Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University
School of Continuing Studies - Division of Liberal Arts
Spring 1993
Monday, January 25 - May 10, 8:10 - 9:50pm (Homewood)
Room 225, New Engineering Building (NEB)
Instructor: Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office hours by appointment:
Telephone (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
Administrative Office: 203 Shaffer Hall

Course Description

How do we decide whether human behavior is "normal" versus "abnormal?" Is this a medical or a moral judgment? To what extent should we hold people responsible for their abnormal behavior? Is abnormal behavior a function of genetic and/or physiological differences that some people are born with or develop? Is it primarily a learned behavior and the result of a person's interaction with his or her environment? Or is it a combination of the two?

In this course we will examine these controversial questions as a way of increasing our understanding of abnormal psychology. Contemporary perspectives will include biological, psycho-social and existential approaches to understanding behavior. Lecture and discussion format.

Course Objectives

  1. To familiarize students with current theoretical terms and concepts used to study addiction, the methods used to research these concepts, and the applications of the concepts in the clinical, legal and policymaking settings.
  2. To develop observational skill in self-observation and the observation of others.
  3. To increase understanding regarding the potential ideological, economic, and political investments integral to differing perspectives on addiction.
  4. To understand perspectives on addiction critical of predominant points of view.
  5. To acquire confidence in debating ideas regarding the psychology of human addiction.

Course Requirements and Grades
Paper						25%
Mid-term examination		25%
Debate						20%
Final examination			30%
				        Total = 100%

Required Texts and Readings
Goode, E. (Ed.) (1992). Annual Editions Drugs, Society, and Behavior 92/93, Guilford, Conn.: Dushkin Publishing Group.
Peele, S., Brodsky, A., & Arnold, M. (1991). The Truth About Addiction and Recovery. New York: Simon & Schuster

The following articles may be purchased bound at the bookstore:
Cohen, M., Liebson, I.A., Faillace, L.A., & Allen, R.P. (1971). Moderate drinking by chronic alcoholics: A schedule-dependent phenomenon. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 153, 434- 444.
Edwards, G., Orford, J., Egert, S., Guthrie, S., Hawker, A., Hensman, C., Mitcheson, M., Oppenheimer, E., & Taylor, C. (1977). Alcoholism: A controlled trial of "treatment" and "advice." Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 38, 1004-1031.
Gottheil, E., Crawford, H.D., & Cornelison, F.S. (1973). The alcoholic's ability to resist available alcohol. Diseases of the Nervous System, 34, 80-84.
Gottheil, E., Alterman, A.I., Skoloda, T.E., & Murphy, B.F. (1973). Alcoholics' patterns of controlled drinking. American Journal of Psychiatry, 130, 418-422.
Levine, H.G. (1978). The discovery of addiction: Changing conceptions of habitual drunkenness in America. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 39, 143-174.
Marlatt, G.A., Demming, B., & Reid, J.B. (1973). Loss of control drinking in alcoholics: An experimental analogue. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 81, 233-241.
Merry, J. (1966). The "loss of control" myth. Lancet, June 4, 1257- 1258.
Szasz, T.S. (1972). Bad habits are not diseases. Lancet, July 8, 83- 84.
Tuchfeld, B.S. (1981). Spontaneous remission in alcoholics: Empirical observations and theoretical implications. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 42, 626-641.

Recommended Readings
Alexander, B.K. (1990). Peaceful Measures: Canada's Way Out of the "War on Drugs." Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Fingarette, H. (1988). Heavy Drinking: The Myth of Alcoholism as a Disease. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press.

Case study
Write a five-page, typed, double-spaced, paper on someone you know well, a friend, family member, (or yourself), that has had or has a problem with addiction to drugs. Describe the person in terms of age, sex, socioeconomic background, education, family, state of health, legal problems, lifestyle and factors you think have contributed to the drinking problem. Differentiate between what you are able to observe about this person and what you imagine or interpret to be the reasons for his/her behavior. Describe what you think this person needs to do to take better care of him/herself, e.g., personality strategies, behavioral strategies, environmental strategies. Protect the identity of the person you are writing about. Make two copies of the paper, one to keep for yourself and one to be handed in to the instructor.

Class debate
A class debate will take place on December 1. All students must participate by making at least a 3-5 minute statement, depending on the size of the class. Your statement will be graded on the basis of presentation (eye and voice contact), as well as clarity of reasoning. You must submit a typed, single-spaced, maximum of one-page copy of your remarks to the instructor by the end of class on December 1. Your name must appear centered at the top of the page under the word "Pro" or "Con" depending on the side of the debate you will be arguing. The topic for the debate will be announced in class.

* Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades. Material discussed in class, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the examinations. One grade reduction for five class absences. Students are responsible for anything covered in class during their absence. Readings must be completed by the session to which they are assigned. Additional readings may be assigned during the course.

Class  Schedule

Date			Topic						Reading

September  15		Introduction and overview		
					What is behavior, normal versus
					abnormal?  "Thomas Szasz:  The
					Myth of Mental Illness" (film)			Chapter 1
September 22		Models of abnormal behavior		
					and etiology							Chapters 2-4
September 29		Papers due 
					Discussion of papers
October 6			Patterns of maladaptive behavior		Chapters 5-8
October 13			Addiction as abnormal behavior?			Chapter 9
October 20			Sexual disorders and preferences		Chapter 10
					Review for mid-term exam
October 27			Mid-term examination
November 3			Discussion of mid-term exam
					Mood disorders and the "right"
					to suicide								Chapter 11
November 10			Schizophrenia and delusional
					disorders								Chapter 12
November 17			Treatment methods						Chapters 16-18
November 24			Contemporary issues			
					The insanity defense and 
					coerced treatment						Chapter 19
					Debate preparation
December 1			Class debate
December 8			Continuation of debate if needed
					Review for final examination
December 15			Final examination