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NUS Module Review: PL3236 Abnormal Psychology

What it’s about: Essentially the study of mental health problems through the lens of theoretical frameworks such as the biopsychosocial model and the 4Ds (deviance, dysfunction/disability, distress and danger) of abnormality. You will also learn about the different types of treatment of various mental disorders. This is a core module (read: compulsory for all psych majors) that is extremely content-heavy.

Dr Lohsnah is a practitioner psychologist and her wealth of experience was evident through the numerous personal case studies that she presented to us during lecture. She was also succinct and organised in her delivery of lectures. The kahoot quizzes at the end of the lecture helped to reinforce the main concepts that were covered during lecture. 

Assignment workload: No assignments for this mod.

Thoughts about the tutor: Avijit is a pretty chill tutor and can be quite funny at times too. He is also pretty helpful. In fact, tutorials as a whole for this mod is quite lax ( probably to make up for the ginormous content for exams). You do not have to prepare for tutorials unless it’s your group’s turn to present. Just turn up for tutorials and participate in the group’s Q&A segment and you are good.

Project workload & question/theme: There is only one group presentation throughout the sem. From the 2nd tutorial onwards, 2 groups (2-3 members per group) will have to present and lead the class in a discussion of a case study involving a client that presents with a mental disorder(s). Each group is given 20 mins for presentation, 10 mins for class facilitation and 5 mins for Q&A. Try your best to adhere to the time given as there will be a penalty if you exceed the time limit.

The group presentation does not require a lot of preparation since you only have to read a case study (of around 10-ish pages) and sort the information out based on guidelines given. Some groups weaved the class facilitation into their presentation (e.g. present 1st part then ask class to discuss among themselves then continue 2nd part) while some groups (like mine) choose to present 1st before leading the class for discussion. 

Since most groups will do well for the presentation segment, the biggest distinguishing factor that will be the class facilitation. Try to be as creative as possible and ask thought-provoking questions. There was a very high ceiling effect for the group presentation with many groups scoring 50+/60 (the median was 52/60). Also, if possible try to present in tutorial 2 (the tutorial before recess week) so that you can clear up more time to prepare for other modules’ projects in the next half of the sem.

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