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Class Information
Psy 208 Syllabus
Psy 136 Syllabus
Psy 101 Syllabus
Psy 200 Syllabus
Psy 215 Syllabus
ORI 100 Syllabus
PSY 215 ALP Syllabus
PSY 136 ALP Syllabus
PSY 204 Syllabus

Montgomery Community College – West Campus

PSY 215 Abnormal Psychology

Accelerated Learning Program

Section SWALP – 3 Credits – Spring 2009

Tuesday 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. South Hall RM West 215


Instructor:                Mr. Francis P. O’Neill M.A.

Office:                        West 141 A

Phone:                      610-718-1842

Email:                        foneill@mc3.edu (Best Method of Contact)

Office Hours:           Tuesday before class and by appointment

Class Room:            West 215

Prerequisite:            None: but recommended: English 101 & Psychology 101



A. Required Text:                                       Abnormal Psychology, an Integrative Approach Fifth edition, 2009, David H. Barlow & V. Mark Durand Thompson/Wadsworth Publishing

B. Supplementary Reading Material:    Provided by instructor

C. In Class Video:                                       Films and video tapes provided by instructor


Biology, behavior and environment interact in complex ways to produce what is defined as abnormal. Historical material, pertinent research and relevant case studies provide an understanding of abnormal psychology and its impact on all of us.


This course is designed to foster knowledge and attitudes which will assist the student in understanding and to know the scholarship developed within the discipline.

Students are Responsible for the Following:

Course Competencies & Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

A.   Explain the current and historical perspectives of abnormal behavior.

B.   Describe the various biological, psychosocial and sociocultural factors in the etiology of mental disorders.

C.   Define the various classifications of mental disorders.

D.   Identify the various therapies used to treat mental disorders. 

Participation and Attendance: For the hybrid format that is used in this program, attendance does not just refer to in-class meetings.  On-line attendance is just as, if not more, important than the scheduled weekly meetings.   The definition of an on-line absence will also be discussed.  The policies regarding attendance that are listed below refer to both in-class and on-line attendance.

Regular class attendance is necessary for the Accelerated Learning Program because of the fast pace and interactive nature of the curriculum.  The program relies heavily on classroom discussions and group interaction in order to learn, integrate, and apply the material presented.

It is understood that at times there are unexpected, personal situations that arise that make it difficult or impossible to attend a particular class, therefore, the following policy has been adopted and will be implemented by the instructor for each class:

If one class in a particular course needs to be missed for a legitimate, communicated reason, the instructor is expected to make reasonable accommodations to enable you to turn in the completed assignments and make up what you missed.  It is important that you notify your instructor, in advance if possible, of any unexpected circumstances.  It is your responsibility to find out what you missed from other classmates and /or the instructor. It is the instructor’s discretion as to the affect of absences and late work on the class participation component of the total course grade, even if the work is made up.

A second absence in that course will be either made up or cause for withdrawal from the course at the Instructor's discretion. Two absences of a seven week course constitute nearly 30% of the course, and it may not be possible to accomplish the course objectives under those conditions. The two absences will also affect the class participation component of the total course grade.  The amount of group work in a particular course will also be taken into consideration, as your absence may affect the performance of all students in your group. 

Three absences constitute an automatic failure if you do not withdraw from the course.

Excessive lateness/tardiness is to be avoided, but it’s better to be late than absent. If you are late, after roll is taken, you need to see the instructor immediately after class to be counted as being present for class. 3 times late equals one absence.  

Official Withdraw from Class:

1.    Students can withdraw from class up to one week after mid-semester with a formal withdraw application. Grade will then be a “W”. Last date to withdraw without a signature from the instructor March 24th, 2009.

2.    After this time a withdraw with a “W” is at the discretion of the instructor. The instructor must sign off for a class withdraw at this point. Last date to withdraw with a signature from the instructor May 5th, 2009 (Last class day).

3.    Failure to attend class may lead to a grade of an “F”, it will not constitute an automatic withdraw from class.


 Grading will be as follows:

A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D and F. The GPA equivalencies can be found on the Academic Affairs web page. www.mc3.edu/policy/aa/3.6.htm grades will be calculated as follows: A = 93-100, A- = 90-92, B+ = 87-89, B = 83-86, B- = 80-82, C+ = 77-79, C = 70-76, D = 60-69, F = 59 below 

Grades will be based on the final grade breakdown. There will NOT BE A CLASS CURVE. This means that everyone can get an "A".

