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Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 152 -
May 20-Jun 14 01:00 04:45 TWR
Alterations may be made as the need arises in the judgment of the professor. Please check on Blackboard and listen for inclass announcements for potential changes in any part of this syllabus.
Alessandra Rellini, Ph.D.Phone: (802) 656-4110 do not leave messages email is betterE-mail: arellini@uvm.eduOffice: 240 John Dewey HallOffice Hours: Tu 12:00-1:00pm
Course Main Objectives
To increase students’ knowledge of psychological theory and research concerning differentforms of mental illness and “abnormal” behavior, with a particular emphasis on thebiopsychosocial perspective.
To increase students’ understanding of the social, historical, and cultural contexts of mentalillness.
To enhance students’ ability to understand the language used in the field of clinicalpsychology.
To introduce different theoretical perspectives on abnormal behavior. Students will developan understanding of the basic assumptions behind alternative models that attempt to explainabnormal behavior. For each psychological disorder covered, students will examine theproposed causes and treatments offered by each perspective. The value of an integratedapproach will be emphasized.
To familiarize students to the art of identifying the most crucial information from written andoral presentations (i.e., textbook, journal articles and lectures).
Required:Kearney, C.A. & Trull, T.J. (2011). Abnormal Psychology and Life: A dimensional Approach.Optional:American Psychiatric Association (2000).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 
 Edition Text Revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Inc.Readings:Posted on BlackBoard
Personal Psychological Wellbeing:
Approximately half of the population is expected toexperience substantial psychological problems at some point in their lives. Thus, it is likely thatsome students will know someone with psychological difficulties or are experiencingpsychological difficulties themselves. While I hope the class will provide valuable information onmental health, just learning this information is not enough to solve problems. The best move youcan make, should you or someone you know be experiencing psychological distress, is tocontact the school counseling center (The Jacobs House Office: 802.656.3340; Redstone
Office: 802.656.0784; On-call after hrs counselor: 802.656.3473). Although I am a clinicalpsychologist, it would be unethical for me to act as your therapist because under nocircumstances should a therapist have a second relationship such as being your instructor. Itmay be important for you to realize that, seeking help during times of distress does not meanthat there is an irrevocable problem but things will not get better unless you take action. Peopledo improve with a variety of treatments but first they need to make the effort to change. Pleaseseek psychotherapy and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same if you see themin distress.
Course RequirementsReadings
: There are 2 types of readings: textbook and articles. Both readings are listed on thecourse schedule (see Bb) and the articles can be downloaded from the course material.Students should do the readings assigned for that lecture BEFORE coming to class. At times Iwill call on students to answer questions relevant to the readings. The answers to thesequestions will be taken into consideration for the final grade. FOR THE CHAPTERS: Read theentire chapter even if we may take 2 days to cover the whole chapter. FOR THE ARTICLES:You will be expected to have read and understood the articles and you will be expected to beable to answer questions about the articles. You may take notes about the article and canconsult them to answer a question although it is not okay to read straight out of your notes toaddress questions asked by me or your fellow students. The notes should be there just toprovide you some aid for your memory. The lectures will add to the readings but students areexpected to read the information in the text and know this information even if not specificallycovered in class.
A total of 4 assignments will be administered for this class. All assignments arecompleted at home and brought to class. Assignments are listed in the calendar below, and arelisted and explained on Blackboard. It is the students’ responsibility to know when theassignments are due.Assignments format: assignments are accepted only if they are
! Students need to bring aprinted copy of the assignment to class.EMAILED ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
The assignments are designed to help you prepare for the exams so you should keep a copyof the assignment for yourself.
All assignments will need to be turned in at the beginning of the class when they are due and theyshould be turned
in the provided boxes/envelopes.
