PSY160 - Abnormal Psychology

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-01 14:28:29.126
Last review date 2018-07-16 00:15:01.395

Subject Title
Abnormal Psychology

Subject Description

Human life is  complex, unstable, precarious, and extremely challenging - perhaps in an ever-increasing degree.  Throughout our lives we are vulnerable to personal trouble, breakdown, and disorder.  PSY160 explores the sources of strength and weakness in human life viewed on a continuum from what considered to be within the ranges of normal behaviour to that considered to be abnormal.  Behaviours are examined in terms of their causes, and the benefits and disadvantages they bring to the individual.  Various styles of treatment are surveyed.

Credit Status
One General Education Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Identify and describe basic concepts, principles, and problems associated with the term "abnormal behaviour".

2. Describe the major theoretical models of abnormal behaviour, and discuss the implications of how they enhance and limit our understanding.

3. Describe selected methods that characterize psychological research and evaluate their strengths and limitations.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Corequisite: EAC149 or equivalent.

Topic Outline

  • Definition of Abnormality
  • Theories of Abnormality
  • Assessing and Diagnosing Abnormality
  • Treatments of Abnormality
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Childhood Disorders
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Substance-Related Disorders

Mode of Instruction
In-class: Students attend classes on campus each week. All instruction is delivered in a face to face environment.

Teaching and Learning Methods:
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the learning process, instructors can use such teaching methods as class and small group discussions, essays and research, individual and group presentations, readings, lectures, workshops, in-class exercises, and/or web-based instruction. The mode of delivery will dictate the most appropriate teaching methods available to an instructor.

Prescribed Texts
In Class:
Jeffrey S. Nevid, Beverly Greene, Paul A. Johnson, Steven Taylor, Essentials of Abnormal Psychology, Fourth Canadian Edition, Dsm-5 Update Edition Plus MySearchLab with Pearson Loose-leaf Edition. ISBN-13: 9780134048703.

Reference Material
Students are referred to the following web site for the Seneca College Library APA Style Guide and Guide to Integrating Quotations (APA Style):

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified and achieve an overall grade of 50% or higher. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Term work:
All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of the assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments may be subject to the awarding of a penalty resulting in a lower grade assigned. 
Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be made in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

In-Class Sections:

Quiz(s) 15%
Research paper 25%
Presentation/Assignment 15%
Midterm Examination 20%
Final Examination 25%

Student Success:

Please come prepared to participate in class. Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.

Student should keep all assignments (including drafts and outlines) and exercises until they receive their final grade.

Students may appeal any final grade in a subject or any decision by the College, following the recommendation of a Promotion Committee, with respect to the student's academic standing, continuation or status in a program, School, Faculty or the College. It is the policy of the College that a student who invokes this appeal process will be given a fair hearing. For further information on appeals please see Section 12 of the Academic Policy Handbook.


Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood