Biological approach to psychopathology

Once again I had to make a presentation for school. Hope it is useful.

Textbooks that are useful: Essential As Psychology by Richard Gross and Geoff Rolls

AQA Psychology A by James Bailey and Rosie

CGP AS & A2 Psychology Exam board AQA A (REVISION AND PRACTICE)

GOOD LUCK- EXAM 29 MAY PM

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Introduction
Psychopathology is defined as the
conditions and processes of mental
disorders.
Most popular approach to understanding
and treating psychopathology.
The biological approach to
psychopathology assumes that
psychological disorders are physical
illnesses with symptoms caused by
biological factors such as genetics.…read more

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The biological approach/model
The biological approach has three parts:
1. Comparative method-different species of
animal can be studied and compared. This can
help in the search to understand human
behavior.
2. Physiology-how the nervous system and
hormones work, how the brain functions, how
changes in structure and/or function can affect
behavior. For example, we could ask how
prescribed drugs to treat depression affect
behavior through their interaction with the
nervous system.
3. Investigation of inheritance-what an animal
inherits from its parents, mechanisms of…read more

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Psychopathology is caused by changes in the
structure or the function of the brain i.e. The size
of the brain.
Development of the brain is mostly influenced by
genetics but some psychologists may disagree
which leads to the nature- nurture debate;
behaviour is influenced by genetics (nature) or
behaviour is because of socialization and/or the
environment (nurture).
*Research into the genetics causing schizophrenia
[Gottesman]> Meta-analysis of twin studies>
results showed that having a identical twin with
schizophrenia gives you a 48% chance of
developing the condition. This reduced to 17%
for non-identical twins. +High ecological validity
­ other factors [individual difference]
But brain activity may be affected by other factors
such as the certain events and experiences…read more

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How it can be treated?
Drugs can treat the symptoms of the
condition
Psychosurgery (brain surgery involving
deconstruction about some parts of the
brain.
Electroconvulsive therapy[ECT]- Electric
shock of 225V given to a person's brain.
Can help relieve depression.…read more

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Evaluation of the approach
Strengths
Very Scientific
Highly application to other areas: Biology + Cog =
Evolutionary Psychology
Helped develop comparative psychology
Strong counter argument to the nurture side of the
debate
Many empirical studies to support theories
Weakness
Experiments ­ Low Ecological Validity
Humanism: too deterministic ­ little room for free-
will
Doesn't recognize cognitive processes
Reductionist
Bio psychological theories often over-simplify the…read more

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