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PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology - Textbook

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the problems inherent in defining the concept of psychological disorder
  • Describe what is meant by harmful dysfunction
  • Identify the formal criteria that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors must meet to be considered abnormal and, thus, symptomatic of a psychological disorder
  • Explain why classification systems are necessary in the study of psychopathology
  • Describe the basic features of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)
  • Discuss changes in the DSM over time, including criticisms of the current edition
  • Identify which disorders are generally the most common
  • Discuss supernatural perspectives on the origin of psychological disorders, in their historical context
  • Describe modern biological and psychological perspectives on the origin of psychological disorders
  • Identify which disorders generally show the highest degree of heritability
  • Describe the diathesis-stress model and its importance to the study of psychopathology
  • Distinguish normal anxiety from pathological anxiety
  • List and describe the major anxiety disorders, including their main features and prevalence
  • Describe basic psychological and biological factors that are suspected to be important in the etiology of anxiety disorderr
  • Describe the main features and prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, and hoarding disorde
  • Understand some of the factors in the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Describe the nature and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Identify the risk factors associated with this disorder
  • Understand the role of learning and cognitive factors in its development
  • Distinguish normal states of sadness and euphoria from states of depression and mania
  • Describe the symptoms of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder
  • Understand the differences between major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder, and identify two subtypes of depression
  • Define the criteria for a manic episode
  • Understand genetic, biological, and psychological explanations of major depressive disorder
  • Discuss the relationship between mood disorders and suicidal ideation, as well as factors associated with suicide
  • Recognize the essential nature of schizophrenia, avoiding the misconception that it involves a split personality
  • Categorize and describe the major symptoms of schizophrenia
  • Understand the interplay between genetic, biological, and environmental factors that are associated with the development of schizophrenia
  • Discuss the importance of research examining prodromal symptoms of schizophreniaDescribe the essential nature of dissociative disorders
  • Identify and differentiate the symptoms of dissociative amnesia, depersonalization/
  • derealization disorder, and dissociative identity disorder
  • Discuss the potential role of both social and psychological factors in dissociative identity disorder
  • Describe the nature of personality disorders and how they differ from other disorders
  • List and distinguish between the three clusters of personality disorders
  • Identify the basic features of borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, and the factors that are important in the etiology of both
  • Describe the nature and symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder
  • Discuss the prevalence and factors that contribute to the development of these disorders


Click on the links below to access the assigned reading.

     15.1 What Are Psychological Disorders?
     15.2 Diagnosing and Classifying Psychological Disorders
     15.3 Perspectives on Psychological Disorders
     15.4 Anxiety Disorders
     15.5 Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
     15.6 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
     15.7 Mood Disorders
     15.8 Schizophrenia
     15.9 Dissociative Disorders
     15.10 Personality Disorders
     15.11 Disorders in Childhood


Psychological Disorders. Authored by: OpenStax CNX. Located at: License: CC BY-4.0. License Terms: Download for free at