Chapter 13: Defining Psychological Disorders


Exercises: Read & Learn

Exercise: Watch & Learn

Psychological Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #28: A short video looking at the how we define “abnormal”.

Video 13.1: Psychological Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #28 ( uploaded by CrashCourse.


Exercises: Watch & Learn

Look at this series of videos on specific disorders (often with additional information about how the disorders are treated):

  1. Depressive and Bipolar Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #30

Video 13.2:  Depressive and Bipolar Disorders, ( uploaded by CrashCourse.

2. OCD & Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29

Video 13.3: OCD & Anxiety Disroders, ( uploaded by CrashCourse.

3. Personality Disorder: Crash Course Psychology #34


Video 13-4: Personality Disorders, (, uploaded by CrashCourse.

4. Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders: Crash Course Pscyhology #33

Video 13.5: Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders, ( uploaded by Crash Course on October 6, 2014

5. Schizophrenia & Dissociative Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #32

Video 13.6: Schizophernia & Dissociative Disorders, ( uploaded by Crash Course.

Exercise: Watch & Learn

The Party: A Virtual Experience of Autism – 360 Film: How does a person with autism experience a social event?  This 360 degree video will give you some idea.

Video 13.7: The Party: A Virtual Experience of Autism, ( uploaded by The Guardian.

Exercise: Watch & Learn

What Social Anxiety Feels Like: This short film describes what it is like to live with social anxiety

Video 13.8: What Social Anxiety Feels Like, ( uploaded by As/Is.


Exercises: Do & Think

  1. 21 Amazing Movies that Actually Understand Mental Illness lists a number of movies in which a central character suffers from a psychological disorder.  Having studied this chapter and explored some of the disorders in more depth, watch some of the movies and see how accurately you think they capture the disorder.    (
    a) what symptoms did the character show/talk about?
    b) who diagnosed the disorder?
    c) would you have reached the same diagnosis based on the information in your text?
    d) were there symptoms which seemed to contradict the diagnosis?
  2. You could run a small experiment to investigate the stigma surrounding psychological disorders by looking at how people react to a description of an individual who has or does not have a psychological disorder.  The basic procedure would be:
    • Step 1 – write a couple of paragraphs describing a job applicant (name, age, qualifications, interests etc) but produce two versions.  In one, state that the person suffers from a specific disorder (e.g. depression), in the other simply omit that statement.  This is your IV (which application people read) with two conditions (with/without mention of a psychological disorder)
    • Step 2 – design some questions to find out how people feel about the job applicant.  You could use a scale (from 1 – 5 how likely is it that you would hire the person), ask them to list the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses etc.  People’s responses are your DV.
    • Step 3 – ask each friend/participant to read ONE of the versions and answer the questions to see if responses to the two versions differ.
      Remember – it is important that you randomly assign your friends to the two conditions.
    • Step 4 – are there any differences between the two conditions?
    • Step 5 – if you had the time and resources, how would you change/improve this study?
  3. People with no background in psychology often have misconceptions about schizophrenia.  Put together a short quiz to assess people’s knowledge of the disorder, then try it out on some friends and family members.  How did they do?  Was there any pattern in the data?  For example, were older people more knowledgeable or perhaps people with more exposure to healthcare?  What can we do to increase people’s understanding?
  4. Anxiety Canada: Youth focuses on anxiety. Is anxiety a problem for you? Take the quiz.
    ( How useful did you find the quiz?  What about the information presented in the Anxiety 101 tab?  Did you learn anything new?  Why not try some of the suggestions offered in the How to Chill Tab?


AnxietyCanada Youth. (n.d.).  Is anxiety a problem for me? Take the quiz.   Retrieved from

Bregman, A., Fernando, S. & Hwaking, L. (2017, October 7).  The Party: virtual experience of autism – 360 video [Video File].  Retrieved from

Casalena, E. (2016). 21 Amazing movies that actually understand mental illness. Retrieved from

Crash Course. (2014, August 25).  Psychological disorders: Crash course Psychology #28. [Video File].  Retrieved from

Crash Course. (2014, October 14).  Personality Disorders: Crash course Psychology # 34 [Video File]. Retrieved from

Crash Course. (2014, October 6).  Eating and body dysmorphic disorders: Crash course Psychology #33  [Video File].  Retrieved from

Crash Course. (2014, September 1).  OCD & Anxiety Disorders: Crash course Psychology #29  [Video File].  Retrieved from

Crash Course. (2014, September 29).  Schizophrenia & Dissociative Disorders: Crash course Psychology #32 [Video File].  Retrieved from

Crash Course. (2014, September 8).  Depressive and bipolar disorders: Crash course Psychology #30  [Video File]. Retrieved from

Gorvett, Z. (2016).  What Freudian slips reveal about your mind.  Retrieved from (2017, October 22).  People with social anxiety give a glimpse into their life [Video File]. Retrieved from

sychCentral. (2018). Find help or online counseling now.  Retrieved from

The Brain from Top to Bottom (n.d.)  Symptoms, treatments and causes of depression. Retrieved from



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