No “I" (incomplete) grades will be submitted for this course, unless a death in the family occurs or another serious situation develops. An “I” grade is at the sole discretion of the instructor. It is paramount that all test and assignments be completed before the course ending date. No exceptions unless there is a medical emergency!

Exams: There will be 3 major exams and one final. Each exam will consist of multiple choice & true false questions with the possibility of extra credit questions added at the end of the test. If a student misses an exam the possibility of a make-up is strictly on the basis of a medical or other serious reason at the discretion of the instructor. You must be present for each exam on the date of the exam. A make up test can not be taken after a week from the original testing date, if at all. You must be present for the final or you must take it early if you can’t be present NO EXCEPTIONS!

Exams are returned to you, the student, if you have a discrepancy with a grade or you wish to contest a grade you must be able to produce the tests I will not be responsible to retain grading sheets or prior tests taken. This is the responsibility of the student. 


  1. 3 exams worth 100 points each (extra credit poss.)             300+pts
  2. Online Wiki work                                                                            100 pts
  3. Class Participation & Attendance                                              50 pts
  4. Postings on Blackboard                                                              50 pts
  5. Life Review Assignment                                                             100 pts
  6. Final Exam                                                                                       100 pts

All points will be added up and divided by 7

 Class Participation & Attendance:

You will get points throughout the semester for several reasons:

bullet 12.5 points - A clear presentation (prepared, informative and thoughtful)
bullet 12.5 points - Questions relevant to class discussions
bullet 50 points - Posts on Blackboard
bullet 12.5 points - Coming to class on time
bullet 12.5 points - Handing in papers on time and being ready to present on your scheduled day
bullet These points will be summed up in two categories and are approximate. Totals above are maximums for area breakdown.

Online Wiki Work

As part of a hybrid/ALP class a class wiki will be maintained throughout the course. The wiki is designed to share knowledge about course content. I will grade on percentage of time spent in working on new pages, editing current pages, adding comments and just general use of the wiki. Work on it solo, in groups or both…have fun with it, it’s a learning tool first but once you start contributing it can be fun.

You must post 3 original pages with topics one can be what you person and presentation is about. You have to make five constructive comments. If you make a group post place the names in the page so I can give credit. Also editing and adding will count to the comments grading. At the end of the class I have an option open for you export your wiki and take it with you, you worked on it, you should be able to keep it and utilize it again for other projects.

Wiki Rules!

No abusive language is to be used also no personal insults, i.e. flaming each other or general nastiness. It’s a creative outlet and your creativity should not lead to virtual fist fights. No plagiarism, cite sources!!!! Try not to copy and paste a ton of stuff, write and create while using real information.

Grades will be based on the final grade breakdown. There will NOT BE A CURVE. This means that everyone has the possibility of getting an "A".

It is paramount that all test and assignments be completed before the course ending date. No exceptions unless there is a medical emergency!

Other Information

Reading: It is VERY important that you complete the reading for each day on the course schedule BEFORE you come to class that day. The most important goal for the class is for you to have fun while learning about psychology. But to do this, you’ll have to stay on top of the reading (and there’s a lot). Take note that class lectures will not reiterate the text book, but will be used to enhance the selections read.

Student Conduct:

1.    Academic integrity is expected. Cheating in any form is unacceptable, and will be dealt with per college policy. Which could include but, is not limited to, expulsion from class with a failing grade (F) and possible dismissal from the college? There will be no individual or group warnings.

2.    Plagiarism (taking false claim for work that you did not generate) of any type is unacceptable and will be dealt with per college policy. Which could include but, is not limited to, expulsion from class with a failing grade (F) and possible dismissal from the college? There will be no individual or group warnings.

3.    The unauthorized or inappropriate use of College computers or the vandalism, theft, or tampering of data files or equipment constitutes academic misconduct.  Plagiarism or violation of proprietary agreements with the programs and data of other users will be treated as acts of academic dishonesty. All information can be found at: http://www.mc3.edu/policy/aa/ethics.htm

4.    Classroom behaviors that are encouraged: Asking questions, answering instructor’s questions, discussion of topics between students before the entire class, and the participation in structured learning activities.

5.    Classroom behaviors that are discouraged: Two way conversation between students during lectures or class discussions and leaving the classroom before the instructor dismisses the class.

