This online course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying psychology, medicine, and related subjects at university, exploring a range of academic theory and practical methods in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological conditions.
Abnormal psychology is, perhaps, the branch of psychology that most non-psychologists are aware of through the media and other channels. If you’ve seen TV shows involving psychiatrists or ‘shrinks’, then you’ve come across abnormal psychology in one form or another.
Abnormal psychology focuses on diagnosing and treating abnormal psychological conditions, such as schizophrenia, addiction, eating disorders, amongst many others. But what exactly defines someone as being ‘abnormal’, and how can psychologists recognise abnormality in a patient? And once recognised, how can this abnormality be treated? The course begins by answering these questions, focusing on the various ways in which someone’s behaviour and emotions can be said to be ‘abnormal’ before moving on to outline the major diagnostic methods that modern psychologists employ. It will also introduce the major models through which abnormality can be explained: the biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, and behavioural models. Following this introduction, we will use these models to examine case studies of three specific abnormal conditions – schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addiction – discussing how such conditions are diagnosed, what causes them, and what the most effective treatments are today.
During the course, students will…
By the end of the course, students will be able to…
The course begins with a look at how abnormality is defined, and how it can be diagnosed in a patient. It then outlines the four major models used by psychologists to explore abnormality: the biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, and behavioural models.
Schizophrenia is one of the most well-known abnormal psychological conditions, affecting almost 1 in 100 people at some point in their life. This tutorial examines the possible causes of the disorder, using the models outlined in tutorial 1.
Addiction is one of the most widespread abnormal conditions, and can be completely debilitating for both the sufferer and those around them depending on its severity. We focus on addictions to gambling and smoking in this tutorial, once again using our four models to undertake a detailed exploration.
Eating disorders are our final case study in the course, and entail an analysis of a number of additional factors, particularly the role of the media. We shall examine the diagnosis and causes of such disorders, as well as looking at why more women tend to suffer from the disorder than men.
|Course Pre-requisites||Advanced level of EnglishAn interest and enthusiasm for science, with particular reference to PsychologyThis course would suit students studying towards A-level Sociology/Psychology or equivalent, and in particular those interested in further university study of Psychology.|
|Course Level||For students applying to university to study Psychology, Medicine, Social Sciences or related subjects|
|Prior Knowledge||No prior knowledge is required to take this course, just enthusiasm for the subject.|
|Workload||4-6 hours (further independent study is encouraged)|