This is a lecture from an upper division Abnormal Psychology course regarding basic elements of psychopharmacology, including how new drugs are produced, tested, and approved.
Type of Material:
This material is lecture/presentation. It offers information in various formats, including Powerpoint, text, and links.
This material is useful for students who are interested in learning about the effects of psychotherapeutic medications, how such medications are produced and tested, and current issues and controversies related to the use of such medications.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students entering the helping professions will be better prepared to assist others if they have increased knowledge of psychopharmacology. The goal of this material is not to prepare students to be prescribers, but rather to be knowledgeable and responsible contributors to a healthier patient.
Target Student Population:
While the site was designed for advanced undergraduate students, it would be of use to anyone. The author provides a convincing rationale for why everyone should know at least something about psychopharmacology as we all will no doubt encounter medications or the medicated.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
While some background in physiological psychology and psychotherapies would be helpful for students using this material, no such knowledge is required.
Evaluation and Observation
This material is a comprehensive and well-written presentation of psychopharmacology for the non-physician. It gives a balanced perspective on the issues and controversies associated with the prescription of such medications. The author made good choices when including links to other readings and materials.
Some areas are unlikely to be covered in any course - such as some of the definitions. As the site tries to do so much, it lacks depth in some areas that would be useful. More of an explanation of side effects, for example, would be useful.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
There is a good deal of material here and it is comprehensive. The various components of the site can be used in many courses. It has potential for use in most any psychology course, although the entire site would most likely only be used in a course specifically on drugs.
This material would be more effective if the author included exercises, examples, and self-tests to supplement the text. These additions might enhance the presentation of areas such as the discussion of methods of comparability or research control options. The inconsistent structure may frustrate some students.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This material is very easy to use for both students and faculty.
The formatting is inconsistent. The site lacks structure - it is not clear how one should move through it. It would be good if the author provided a "roadmap" for how to best use the materials and navigate through the site.
Other Issues and Comments:
A well-written, balanced, and comprehensive lecture on psychopharmacology.