PSYC 4303 Abnormal Psychology

About the Course

“To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.”
William James

Abnormal Psychology is designed to introduce you to a variety of theories, concepts, perspectives, and research on psychological disorders. Abnormal psychology is a fundamental course for the student of psychology because it draws on research in many areas of psychology including neuroscience, personality theory, psychotherapy, cognition, memory, language, human development, stress, coping, and health. Throughout this course, we will explore a broad spectrum of maladaptive and disruptive patterns of thinking and behavior that may even help us to understand more about ourselves – a goal expressed eloquently in the above quotation from the great psychologist and philosopher William James.

Grade Breakdown

Sixty percent of the course grade is based on your performance on the final examination and forty percent is based on performance on the individual unit assignments.


This course consists of eight basic study units composed of chapters from the textbook. Each unit is accompanied by a set of multiple-choice questions along with short essay-type questions. You are asked to respond to the questions in each unit of study and send your responses to the instructor.

Required Text

Butcher, James N., Mineka, Susan, and Hooley, Jill M. (2008). Abnormal Psychology: Core Concepts. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Instructor Contact

Brett King holds a doctorate in psychology and has published on subjects ranging from forensic psychology to sport psychology to the history of science. As a faculty member of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, he has written two books on psychology and his scholarly work has been translated into several languages.

Dr. King has won numerous teaching awards and, after only four years on campus, he was honored as CU Boulder’s “Best Professor” in a campus-wide student poll conducted by The Colorado Daily, CU Boulder’s campus newspaper. Along with the General Psychology course, he also teaches online CE courses on PSYC2602 Social Psychology, PSYC4303 Abnormal Psychology, and PSYC4511 History of Psychology.

His debut novel, The Radix, appeared in 2010 and was released in trade paperback in October 2011. His thriller draws heavily on King’s long-standing interest in the history of psychology and medicine, as does the second book in his series, The False Door, scheduled for release in 2012. King also serves as a feature editor for the International Thriller Writers webzine, The Big Thrill.

Outside of academia and fiction, his time and interest are devoted to his wife, Cheri (also a psychologist and the course instructor for a separate correspondence course, PSYC2145 Introductory Cognitive Psychology) and their twin sons and a daughter. He also enjoys reading (mostly biographies, historical books, and novels), hiking, cheering on the Denver Broncos, cinema, music, art history and exploring the scenic riches of his native Colorado, both above and below ground.

You may contact Dr. King at the following e-mail

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado