Learning Objectives for Test I


Comer Learning Objectives for Test I: Chapters 1-2 (Fundamentals) and 1-3 in the full text.

Instructor: Jeanne Spaulding

Chapter 1: Abnormal psychology: past and present, plus chapter 2 in the full text.










Discuss the factors that influence whether a behavior is regarded as normal or abnormal. Include the importance and meaning of context, norms, culture, and eccentricity.

Describe the “four Ds of abnormality” and how culture and gender may influence maladaptive behavior.

What is treatment or therapy. Discuss how therapy might have helped Bill improve so much from February to July.

From the text, know the percentage of adults, and the percentage of children and adolescence in the United

States that display serious psychological disturbance and are in need of clinical treatment. Note that inner city studies of adults have found as high as 40% probably had a diagnosable mental disorder in their lifetimes.

Distinguish between supernatural (evil spirits, demons), biological (including Hippocrates), and psychological theories of abnormality, and briefly discuss how each type of model/ theory has led to different ways of treating mentally ill people throughout history.(the actual details of the history on pages 8-

13 are not required).

Identify some of the notable figures in psychology from the late 19th and early-to-mid 20 th

centuries, starting with Kraepelin. Know the difference between the somatogenic (relation of syphilis and general paresis, etc.) and psychogenic models including Mesmer and Freud. Understand the significance of hypnotism, hysterical disorders, and psychoanalysis.

Discuss the goal of the deinstitutionalization movement, how communities attempted to achieve that goal, and whether such efforts were successful. How has this lead to increased homelessness and those with mental disorders ending up in jails and prisons?

Discuss the availability of treatment for those with less severe disorders. How has the availability and restrictions of insurance coverage affected this?

Describe the four major groups of mental health providers and the educational requirements for each practitioner.

Research in Abnormal Psychology. Pages 20-31 in Fundamentals and Chapter 2 in the full text.


What is the scientific method as it is used in this field? Know the meaning of variables. Why are scientific methods especially important in abnormal psychology?


What are case studies, how are they helpful. What are the limitations of case studies (understand the term generalization)?


What is the correlational method and know the difference between positive and negative correlations, and how the magnitude of the correlation is expressed? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method? Know the terms epidemiological study and prevalence. Also, why longitudinal studies are done?


Understand the experimental method and hypothesis and all the highlighted terms. Define these terms as they are applied to an actual experiment (i.e.in the order in which the experiment is done). This includes variables, confounds, groups, random assignment, blind design. Why are there sometimes quasiexperiments? What are some of the limits of clinical investigations

Chapter 2: Models of Abnormality, or Chapter 3 in the full text.

1 Define a models, also called theory and perspective according to the text. How do they impact the field of abnormal psychology/

2 Discuss the three biological causes of abnormality, and describe the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and psychological impairment, know the major parts of the brain. Summarize the processes and structure involved in communication between neurons and what aspects of this process may break down, resulting in psychological distress. Know the parts of the neuron, synapse, receptors and neurotransmitters.

Summarize how researchers investigate genetic contributions to psychopathology, including what is discussed in class about behavioral genetics. How can viral infections be related to abnormal behavior?

3. Describe the 4 classes of psychotropic medications used in treatment and give 2 examples of each. What is

ECT and when is it now used in treatment?

4. Describe the basic foundation of psychodynamic theory, and know Freud’s theories of the Id, Ego and

Superego and the idea of the unconscious. Describe why people use defense mechanisms and name three of them. Briefly discuss the psychosexual stages.

5. Briefly describe the Psychodynamic therapy of Freud and modern short-term therapies. What are some of the influences of this theory and therapy and what are its limitations?

6. What is the behavior model and Summarize the processes of classical and operant conditioning, and give examples of each. Describe two types of treatment based on these theories. Learn the model of classical conditioning presented in class and how it was it used in creating the treatment of systematic desensitization.

7. Discuss Modeling and Observational learning that is described under the picture: See and do.. Can you guess how this might be used to treat a phobia? Assess the behavioral model in terms of how it was helpful and its limitations.

8. Under the Cognitive model, describe how the cognitive theorists explain abnormal functioning. Describe

Beck's cognitive therapy. Briefly assess the model and the therapies that have come from it.

9. Discuss the elements of humanistic theory and define the terms self-actualize and Rogers client-centered therapy. Briefly describe the existential theories and therapy, and the limitations of both these theories.

10. Discuss sociocultural model and family-social perspective. Briefly summarize the main topics and therapies used. How do the multicultural theorist explain abnormal functioning? What treatments do they use? What are eclectic theorists, therapists?

Chapter 3 or 4: Clinical Assessment, diagnosis and treatment. (both texts)

1. What is a clinical assessment, and why is it done?

2. Describe and give an examples of each of the various tools used by clinicians to gather information during an assessment. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each assessment tool: Clinical interview, response inventories, personality inventories including the MMPI, and projective tests. What are the advantages and limitations of each?

3. Describe the following neurological tests and what types if information they provide: EEG, CT scan, MRI, and fMRI. Why are neuropsychological tests done? Briefly describe an IQ test, and the information it provides.

4. Define and distinguish among the various psychometric properties (i.e. validity and reliability, standardization, representative norm groups, that set the standard by which various assessment tools are evaluated.

5. Discuss the newest method for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM-5, and discuss the additional severity rating and the other types of problems that can be noted.

6. Briefly describe the evidence that the DSM-5 is an effective system, compared to earlier DSMs.

7. Why do we need a classification system and what are its dangers?

8. How does a therapist decide on a treatment program? What is the evidence that therapy is generally effective? Give examples of how particular therapies can be more effective for particular disorders. How might a thorough systematic assessment aid on the effectiveness therapy?