If the assignment is returned after thelecture for that day has already started the assignment will be considered 1 day late. Studentsmay NOT turn in the assignments by e-mail. It is the responsibility of the student to make surethe assignment is correctly placed in one of the boxes provided. Assignments that are misplacedbecause not turned in the correct boxes will be considered NOT turned in.Assignment scoring:1) 61-70 points: comprehensive, well done. The student has identified all the important informationin the chapter and has NOT included information that is trivial or less important.2) 51-60 points: the student has included too much information and is showing not to understandhow to differentiate between the important and the less relevant information. Or: The student ismissing few details that are important3) 50 points or less: the student has failed to include important information and/or has includedonly information that is not essential for the adequate knowledge of the topic. A motivatedstudent that carefully studies the assigned chapters is expected to receive full credit for theassignments and will be at an advantage to have a better grade in the exam compared to astudent who completes the assignments quickly and does not pay attention to the assignedchapters.Late assignments: Assignments can be turned in 1 day late with a 10 points penalty and 2 dayslate for 15 points penalty. The student should leave the assignment in the
box outside office
John Dewey Room 240
. Have someone from the Sexual Health Research Clinic (Room 241)or the Main Office sign, date and time your assignment when you returned your assignmentand IMMEDIATELY send an email to your TA to inform her that the assignment was left in thebox. Prof. Rellini will accept late assignments without penalty ONLY AND EXCLUSIVELY ifcleared first by the Dean’s Office (phone: 656-3344). Students should ask the Deans’ Office tosend Prof. Rellini an email that explains and confirms the extreme circumstances experiencedby the student. Examples of extreme hardships are: death in the family, life threatening events,severe, sudden and documented medical conditions. A planned medical procedure, an athleticevent, feeling sick after a late night partying, or family events are not considered extremehardships. The assignments are posted ahead of time and can be completed in advance.
No e-mailed assignments will be accepted
Exams and Make-Up Exams
: Three
50-questions non-cumulative multiple choice exams
 (worth 300 points each exam) will be given. Each exam will cover assigned reading material inthe text book (whether or not it has been discussed during class), class lectures, articles, andany videos shown. The three exams are offered only at the times indicated on the schedule. Ifyou miss a regularly scheduled exam for any reason, you will need to take the make-up exam,also a non-cumulative multiple choice exam. A student can make-up only ONE exam – if astudent misses 2 or more exams, the make-up will be used for one of the missed exams and theother missed exams will be scored as zero (0). There is
no need to contact the instructor if astudent misses a regularly scheduled exam; the student should simply attend the make-up exam
. Please email me to let me know you want to complete a make-up exam.
Oral Participation:
Students are expected not only to read the material but to understand it andbeing able to intelligently discuss the material with the instructor and their peers. The instructorwill provide 5 opportunities to each student to show their understanding of the material. This willoccur in terms of questions the faculty will pose at the beginning of a lecture or throughout alecture. Students’ names will be called and the student will be asked to provide an answer.These are opportunity to discuss and show one’s understanding of the material. The questionsare also formulated to spring a discussion that will involve other students. Scores:50-55 indicates the student has achieved a superior understanding of the material. He/she is ablenot only to present the material clearly but has shown to have engaged deeply with the materialand to relate it to knowledge coming from other courses and our culture45-49. The student shows a good understanding of the material and is able to present theinformation clearly and correctly.40-44 The student has clearly understood the material but the information is not always clearlyexpressed.10-39. The student shows major lacunae in the understanding of the material and the exposition isunclear and fragmented.1-9. It is unclear whether the student read the material.0. The student was not present for 2 consecutive calls or the student was unprepared.
Class Participation
: Class participation is critical. Because issues related to abnormal psychologyare frequently value-laden, students will be asked to exercise critical thinking skills throughoutthe course. Students should be aware that during class some videos will be shown that can bedifficult to watch for some people. Students are encouraged to take care of themselves and ifsome of the videos are too upsetting they can excuse themselves from the class. If you chooseto do so, please contact Prof. Rellini on the same day. You will also need to schedule a time tomeet with the TAs to go over information that is relevant for the exams. Please seek a counselorimmediately if you find yourself very upset after one of the videos.
: ATTENDANCE IS NOT MANDATORY! Students should be aware that approximatelyhalf of the material in the exam will come from class lectures so it is in the students’ best interest

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