Cognitive Explanation of Schizophrenia (Psychological)

  • Created by: Lisgoe
  • Created on: 05-11-14 17:39
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  • Psychological Explanation of Schizophrenia
    • Cognitive skills thought to be absent in Sz sufferers
      • Absence of selective attention mechanisms
      • Unable to dissociate internal and external information
      • Lack the understanding of others' social signals and intentions
    • Cognitive theorists assume cognitive deficits are due to underlying physiological abnormalities
      • Meaning neurological and cognitive ideas are combined into a neuro-psychological model
    • Frith's Model
      • Proposes Sz sufferers unable to distinguish between
        • Actions influenced by external forcers
        • Compared to those driven by internal intentions
      • Conscious Processing
        • Highest level of cognitive processing
          • In full subjective awareness
        • Limited capacity to deal with higher-order processes
          • So we can only carry one HO task at a time
      • Preconcious Processing
        • Without awareness
        • Automatic
          • Can be performed simultaneously
        • If the filter between the two breaks
          • Information can be passed into conscious awareness
      • Ability to be aware of our own goals, intentions, and ability to understand those of others
        • Sz's unable to understand who they are and what they want
          • Impaired inferior mind
            • Lead to delusions of control
      • Can cause delusions of reference
        • Unable to tell if someone is talking to them or not
          • Cause paranoia
            • Unable to tell if a sound is communication or not
      • Evaluation
        • Provided evidence
          • Demonstrating changes in cerebral blood flow in Sz's brains
            • Whilst engaged in specific cognitive tasks
        • Model hasn't received universal support
          • As it fails to consider environmental factors
    • Suggests that individuals try to make sense of their experiences
      • The paranoia and delusions begin to develop
        • E.g. when a person initially has sensory disturbances (hearing voices)
          • Ask for help
            • When they can't help, they may think that others are hiding the truth
              • become paranoid and develop increasingly delusional beliefs
    • Helmsley's Model
      • Symptoms arise from disconnection between stored knowledge and current sensory input
      • Schemas
        • Small packets of information
          • Understanding the world
            • What to expect when we perform certain activities and what to pay attention to
      • Sz's aren't able to differentiate schemas with new information
        • So they don't know which stimuli to attend to and which to ignore
          • Internal events are misinterpreted as sensations due to external stimuli
            • Cause hallucinations
      • Evaluation
        • No unequivocal evidence to support Helmsley's Model


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