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  3. The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (PSYC30014)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codePSYC30014
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject covers phenomena such as hallucinations and delusions, anxiety, somatisation, depression, dissociation, and changes in memory and cognition, and places them in the context of everyday experiences. It discusses the various factors, processes and mechanisms thought to lead some people who experience such phenomena to develop full-blown disorders. A theoretical basis for this continuum model is provided and students are encouraged to consider mental health issues from this humanistic perspective in comparison to the traditional categorical model.

Intended learning outcomes

The subject aims to:

  • introduce two major competing ideas of thinking about psychopathology - on the one hand there are categorical models of classifying phenomena, on the other hand there are models of conceptualising phenomena as lying on continua with 'normal' experience residing on one end of the continuum and psychiatric disorder at the opposing end of the continuum
  • introduce two other key concepts: the clinical staging approach to phenomena and a normalising model which sees putatively 'abnormal' experiences as not necessarily representing psychopathology per se
  • develop familiarity with, and a critical appraisal of, research studies reporting phenomena, e.g., dissociation and hallucinations, as common experiences in every day life

Generic skills

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • develop a critical appraisal of concepts and the research studies underpinning knowledge and "received wisdoms"
  • analyse and synthesise material in constructing an argued case
  • place psychological experiences in the context of daily life

Last updated: 10 August 2019