Psychology - Biological Model

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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 27-02-13 12:42
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  • The biological approach to psychopathology.
    • Abnormality is caused by physical factors.
      • Mental disorders are related to some the body.
        • Mental Disorders are like physical disorders - illnesses
    • Genetic Inheritance
      • Abnormalities can be the result of genetic inheritance passed from parent to child.
        • Usually product of evolutionary adaptationsin ancestors.
      • The study of twins
        • Concordance Rate - extent to which 2 individuals are similar to each other in terms of a particular trait.
          • Low concordance Rate: Phobias
          • High concordance rate: Schizophrinia.
    • Genes
      • Genes determine levels of hormones & neurotransmitters in brain.
        • High levels of serotonin = Anxiety
        • Low levels of serotonin =   Depression
        • Genes determine structure of the brain
          • Schizophrenics have enlarged spaces in their brains, indicating shrinkage of brain tissue
    • Viral Infection
      • Some disorders may be related to exposure to certain viruses in the womb
        • Torrey (2001) - mothers of people which schizophrenia had a certain strain of influenza during pregnancy
          • Virus remains dormant until puberty when other hormones may activate it.
    • Limitations
      • Humane or Inhumane
        • (+) Medical Model led to more humane treatment for mental treatments (illness was blames on evil & demons)
        • (-) Medical model is inhumane. Thomas Szasz 1972, mental illness did not have physical basis so shouldn't be thought of in same way. Mental illness was invented as  form of social control.
      • Cause & Effect
        • Evidence doesn't support cause & effect link between mental illness & altered brain chemistry.
          • Schizophrenia = associated with excess of dopamine.
            • Excesses & deficiencies in different parts of brain
          • Schizophrenia = has been associated with reduced levels of dopamine
            • Excesses & deficiencies in different parts of brain
      • Inconclusive Evidence
        • No evidence that mental disorders are purely casued by genetic inheritance
          • Concordance rates are never 100% - Gottesman & shields.
            • Monozygotic twins - concordance rate of 50%
              • Diathesis-stress model


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