Author Pamilla Ramsden presents a thorough understanding of abnormal psychology for undergraduate students with a focus on the integration of psychology, biology and health. Understanding Abnormal Psychology: Clinical and Biological Perspectives goes beyond a descriptive overview of clinical disorders to provide a critical appreciation of the multifaceted aspects of mental illness. Each disorder is clearly and succinctly explained with the support of case studies. These examples are then used to introduce students to the debates surrounding current research, the biology of abnormal disorders and standards of treatment. The bridge between the biological elements of brain functioning and the psychological mechanisms that are responsible for coping and adjustment is thoroughly explored. This valuable consideration of the range of elements involved in the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders gives students a broad and critical understanding of this complex and fascinating field.

Assessment, Diagnosis, Research Methods and Ethics

Assessment, diagnosis, research methods and ethics

Learning aims

At the end of this chapter you should understand:

  • The process of diagnosis
  • How assessment contributes to the process of diagnosis
  • What types of research methods are used in psychpathology
  • Ethical issues in abnormal psychology.


Case Study

Mr Janson had recently retired from his job as an accountant. He had been looking forward to retiring and finally getting a chance to go on some long fishing trips. He planned and went on a three-week trip and was very successful in catching a couple of trophy fish that he had stuffed, mounted and placed in his study. His family was a bit puzzled when he suddenly seemed to lose interest and didn't plan any more trips. He seemed ...

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