6.    Respect for all the class is paramount. Anything less is unacceptable.

7.    The unauthorized or inappropriate use of College computers or the vandalism, theft, or tampering of data files or equipment constitutes academic misconduct.  Plagiarism or violation of proprietary agreements with the programs and data of other users will be treated as acts of academic dishonesty.

Class Cancellation Policy:  

If there is inclement weather please check the college web site and/or call the campus at 610-718-1800 and listen to the message. Also the school codes are 395 for day and 2395 for the evening division. Also please refer to the campus calendar for days off and breaks in the class schedule.

The instructor reserves the right to make any content or rescheduling revisions as deemed appropriate or necessary.  

Students with Disabilities Policy:

Students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations in this course. Contact the director of services for students with disabilities in the counseling center, College Hall, at 215-642-6575/6577 for more information. At West Campus, contact the director of student affairs, 610-718-1839.

MCCC web site information http://www.mc3.edu/sa/stdisab/stdisab.htm


Student veterans may be eligible for benefits and services related to military service.  At Central Campus, contact the Military and Veterans Affairs Advisor in College Hall 122 or at 215-641-6581 to learn about education benefits and healthcare entitlements.  At the West Campus, contact Michael Ondo in South Hall 151 or at 610-718-1857 for the veteran’s resources.    http://www.mc3.edu/sa/vet/vet.htm


Statement of Civility

In order to create a harmonious working and learning environment, the College embraces a philosophy that all members of the College community – administration, faculty, students, support staff, and visitors – exhibit mutual respect for one another in speech, written expression, and body language.  To achieve this goal, the individual is encouraged to take charge of his or her manners and decorum and have empathy for others’ differences.

All members of the College community

bulletshould have the freedom to express views without fear of being ridiculed, threatened, or punished;
bulletshould listen to and address each other respectfully in a face-to-face, written, or electronic environment;
bulletshould not engage in any behavior that generates a hostile environment;
bulletshould show respect for College facilities and equipment.

Assignment Submission Guide Lines: 

All assignment sent in digital format must be typed with a cover page!

Spelling, grammar and sentence structure must be correct.

Page layout should be 12 pitch font, Times New Roman or Arial, double spaced with a one inch margin on the top and bottom and on the sides. You are to upload in a digital copy of the assignment into the assignment section of Blackboard

Format: Information on the cover page should include your name, The assignment (“Presentation Assignment – Schizophrenia The Life of Syd Hoff” etc.), date the paper is handed in, class (Psy 215 Fall 2006), instructor’s name (Francis O’Neill), movie chosen (or other needed info). Centered under this should be a title of the assignment ex. Schizophrenia The Life of Syd Hoff or The Ups and Downs of a Bi-Polar Life – Carrie Fisher, etc. Have fun with this assignment!


All citations are to be APA, MLA or another accepted style, there must be a reference page with at least 3 references used as well as the text book!!! Internet citations are allowed.

Missed Deadlines:
Any material turned in late will subject to a reduction in points. 5 point reduction for every class late. Items not turned in by the last day of class will be counted as a zero.

Online Help:

You can access the text books information, this syllabus and the class schedule through Blackboard: www.mc3.edu All grades and info pertaining to the course will be posted on Blackboard. Slides used in class are also posted in the documents sections of Blackboard. Blackboard is a necessary part of this class.

The text Books web site is: http://www.wadsworth.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&product_isbn_issn=9780495095569&discipline_number=10  

1. Life Review Assignment and Presentation: Psychological Challenges of a Public Figure:

 Choose a mental disorder explain this disorder and then relate it to a person who is in the public eye (or was) past or present and describe the mental challenges that they face. This is to be a medium length paper about 7-15 pages in length. Take some time and research the person and the disorder they have.


