Ch 14: AP Psychology: Abnormal Psychology

About This Chapter

Watch abnormal psychology video lessons and learn about the DSM, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP Psychology course.

Abnormal Psychology - Chapter Summary and Lesson Objectives

While research psychologists are interested in determining how the brain works normally, clinical psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists work with patients who exhibit abnormal brain function. In this chapter, you'll explore various disorders, their symptoms, possible causes, and typical treatments. You'll learn about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, and how it seeks to help classify diagnoses. Some disorders are caused by physical brain changes while others have more psychological explanations, and we'll discuss the differences in probable causes of abnormal mental functions. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • List the five axes used by the DSM
  • Define the differences between types of disorders
  • Explain the symptoms of various mental diagnoses
  • Understand the possible causes of disorders

Definition of DisordersUnderstand the definition of disorders and the types of people who work with abnormal brain functions.
Theories of PsychopathologyExplore how multiple schools of thought attempted to understand abnormal behavior.
Classification and DiagnosisLearn about how the DSM seeks to help therapists diagnose psychological problems using five axes.
Anxiety DisordersUnderstand the symptoms of anxiety disorders like social anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Mood DisordersExplore the mood spectrum and where diagnoses, like depression and bipolar, are situated along it.
Somatoform DisordersLearn about disorders in which physical symptoms are experienced by patients with psychological causes.
Dissociative DisordersUnderstand disorders that are caused by the brain segregating itself, including multiple personalities and amnesia.
SchizophreniaExplore the symptoms of this psychotic disorder and some of the potential causes.
Eating DisordersLearn about different symptoms exhibited by patients with an unhealthy focus on body image.
Personality DisordersUnderstand the behaviors associated with borderline, narcissistic, antisocial, schizoid, and histrionic personality disorders.
Organic DisordersExplore mental symptoms that arise from physiological changes, like dementia and Alzheimer's.
Substance-Related DisordersLearn about substance abuse and substance dependence and the difference between the two.
Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior DisordersUnderstand the symptoms associated with ADD, ADHD, autism, Asperger syndrome, and more.

20 Lessons in Chapter 14: AP Psychology: Abnormal Psychology
Definition of Disorders

1. Definition of Disorders

How are psychological disorders related to perception and learning? What type of psychologist helps treat these disorders? From imaginary voices to an intense fear of birds, this video will introduce you to the nature of disorders.

Mental Health & Psychopathology: Definition & Dimensions

2. Mental Health & Psychopathology: Definition & Dimensions

In this lesson, we will explore some of the basic ways that we differentiate between mental health and psychopathology. Included in this is looking at social, behavioral, thought, and emotional processes.

Psychoanalytic Schools Approach to Psychopathology Theory

3. Psychoanalytic Schools Approach to Psychopathology Theory

Here, we will explore the basic tenants of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theories as they relate to psychopathology. Two techniques for treatment are also explored briefly.

Humanistic Approach to Psychopathology Theory

4. Humanistic Approach to Psychopathology Theory

Here, we look at what gave rise to humanism and some of the field's basic ideas. We will also look into how humanism views psychopathology, as well as how it treats it.

The Behavioral Model and Abnormal Functioning

5. The Behavioral Model and Abnormal Functioning

What causes mental illness? Why do some people have psychological problems, while others don't? In this lesson, we'll look at one theory of abnormal psychology, the behavioral model.

The Sociocultural Model and Abnormal Functioning

6. The Sociocultural Model and Abnormal Functioning

There are many theories on what causes psychological issues. In this lesson, we'll explore the sociocultural model of abnormality, including what it is, what some key components of the theory are, and how sociocultural theorists treat abnormality.

Physiological Causes & Explanations for Mental Illness

7. Physiological Causes & Explanations for Mental Illness

There are many factors that can affect a person's mental health, including physiological issues. In this lesson, we'll look at three major physical causes of psychological problems: infection, malnutrition, and metal poisoning.

Assessing the Biological Model: Strengths and Weaknesses

8. Assessing the Biological Model: Strengths and Weaknesses

What causes mental illness? Some psychologists believe that psychological disorders are caused by physical problems. In this lesson, we'll assess the strengths and limitations of the biological model of abnormality.

The Cognitive Model in Psychology and Abnormal Functioning

9. The Cognitive Model in Psychology and Abnormal Functioning

Everyone has thoughts and beliefs. But how do those thoughts affect your mental health? In this lesson, we'll seek an answer to that question in the cognitive model of abnormal psychology and look closer at the A-B-C theory of processing.

Classification and Diagnosis

10. Classification and Diagnosis

How do you diagnose something that you can't see? That's the problem faced by psychologists. This lesson will show you the tool they use to help diagnose their patients.

Anxiety Disorders

11. Anxiety Disorders

When do we cross the boundary between natural worry and the debilitating types of anxiety associated with disorders? In this lesson, you'll explore some common anxiety disorders and their potential causes.

Mood Disorders

12. Mood Disorders

Does feeling sad automatically mean someone is depressed? Are there different kinds of depression? What are mood disorders? This lesson will take a look at the answers to those questions.

Somatoform Disorders

13. Somatoform Disorders

What's the mind's relationship with the body? In this lesson we'll examine how some physical symptoms could actually be caused by psychological factors.

Dissociative Disorders

14. Dissociative Disorders

There are times when the human brain can actually separate its different parts, sometimes as a defense mechanism. These are known as dissociative disorders. This lesson takes a closer look at these kinds of disorders and how they impact the mind.


15. Schizophrenia

Our perception of schizophrenia is largely shaped by what we see in the movies. Is schizophrenia more than just a 'hallucination' disease? Check out this lesson to find out about the different types of schizophrenia.

Eating Disorders

16. Eating Disorders

Many of us have something about our appearance that we'd like to change, but for some people these desires can develop into actual disorders. How are body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders related? This lesson gives you a closer look at these disorders and the impact they can have on people.

Personality Disorders

17. Personality Disorders

Will the Personality Disorder Crime Force make it out of the office today? In this lesson, you'll learn about each superhero's personality disorder as a late delivery of donuts sets off some of their common behaviors.

What Are Organic Disorders? - Definition & Examples

18. What Are Organic Disorders? - Definition & Examples

What happens when changes in your brain cause changes in your mental state? In this lesson, we'll examine organic mental disorders, including common symptoms and two of the major causes of them, brain trauma and disease.

Substance Related Disorders

19. Substance Related Disorders

Many people have a drink now and then, but how do you know if you have a substance-related disorder? This lesson will help you learn the difference between just having a drink and having an actual problem.

Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders

20. Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Kids tend to throw temper tantrums and act hyper. But what happens when a kid goes beyond what's considered normal? In this lesson, we'll look at some psychological disorders often diagnosed in childhood: attentional and behavioral disorders.

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