PSY327 Abnormal Psychology – Project Guidelines

Project (Paper and Presentation): F or this course, you will be required to complete a term project. This project consists of two parts: (1) a paper and (2) a presentation of that paper. Review the list of topics below and submit your selection to the instructor via email by the end of module 2.


Suggested Topics:

  •  Historical trends in society’s view of mental illnes
  • Historical trends in treatment of mental illness
  •  Physiologicalversus therapeutic treatment of (any disorder inserted here)
  • Challenges in identifying and treating personality disorders
  • Causes of Autism
  • Society’s view of ADHD/ADD
  • Electroconvulsive therapy as a treatment option for mental illness
  • Other (must be approved by the instructor)

My selected and approved topic:

“Historical trends in treatment of mental illness”:Chlorpromazine vs. Lobotomy

 Project (Paper Portion):

Brief Description: An 8-10 page “position paper” exploring a topic relevant to a content area covered in the course within the study of ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR that manifests itself in “the real world” and has competing views. APA format is required.

Conduct a search (online library) to find recent peer-reviewed and scholarly published research studies to critique and provide evidence supporting or refuting competing real world views (e.g., “Does empirical evidence for Dissociative Identify Disorder exist?”). This evidence shall come from “primary source” journal articles in which the details of the experimental procedures are spelled out, so that you can critically evaluate the conclusions reached by the authors. You shall not rely heavily on “secondary source” review-type articles, and you should not put major emphasis on “personal information” already discussed in class or in your text. In other words, you’ll need to find several recent articles relevant to your topic on your own. Then summarize, critically evaluate, and synthesize them into your paper, discussing how they support or refute the “view” in question. Your paper shall discuss at least 6 primary source articles in support for your position for or against the “view”. These source articles should appear as references in the Bibliography. After your critical evaluation of the issue, the last portion of your paper should be a discussion of a proposal for a new research study (a new experimental design) that will help to provide additional evidence for or against the theory in question and answer any unanswered questions about the prevailing “view” of the Abnormal Behavior you chose to research. It should give the details of the procedures, and you should make clear the purpose of the study and why you think the results of this study will help resolve the issues you found in the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of the disorder you chose.


Tips: Use “PsycInfo” or similarly offered online database on the SLU library website for finding references. Also, consider using the Writing Center as an aid in helping organize and write your paper.