Biological explanations of phobic disorders AO!

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  • Biological explanations of phobic disorders
    • Genetic explanation
      • Twin studies
        • The incidence of phobic behaviour is measured in concordance of MZ and dz twins
        • Comparisons can be made between MZ and DZ  twins
        • If the concordance rate of MZ twins that DZ twins is higher in phobic disorders , due to MZ twins being genetically identical it suggests a genetic influence
        • Concordance rate suggests the probability of one twin having a phobia if another has.
      • Adrenergic theory
        • Suggests people at high risk of developing phobias inherit a genetic over sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system
        • Those who have acquisition to phobic disorders show high levels of arousal in the automatic nervous system leading to increased amounts of adrenaline
        • It may be that people inherit an over sensitive fear response and people with phobias respond to normal situations with abnormal levels of anxiety
        • The diathesis stress model combines biological and psychologicalfactors
          • Suggests people who are biologically vulnerable to developing a disorder are more likely to develop a mental disorder if they are exposed to a certain social or environmentalstressor
    • Evolutionary explanation
      • Seligmans (1970); preparedness
        • Value of anxiety is indisputable as the arguably of 'fight or flight'
        • Phobias are adaptive because the fear of certain things that  would have been dangerous in our evolutionary  past
        • Suggested humans have an innate predispositionto acquire the fear response through conditioning
        • Suggests humans are biologically prepared to exhibit physiological and emotional response mechanisms to environmentaldemands.
    • Key terms
      • Genetic explanation
      • Twin studies
      • Monozygotic twins
      • Dizygotic twins
      • Concordance rate
      • Adrenergic theory
      • Heritability
      • Diathesis stress model
      • Evolutionary approach
      • Adaptive response
      • Biological preparedness
      • Expectancy biases
  • Twin studies
    • The incidence of phobic behaviour is measured in concordance of MZ and dz twins
    • Comparisons can be made between MZ and DZ  twins
    • If the concordance rate of MZ twins that DZ twins is higher in phobic disorders , due to MZ twins being genetically identical it suggests a genetic influence
    • Concordance rate suggests the probability of one twin having a phobia if another has.

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