MLA Proseminar: Psychopathology and the Media

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Course Number
PSYC 562 640
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Primary Program
Course Description
Schizophrenia is the same as "split personality"... or is it? People with mental illness are frequently violent... or are they? "Shock" therapy is barbaric...or is it? The "answers" to these questions as portrayed by the media often reinforce common myths and stereotypes about psychopathology, its treatments, and its treatment providers. These myths can have a tremendous impact on individuals and society. This course was designed to help students develop awareness of popular myths and stereotypes depicted in the media about psychopathology, treatment and providers; the ability to identify and understand the sources and impact of media representations of psychopathology; and knowledge about current empirical research on media depictions of psychopathology and their relationship to stigma. By the end of the course, students should be able to identify the many forms of media in which psychopathology is depicted; recognize common myths; critique the common and specific ways in which particular mental disorders are inaccurately or stereotypically portrayed in the media; evaluate the potential impact of psychopathology depictions on individuals and society; and describe current efforts to assess and reduce the stigmatization of mental health through the media.
Subject Area Vocab