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Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology

Second Edition
  • William J. Ray - Professor of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, USA
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© 2018 | 712 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

What can today’s science of psychology tell us about the individual’s experience of mental disorders?

In the Second Edition of Abnormal Psychology, author William J. Ray takes a person-first, multilevel approach toward achieving a clear and complete understanding of the newest perspectives in this exciting field. Exploring behavior and experience, neuroscience contributions, and evolutionary perspectives, Ray guides the reader across levels of analysis ranging from culture to genetics. Every chapter includes personal vignettes, cases, visual examples, and data from around the world, giving students frequent opportunities to pause and reflect. The new edition offers up-to-the-minute coverage of topics including third wave cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), brain imaging, and global mental health treatments; new stories and examples; original videos featuring clinical cases and author interviews; and new features to help students make sense of changes in the DSM–5.

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Also of Interest
Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology: A companion case book with cases from the authors' own clinical experiences—the perfect supplement for your course. Use Bundle ISBN: 978-1-5063-8153-4.

About the Author
Chapter 1 • An Overview of Psychopathology and Changing Conceptualizations of Mental Illness
Understanding Psychopathology: Definitions and Key Considerations  
The Three Major Themes of This Book  
The Relation of Evolution and Culture to Psychopathology  
Historical Considerations in Understanding Psychopathology  
Discovering the Function of the Brain in Behavior and Psychopathology  
Care for Those With Mental Disorders  
Biological Approaches to Treating Mental Illness  
Psychological Treatment Perspectives in the Twentieth Century  
Study Resources  
Chapter 2 • Neuroscience Approaches to Understanding Psychopathology
The Growing Importance of Neuroscience, Genetics, and an Evolutionary Perspective  
Brain Anatomy, Neurons, and Neurotransmitters  
How Do We Observe the Brain at Work?  
Networks of the Brain  
Genetics and Psychopathology  
Evolution and Psychopathology  
Study Resources  
Chapter 3 • Research Methods
What Is Science?  
Nonexperimental Methods of Psychological Research  
The Experimental Method: Making It Happen  
Designing an Experimental Study  
Other Types of Experimental Designs and Research Considerations  
Ethics and the Scientific Experiment  
Study Resources  
Chapter 4 • Assessment and Classification of Psychological Disorders
Initial Assessment and the Mental Status Exam  
Structured Interviews and Assessment Considerations  
Models of Assessment  
Diagnostic Considerations in Psychopathology  
Classification Systems for Mental Disorders  
Study Resources  
Chapter 5 • Disorders of Childhood
Important Aspects of Normal Child Development  
Attachment Disorders, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder  
Autism Spectrum Disorder  
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disorders  
Intellectual Developmental Disorder  
Study Resources  
Chapter 6 • Mood Disorders and Suicide
Introducing Mood Disorders  
Major Depressive Disorder  
Bipolar Disorder  
Study Resources  
Chapter 7 • Stress, Trauma, and Psychopathology
Psychological Stress and Psychopathology  
The Physiological Mechanisms Related to Stress and Trauma  
The Study of Stress  
Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders in DSM–5  
Study Resources  
Chapter 8 • Anxiety Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
Overview of Anxiety Disorders  
Major Types of Anxiety Disorders  
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder  
Study Resources  
Chapter 9 • Dissociative Disorders and Somatic Symptom Disorders
Dissociative Disorders  
Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders  
Study Resources  
Chapter 10 • Eating Disorders
Overview: Feeding Disorders, Obesity, and Eating Disorders  
Feeding Disorders  
The Problem of Obesity  
The Major Eating Disorders  
Study Resources  
Chapter 11 • Sexuality Disorders and Gender Dysphoria
Sexuality in Context  
Sexual Desire, Arousal, and Response  
Sexual Dysfunction Disorders  
Paraphilic Disorders  
Gender Dysphoria  
Study Resources  
Chapter 12 • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
Drug Use in the United States  
Substance Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction  
Marijuana, Hallucinogens, and Opioids  
Stimulants: Cocaine, Amphetamines, Caffeine, and Nicotine  
Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders  
Study Resources  
Chapter 13 • Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia Basics: Prevalence, Course, and Symptoms  
Historical and Evolutionary Perspectives on Schizophrenia  
Factors in the Development of Schizophrenia  
Causes and Effects: Neuroscience Findings About Schizophrenia  
Treating Individuals With Schizophrenia  
Study Resources  
Chapter 14 • Personality Disorders
Personality Disorders and Personality  
Odd, Eccentric Personality Disorders  
Dramatic Emotional Personality Disorders  
Anxious Fearful Personality Disorders  
Treatment of Personality Disorders  
Study Resources  
Chapter 15 • Neurocognitive Disorders
Normal Cognitive Changes Related to Aging  
Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorders  
Prevention, Treatment, and Support  
Study Resources  
Chapter 16 • The Law and Mental Health
The American Legal System and the Insanity Defense  
Competency to Stand Trial  
Ethical and Legal Issues in Treatment  
Sexual Predator Laws  
Neuroscience and Evolutionary Perspectives on the Legal Aspects of Psychopathology  
Study Resources  
Author Index
Subject Index