  1. You may use PowerPoint slides (must be turned into me before the day of the presentation for review and set up), movies, clips, articles boards with pictures and info, almost anything within reason. 
  2. Convey something unique about this person and the disorder.
  3. You must talk about the person’s life and who they are and why you believe they have the symptoms of the disorder you are presenting.
  4. Presentation is to be a maximum of 15 minutes!
  5. Tips: Try not to read off your paper to the class, practice what you want to say, use cue cards for points that you wish to elaborate or slides with pictures, etc. (The person is to be the main feature of the presentations and how they relate to the disorder)

 Paper should include:

  1. Introduction of the mental disorder you have chosen.
  2. Brief info as to who the person is and why he/she is famous (a paragraph or two). Cite sources.
  3. List the psychological affliction(s) or diagnosis; give back up to support this position. List the symptoms. All in paragraph form. Not in listing form or bullets.
  4. Go into detail as to how they deal with this problem and the problems it causes them. (This is to be the bulk of presentation!)
  5. Give a conclusion as to how this person deals with the public knowledge of their illness and what steps they take to control it. Are these steps methods positive or negative to the persons well being.
  6. Most important: what did you learn from this person and how do you think you would react or handle this disorder? List what you know of this disorder.

The paper should follow the guidelines as stated in the syllabus

Example: John Nash – Genius mathematician, schizophrenia, teaching in a university  or Sylvia Plath – Poet, Major Depressive Disorder with suicidal ideations. Jim Carry – Actor, Major Depression, uses comedy and work to fend off affliction.

Some topics are easier than others start this assignment early!!!!

Abnormal Psychology 215 ALP

Class Schedule* – Spring 2009 –

3/24     Introduction, Review Syllabus

3/24     Chapter 1 History (is to be done online)

3/24     Chapter 2 The Integrative Approach

3/24     Chapter 3 Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis

3/24     Chapter 5 Anxiety Disorders (Start)

3/31     Chapter 5 Anxiety Disorders

3/31     Chapter 6 Somatoform & Dissociative Disorders (Start Chapter 7)

4/7       Exam #1 Chapters 1, 2 & 3

4/7       Chapter 7 Mood Disorders & Suicide

4/7       Chapter 8 Eating and Sleeping Disorders (Maybe start Chapter 10)

4/14     Chapter 10 Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders pages 336-346 and 364-374

4/14     Chapter 12 Personality Disorders

4/21     Exam #2 Chapters 5, 6 & 7

4/21     Chapter 12 Personality Disorders

4/21     Chapter 13 Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders

4/28     Chapter 13 Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders

4/28     Chapter 14 Developmental Disorders

5/5       Chapter 14 Developmental Disorders

5/5       Exam #3 Chapters 8 & 10

5/5       Last day all papers will be accepted for credit

5/5       Presentation overflow

5/12     Final Exam Room 215

5/12 – Final Chapters 12, 13, 14 in Class 5:00-6:30pm Room 215

* All dates are tentative and subject to changes by the instructor

Listing of Topics and Presentation Dates

Abnormal Psychology 215 – Spring 2009 – MC3

Date     Topics                                                  Student Presenter(s)     Celebrity

3/31      Post Traumatic Stress Disorder            _________________      ________________

3/12      Panic/Anxiety Disorders                       _________________      ________________

3/31      OCD                                                     _________________      ________________

3/31      Hypochondriacs (Must be extreme)      _________________      ________________

3/31      Social Phobia                                      _________________      ________________

4/7        Somatoform Disorder                           _________________      ________________

4/7        Dissociative Fugue                               _________________      ________________

4/7        Dissociative Disorder (NOT Identirty)    _________________      ________________

4/7        Dissociative Identirty Disorder             _________________      ________________                       

4/14      Major Depressive                                 _________________      ________________ 

4/14      Bi-Polar Disorder                                 _________________      ________________ 

4/14      Post Partum Depression                      _________________      ________________

4/14      Anorexia Nervosa                                 _________________      ________________

4/14      Bulimia Nervosa                                   _________________      ________________ 

4/14      Gender Identity Disorder                      _________________      ________________

4/14      Transvestic Fetishism                          _________________      ________________ 

4/21      Obsessive-Compulsive Personality      _________________      ________________           

4/21      Paranoid Personality Disorder             _________________      ________________ 

4/21      Dependent Personality Disorder           _________________      _______________

4/21      Schizoid Personality Disorder              _________________      ________________

4/21      Narcissistic Personality Disorder         _________________      ________________

4/21      Antisocial Personality Disorder            _________________      ________________

4/21      Borderline Personality Disorder           _________________      ________________

4/28      Schizophrenia                                       _________________      ________________                  

4/28      Substance Abuse and Addictions         _________________      ________________                      

4/28      Childhood & Adolescence Disorders    _________________      ________________ 

5/5        Presentation Overflow                          _________________      ________________