PSY1 – Psychopathology: Lesson 1-3

Context and Introduction

We spent the first lessons of this unit of work watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  We watched it trying to judge the ‘sane’ from the ‘insane’.  Importantly we could see there were some who were clearly insane from beginning to end but there were lots of the characters (including Randall, Billy  and Nurse Ratchett) for whom the line between ‘sane’ and ‘insane’ was a bit more blurred.

Teachers or students who want the original PPT please tweet @psychopepper

Learning Objectives

  • To KNOW and UNDERSTAND what the four definitions of abnormality are.
  • To APPLY these definition to real life scenarios and mental illnesses.
  • To ANALYSE the usefulness of these in order to EVALUATE who effective they are at improving the quality of people’s lives.

Lesson Outline:


  1. Lesson 1-3 Watch Film.
  2. To discuss the problem faced by psychologists with drawing the line between the sane and the insane.
  3. Watch a video clip (below)
  4. To take notes in booklet, on which of the case studies presented (Page 3) show abnormal behaviour, justify why you think that.

Study Notes – Definitions of Abnormality:

If you would like to download a set of study notes for this lesson, you can do so here.  If you would like access to the original publisher file please tweet @psychopepper

Extra Reading

On Being Sane In Insane Places – Rosenhan (1975), defining-abnormality-psych-review


I would suggest that you have a copy of one of the textbooks which will allow you to read around the subject matter, pre-read ahead of lessons or even take extra notes/practise questions afterwards.  I would recommend the following (you do not need to replicate books, one of each type is plenty!)

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  1. I am planning to teach biopsychology as a flipped learning/self taught unit next year. Do you have a biopsych booklet that you have used for this or any advice on how you feel I should go about it.

    with kind regards


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