Cognitive explanation of schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Jack
  • Created on: 03-06-15 14:06
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  • Cognitive explanation of schizophrenia
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      • Person with schiz can't filter out unnecessary information (so doesn't know what to pay attention to).
        • This can either be external info (e.g. noise) or internal info (e.g. memories)
          • This leads to a bombardment of info, which is too much to interpret and process meaningfully.
            • This is considered the root cause of many schiz symptoms (e.g. disordered thoughts, hallucinations, delusions).
              • The things the schiz person experiences aren't confirmed by people around them, leading to mistrust, and so they rely more on their incorrect thought processes.
              • These cognitive malfunctions are thought to be the result of underlying physiological abnormalities.
          • HELMSLEY - the filtration between internal stored knowledge (e.g. memories and schemas) and external info is the problem. Leads to confusion and an inability to focus.
          • FRITH - the filtration between consciousness and pre-consciousness is the issue, e.g. focusing on a subsonscious inner voice as it is seen as important.
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      • RESEARCH
        • FRITH - found changes in cerebral blood flow in schiz brains.
          • Supports claim of underlying biological brain abnormalities.
        • MYER-LINDENBERG - found abnormal behaviour patterns in brain scans of schiz.
          • Supports idea of faulty information processing.
        • People with schiz have been found to perform badly on a variety of cognitive tasks.
          • Establishes link between schiz and faulty cognition.
      • DEBATES
          • Difficulty in filtering WILL cause schiz
            • However it is unclear what causes this malfunction, it is simply put down to an underlying physiological (very vague)
              • This lowers the effectiveness of the theory.
            • But cognitive difficulties also found in other conditions too (e.g. bipolar disorder)
              • But perhaps this is due to the misdiagnosis of schiz, etc (i.e. the people with bipolar actually have schiz)
        • Isn't great at explaining negative symptoms (e.g. social withdrawal, apathy)
          • BUT can be explained by the mistrust that develops (when people don't confirm what schiz is seen, etc) so negative symptoms develop as reliance on others decreases (to 'escape' from them).
        • Only explains symptoms, not causes (see deterministic)
        • Application - if faulty cognition is the problem, CBT is the obvious answer AND IT ACTUALLY IS BENEFICIAL.
      • Studies are objective, which removes experimenter bias, and also there will no misinterpretat-ion of results.
        • Increases internal validity
      • All correlation so can't determine cause or effect (faulty cognition could cause or be caused by schiz).
        • This is because all research was conducted after schiz diagnosis.
          • So unable to determine whether, for example, independent variable of blood flow leads to dependent variable of developing schiz.
          • Also the problems could be caused because of the treatments they are receiving (e.g. of course strong anti-psychotics will alter brain activity)


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