9.00SC | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Psychology

Psychopathology I

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Session Overview

What is psychopathology? Why is psychopathology important? During this lesson, we will examine the history of psychopathology and various experiments that demonstrate the importance of accurate diagnoses of mental disorders. We will also look in detail at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of schizophrenia.

Keywords: psychopathology, mental disorders, Tourette’s, schizophrenia, antipsychotic medication, diagnosis, lobotomy, genetic predispositions, dopamine

An embroidered cloth made by a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Image by cometstarmoon on Flickr. License: CC-BY.)

Session Activities


Read the following before watching the lecture video.

  • [Sacks] Chapter 10, “Witty Ticcy Ray” (pp. 92–101)
  • Begin one of these chapters in your chosen textbook:

Lecture Videos

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Check Yourself

According to the DSM, psychological disorders are organized into 5 axes or dimensions. Name and describe the 5 axes.

Sample Answer

Axis 1 consists of clinical syndromes such as mood, anxiety, or learning disorders.

Axis 2 consists of personality disorders and mental retardation.

Axis 3 consists of general medical conditions, such as heart disease or cancer.

Axis 4 consists of social and environmental problems, such as divorce or homelessness.

Axis 5 consists of the global assessment of a person’s functioning ranging from being a danger to oneself and others to superior functioning in a wide range of activities.

Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Web resource National Institute of Mental Health’s page on schizophrenia Includes a description of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of schizophrenia
Web resource PubMed Health Medical Encyclopedia, by the U.S. National Library of Medicine Good medical diagnostic and background information, including mental disorders
Textbook supplement Study materials for Ch. 14, “Psychological Disorders: More Than Everyday Problems.” In Kosslyn & Rosenberg, Psychology in Context, 3/e (Pearson, 2007) Practice test questions, flashcards, and media for a related textbook

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Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011
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