Abnormal Psychology

PSY30010, formerly LSY304 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn, Online


  • 1 Semester

Contact hours

  • 36 hours over the teaching period (normally 3 hours per week)

Aims and objectives

The unit of study is designed to introduce students to the ways in which human behavioural patterns have been conceptualised as ‘abnormal’ or dysfunctional. In examining such abnormal behaviours, students are introduced to major systems of classifying mental disorders, in particular the multiaxial system adopted in DSM-IV-TR. The unit focuses on major examples of psychological disorders in terms of their phenomenology and nosology, as well as theories about aetiology.
After successfully completing this unit, students will be able to:
  • Explain ways in which human behaviours have been identified as “abnormal” or dysfunctional.
  • Understand the features of the major systems used to classify mental disorders.
  • Discuss the major features of a multi-dimensional approach to understanding mental disorders (biological, socio-cultural and psychological).
  • Discuss the phenomenology and aetiology of major classes of disorders: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, addictive disorders, eating disorders, dissociative disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders and developmental disorders.

Courses with unit

*From July, 2013 this unit will be taught at the Hawthorn Campus

Effective 2010
This is a prescribed unit of study in the Social Science Major/s. It may also be undertaken as a unit of study in any other Swinburne degree program, subject to the prerequisite and degree requirements.

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014. Please ensure that you check the unit entry for the correct 2014 unit code.