 10 calendar days of the original test date; otherwise, a zero will be recorded for the given test. Students are allowed only one makeup exam.
 
Grading Policy:
Student exams will be graded on a slight curve, which is very close to a traditional percentage grading system. At the end of the semester, student test and participation scores are totaled. This final point total is used to formulate the overall grade out of the total possible points.
 
Cheating Policy:
Students caught cheating will receive an F for that exam or project. The zero will be averaged into the student's final grade. Additional repercussions from the college may also occur under such circumstances.
 
Required Text & Materials:
Comer, Ronald J. (2014) Abnormal Psychology (8th Edition) ISBN-13: 978-1-4641-3719-8 (textbook OR ebook option)

Dully, H., & Fleming, C. (2008) My Lobotomy ISBN-13: 9780307381279 (fast read)
A Blue Book (81/2 x 7”), Scantron (Form 882), No. 2 pencil , and non-erasable pen are required for all exam

Both required books are available at the WVC bookstore. If you choose to order elsewhere, the materials MUST be in your possession by the third day of class.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
1. The student will use the "biopsychosocial" perspective to discuss the various causes of mental disorders and identify (using examples) the major components.

2. The student will determine the appropriate therapeutic intervention for a given mental disorder.


***Please note: the instructor reserves the right to change any portion of this syllabus during the semester to meet the needs of the class  .