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“The approach taken in this book is at the forefront of the science and reflects important priorities in the field.” – Aaron Luebbe, Miami University

Aaron Luebbe
Miami University

“Engaging text on abnormal psychology, with lots of case studies, to help you understand the inner experiences of those living with psychopathology.” – Zainab Delawalla, Emory University

Zainab Delawalla
Emory University

"This is probably one of the few texts available in abnormal psychology that has incorporated a genetic, neuroscientific, and sociobiological perspective."-Lynne Carroll, University of North Florida

Lynne Carroll
University of North Florida

"I chose this book because it covers neuroscience and provides great case studies to give a sense of what it’s like to live with a disorder. Both of those areas cover essential information for 21st century students." -- Jennifer A. Bradley, Northampton Community College

Jennifer A. Bradley
Northampton Community College

I appreciate the inclusion of DSM 5 concepts. Up to date research findings from the last 40 years- chapter 2 is awesome- neurotransmitters, genes, DNA, mtDNA.
Well detailed information throughout.

Dr Karen Linstrum
Behavioral Sciences Dept, East Texas Baptist University
October 13, 2017
Key features

  • Understanding Changes in DSM-5 boxes added to all disorder chapters describe the reasoning behind the changes that were made in DSM-5 to specific disorders.
  • Research Terms to Know boxes on specific research or statistical terms helps students understand research approaches and information presented.
  • Over 20 New LENS feature boxes, including cultural perspectives, appear throughout the book to raise important issues.
  • Extended discussion of the National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) approach to classification of psychopathology.
  • New coverage of third wave cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) has been added.
  • Psychological, cultural, and neuroscience research has been added to every chapter.
  • Learning Objectives help readers anticipate concepts they should be able to understand as chapters progress.
  • Thought Questions and Concept Checks throughout the text encourage critical thinking and give students the opportunity to check their knowledge.
  • Reorganization of content combines the first edition’s Chapters 1 and 2 on psychopathology and changing conceptualizations of psychopathology over history into a single chapter to allow students to begin learning about specific disorders in a timelier manner.
  • A supplementary text with cases is available to take students beyond theory into real life situations.

  • An evolutionary perspective places abnormal psychology in a broader context.
  • Critical evaluation of the DSM-5 is thoroughly integrated to present more recent citations of key research and provide the most current coverage of the field available.
  • Evidence-based research and strong balanced coverage of theory provide the foundation every student needs for the course.
  • Integrated coverage of neuroscience and cutting-edge research gives students an accessible and engaging introduction to where the field is heading.
  • Current work in the cognitive and affective neurosciences, epidemiology, ethology, and genetics fields, as well as work in traditional psychological literature, is reflected.
  • A global LENS feature in every chapter raises important societal and cultural issues.
  • Abundant pedagogical illustrations bring key concepts to life for students and encourage a rich understanding of the material.
  • Engaging, compassionate first-person narratives and case studies present multiple perspectives on individual experiences and allow students to empathize through first-person examples.
  • Concept Checks throughout each chapter, end-of-chapter review questions, and key terms help students to master key concepts. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

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Chapter 13

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