Abnormal Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2014
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times


Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 3603, section 201

Spring 2014


Professor: Michael A. Vandehey, Ph.D.                                              Office: O’donohoe 112

Office Hours: M 10:30-11:00, 12-12:30; 3:30-4:00               Phone: 397-4026

                        W 10:30-12:30; 3:30-4:00

                        F 9-11:00

                        TR 10:30-11:00, 12:30-2:00; 3:30-4:00          


Class Time: 2:00-3:20 TR                                                        Location: PY 101


Goals: Think about abnormal behavior across multiple dimensions.

            1. Learn about the transition from 5 axes of diagnosis to 1.

            2. Understand the different approaches to abnormal behavior.

            3. Diagnose based upon limited information (vignettes).

            4. View interviews with actual individuals living with psychopathology. 


Organize and master a large amount of information.

            1. s will cover information from the text and lecture.


Improve on APA 6th Edition writing skills and library search skills.

            a. Title page

            b. Headings

            c. In-text citations

            d. Reference page(s).

            e. Use the library.

            f. Become familiar with book, journal, and internet references.


Texts: Comer, R. J. (2014). Abnormal Psychology (8th Ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.). (2010).

Washington D. C.: American Psychological Association.

            -1st printed manuals contain errors. Please go to the APA website    ( to download the corrected pages for their book in PDF form.


Stapler: papers must be stapled and will not be accepted unless stapled.


Course Requirements: Grades will be based on your performance on 1 exam, a final, and a paper.


Each exam will be worth 100 points. s will be multiple choice and essay. Multiple choice answers will be marked on Scantrons, I will provide space for essay answers. I reserve the right to change the s in any way to better assess the class at any point during the semester.


The paper will be 5-7, double-spaced, typewritten pages (excluding the title page and references) and is worth 100 points. It must be written in APA 6th edition format (citing in paper, reference page, use of headings, title page, etc.). Seven references are required and may not include general psychology, developmental, abnormal, etc. textbooks (you may use these texts if you already meet the initial 7-reference requirement). References may include academic books and peer review journals. Please use the DSM-5 as one of your references. Only two references may come from internet sites. You must provide me a copy of the first page of every article/internet cite (abstracts will not be accepted). For books, I need the title page, reference page (the very next page), and the first page of every chapter cited in the book. Please keep a full photocopy of every reference. I reserve the right to request your full references if concerns about the paper arise. Finally, 1-2 small quotes are appropriate; however, large quotes are not original work and will not count toward the 5-page minimum (this may come up as students cite large sections of the DSM-5). Papers will lose 1 grade level for every day they are late.


IN ADDITION to turning in a physical copy of one’s paper, all papers must be turned in electronically ( ). Either use Microsoft Word or WordPerfect Corel. Please save your file in the following manner:



The following outline is an example of possible sections:

            1. Introduction/definition of disorder

            2. History of the disorder

            3. Diagnostic criteria/differential diagnosis

            4. Treatment/Prognosis

5. Conclusion (not a rewrite of the introduction. It is to be a place for the student to present his/her own ideas based upon an integration of the information learned). 

* On occasion, a student wishes to discuss personal/family experience with a disorder. This is acceptable provided it is less than 2 pages and does not count towards the 5-page minimum.


300 points are possible and grade ranges are as follows:


A = 300-270

B = 269-240

C = 239-210

D = 209-180

F = 179 or lower


Note: Students with disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. Individuals requiring special accommodation may contact me after class or during office hours.




Make-up Policy: Make-up exams will be essay in nature and can be scheduled with me. I need one week to prepare the exam; thus, the earliest a make-up exam can be taken is one week after the initial exam. See 2012-2014 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 69-71).


Electronic Contact: I require 5 working days to be able to read and respond to all email. Please note that my spam filter does keep some emails from getting to me (including my wife). In addition, I do not check email after 5 pm nor on weekends/holidays. My cell phone is to be used only be students who have been given it by me (e.g., honor society officers, graduate students). Please do not text me on my cell unless I have personally given you my cell number.


Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn all cell phones and pagers off (no sound) during class. DO NOT text message during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.


Cheating Policy: DON’T! Any evidence of cheating on exams, quizzes, or on the paper will result in dismissal from this class with a grade of “F.” To avoid questions of cheating, mark Scantrons clearly, use a No. 2 pencil, and erase completely. Errors due to a poorly marked Scantron will not result in a grade change.


Travel Plans: Please do not make travel plans during finals week. The final will be given when the university has scheduled it as per the schedule of classes. Early finals will only be offered to graduating seniors with honors.


Graduating Seniors: Only graduating seniors who are graduating with honors (Cum Laude or better) and are on the honors list from the registrar are excused from taking the final.


By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a 'limited right' in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course.  The 'limited right' shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student's work product in order to verify originality, authenticity, and for educational purposes.


Tentative Reading and Exam Schedule


Days of Class              Reading Assignment


1/14-2/27:                    Semester Overview/Course Requirements

                                    Chapters 8, 9, 10: Problems of Mood

            -In children pp. 522-525

                                    Chapter 5: Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Related Disorders

                                                -In children 520-521

Chapter 6: Stress Disorders

ADHD: pp. 530-535

Autism: pp. 539-545






Depressive Disorders; Bipolar and Related Disorders;

Impulse-Control Disorders; Autism Spectrum Disorder;

Anxiety Disorders; Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders


1/20                             Martin Luther King’s Birthday, no classes


:                                   3/4 MC and Vignettes


Topics due                  Tuesday 3/11


3/6-5/1                         Chapter 11: Eating Disorders

                                                -Body Dysmorphic Disorder pp. 200-202

                                    Chapter 16: Personality Disorders

                                    Chapters 14 & 15: Problems of Psychosis

                                    Dissociative Disorders pp. 202-221

Chapter 13: Disorders of Sex and Gender



Eating Disorders

            -body dysmorphic disorder

Personality Disorders ; Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other   Psychotic Disorders; Dissociative Disorders

Sexual Dysfunctions; Gender Dysphoria; Paraphilic Disorders


2/17                             Last day for May graduates to file

3/10                             Last day for “W”

3/17-3/21                     Spring break, no classes



*Preread (optional) with sources (physical and e-copy): Tuesday 4/1


*Physical paper and e-copy due with sources: Tuesday 4/15


4/16-4/18                     Easter break, no classes


Final Exam: Thursday, May 8th 1:00p.m.-3:00 p.m.









Permission to Post Grades (Abnormal)


Check One


_____  I give Dr. Vandehey Permission to post my grade via the password I have chosen and written below.


_____ I do not want my grade posted. DO NOT give me a password, but please give me your CWID and sign it at the bottom.


Name (print):                                                               ID Number:








Signature                     Date


Dr. Michael A. Vandehey (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at