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The Biological Approach
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Nature plays a key role in the + The approach is supported by
development of psychological modern and scientific brain-
disorders. scanning techniques which have
­ This is because the approach believes shown changes in brain
that our biology has a much greater structure.
influence on us than our environment
and is responsible for practically all + Biological treatments work well,
disorders. identifying that there must be a
· All behaviour is associated with biological cause behind the
neurotransmitters or changes in abnormality.
brain structure. + No disorder is 100% genetic.
­ Examples of this can be seen in people + The approach is highly
suffering from Schizophrenia and reductionist as it assumes that
people such as Clive Wearing who explanations at the most basic
suffered brain damage due to a virus
and now have very little brain function, level of biology are all that is
· There is a significant genetic needed to explain an
component involved in behaviours.
­ This belief is due to the high
concordance rate seen between
identical twins who often both suffer
from the same disorder.…read more

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Biological Therapies
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
Drug therapy: + Drug therapy is widely available
· Anti-psychotic and cheap, making it ideal for
­ Treat disorders such as schizophrenia.
­ They reduce the activity of dopamine leaving people who do not have the time
the patient reporting less hallucinations and or willpower to engage in
delusional thoughts.
· Anti-depressant
psychological therapies.
­ Treat most forms of depression, the most + Drugs are very effecting in
common is Selective Serotonin Re-uptake
Inhibitors. reducing the symptoms, this
­ They increase the amount of serotonin, effectiveness could be up to a
increasing the patient's mood and less prone
to negative thoughts. placebo effect.
ECT: + Drugs only treat the symptoms,
· Used as a last resort. not the cause of the problem.
· Patients are give an anesthetic, muscle
relaxant and intubated. + All drugs have side effects.
· A small shock of 0.6A is passed into their + May become physically
brain for up to three seconds, resulting in dependent then experience
a convulsion lasting for about 1 min.
· This alters the levels of brain
withdrawal symptoms.
neurotransmitters.…read more

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The Behavioural Approach
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Classical conditioning + The approach proved a
­ This occurs when we pair up a stimulus convincing explanation for
with a response.
­ For example, seeing your mum jump at phobias or eating disorders.
the sight of spiders may make you
associate them with fear. This will lead
+ High validity as the
you to behave in the same way. behavioural therapies are very
· Operant conditioning effective in tackling the
­ This occurs when we are rewarded for problem.
carrying out certain behaviours.
­ For example, if someone loses weight and
+ The approach is reductionist
is rewarded they form a link between as it assumes that all
weight loss and praise. This will lead them behaviour is based on learning
to continue this behaviour.
and experience.
· Social learning
­ This occurs when we see a role model + Only nurture is considered as
behaving in a certain way and then being influential.
imitate it.
­ For example, when someone sees a
celebrity being rewarded for having a
eating disorder they may repeat the
behaviour.…read more

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Behavioural Therapies
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Systematic desensitisation (SD) + SD allows clients to take the
­ The client is asked to create a fear therapy at their own pace,
hierarchy and is trained in relaxation
techniques. limiting the risks of
­ The client imagines each situation for the psychological harm.
least to the most fearful whilst using
relaxation techniques. + SD is highly effective with
· Flooding success rates of 60-90%.
­ The client is exposed to their fear stimulus + Behavioural therapies provide
in an enclosed space with no chance of
escape. Whilst the client will initially e a mix of dealing with the
flooded with high levels of fear and problem and masking the
anxiety. symptoms.
­ The body cannot keep up these levels and
so will calm down and remove all fear. + Flooding has ethical issues as
· Aversion therapy it is highly emotional and
­ Used as a last result as a way to reduce stressful.
the amount of smoking or drinking an
individual does by associating it with
electric shocks making them violently ill.…read more

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The Cognitive Approach
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· The cognitive approach best + The approach provides a
explains disorders such as convincing explanation for
depression and has been
· The cognitive approach believes
that an early bad experience backed up by research (Burt
leads to the formation of et al, 1995).
negative schema which leads to + Cognitive behavioural
cognitive biases in the way the
individual views the world. therapies are 75% effective.
· Aaron Beck (1979) created the + Ignores the role of
negative triad which he believed biological and genetic
best describes how depression factors in psychology
occurs. According to Beck,
depressed individual holds a disorders.
negative view of the self, world
and future.…read more

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