The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Subject PSYC30014 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment for this subject is 120 hours.


No prerequisites are required for this subject.


No corequisites are required for this subject

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior coursework in at least two Level 2 psychology subjects is recommended. Level 2 psychology subjects are: Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Personality & Social Psychology

Non Allowed Subjects:

512324 Introduction to Psychological Disorders

512304 Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards of Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit Website:


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

12th floor Redmond Barry Building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 6377



Subject Overview:

This subject covers phenomena such as hallucinations and delusions, anxiety, somatisation, depression, dissociation, and changes in memory and cognition, and places them in the context of everyday experiences. It discusses the various factors, processes and mechanisms thought to lead some people who experience such phenomena to develop full-blown disorders. A theoretical basis for this continuum model is provided and students are encouraged to consider mental health issues from this humanistic perspective in comparison to the traditional categorical model.

Learning Outcomes:

The subject aims to:

  • introduce two major competing ideas of thinking about psychopathology - on the one hand there are categorical models of classifying phenomena, on the other hand there are models of conceptualising phenomena as lying on continua with 'normal' experience residing on one end of the continuum and psychiatric disorder at the opposing end of the continuum
  • introduce two other key concepts: the clinical staging approach to phenomena and a normalising model which sees putatively 'abnormal' experiences as not necessarily representing psychopathology per se
  • develop familiarity with, and a critical appraisal of, research studies reporting phenomena, e.g., dissociation and hallucinations, as common experiences in every day life

Written work of 2500 words (40%) to be submitted during semester. An examination of no more than two hours (60%) to be completed at the end of semester during the specified University examination period.

Each piece of assessment must be completed (hurdle requirement).

Attendance of at least 80% of the laboratory classes is a hurdle requirement. In case of failure to meet the hurdle requirement, additional work be required before a passing grade can be awarded.

Prescribed Texts:

E. Rieger (Ed.) Abnormal Psychology: Leading Researcher Perspectives.(Second Edition) Sydney: McGraw-Hill (2011). Readings will be posted on LMS.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be given appropriate opportunity and educational support to develop skills to:

  • develop a critical appraisal of concepts and the research studies underpinning knowledge and "received wisdoms"
  • analyse and synthesise material in constructing an argued case
  • place psychological experiences in the context of daily life
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Psychology
Psychology Major
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Connecting the Mind and Brain

Download PDF version.