Cognitive Explanations of SZ

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  • Cognitive Explanations of SZ
    • Basic principles
      • Cognition - The way that we interpret an event...
        • Emotions - Affects how we feel which...
          • Behaviour - Changes how we behave in that situation/to that person
    • Delusions
      • These are explained using "attribution theory"...
        • We make an internal attribution if something good happens to us
          • This is known as a self serving bias! We explain events in a way that benefits us.
            • And an external attribution when something bad happens.
              • Paranoid Delusions
                • When something bad happens, an external personal attribution is made, also known as a personalising bias.
                  • e.g. "Sorry Im late but the police deliberately set up the road blocks to make me late"
                • There are many reasons as to why paranoid SZ patients develop these thinking styles...
                  • Bhugra et al (1999) - It is a thinking style which is the result of victimization + discrimination
                  • Blackwood et al (2000) - It is a form of cognitive processing, resulting from over activity in certain brain areas (left frontal cortex)
                  • Frith (1994) but developed by Bentall (2003) - Paranoid patients suffer from an impaired Theory of Mind (TOM)
                    • A TOM is the ability to understand that other people view the world differently to you/from someone elses POV
                      • An underdeveloped TOM would lead to a faulty thinking style; you would assume that everything other people do or say is about you...leading to paranoia
        • And an external attribution when something bad happens.
          • Paranoid Delusions
            • When something bad happens, an external personal attribution is made, also known as a personalising bias.
              • e.g. "Sorry Im late but the police deliberately set up the road blocks to make me late"
            • There are many reasons as to why paranoid SZ patients develop these thinking styles...
              • Bhugra et al (1999) - It is a thinking style which is the result of victimization + discrimination
              • Blackwood et al (2000) - It is a form of cognitive processing, resulting from over activity in certain brain areas (left frontal cortex)
              • Frith (1994) but developed by Bentall (2003) - Paranoid patients suffer from an impaired Theory of Mind (TOM)
                • A TOM is the ability to understand that other people view the world differently to you/from someone elses POV
                  • An underdeveloped TOM would lead to a faulty thinking style; you would assume that everything other people do or say is about you...leading to paranoia
    • General issues
      • It may only be studying the symptoms of SZ rather than the causes.
      • It isn't clear as to why some people develop these thinking styles but others don't! More research is needed in this area.
      • However it is less reductionist than other theories, as it acknowledges how biology / enviro. / cognition can work together in causing SZ
    • A more holistic approach to explaining SZ is the diathesis stress model...
      • It includes all of the different approaches!
        • Genetics and intrauterine factors...
          • Create a predisposition to SZ...
            • And family communication problems then create a...
              • Vulnerability to SZ...
                • Stressful life events, the environment (drug use)...
                  • Could then trigger a SZ episode
                    • Medication, labelling, social stigma, social isolation then creates...
                      • Stressful life events, the environment (drug use)...
                        • Could then trigger a SZ episode
                          • Medication, labelling, social stigma, social isolation then creates...

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