Topics and Learning Objectives
XII. Abnormal Behavior
In this portion of the course, students examine the nature of common challenges to adaptive functioning. This section emphasizes formal conventions that guide psychologists' judgments about diagnosis and problem severity.
AP students in psychology should be able to do the following:
- Recognize the use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association as the primary reference for making diagnostic judgments.
- Identify the positive and negative consequences of diagnostic labels (e.g., the Rosenhan study).
- Discuss the major diagnostic categories, including anxiety and somatoform disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, organic disturbance, personality disorders, and dissociative disorders, and their corresponding symptoms.
- Evaluate the strengths and limitations of various approaches to explaining psychological disorders: medical model, psychoanalytic, humanistic, cognitive, biological, and sociocultural.
- Discuss the interaction between psychology and the legal system (e.g., confidentiality, insanity defense).