A2 Edexcel: Unit 4 (How psychology Works)

A complete revision guide to help you succeed in the final Unit of How Psychology Works. The revision guide includes key facts and mark scheme answers to help you gain full marks in the exam. All the best people!!!

In this booklet it covers clinical psychology (Schizophrenia and phobias), Issues and debates.

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  • Created on: 15-03-13 18:49
Preview of A2 Edexcel: Unit 4 (How psychology Works)

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Unit 4:
Clinical Psychology

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Define clinical psychology
Clinical psychology is about diagnosing, explaining and treating mental illness. It seeks to
define what makes behaviour abnormal, and then to diagnose what the problem is so that it
can be treated. Clinical psychologists note of any symptoms their patient is suffering from
and how long they have had them. From this they can decide what disorder the person is
suffering from and give them appropriate treatment.
Defining abnormality
1. Statistical definition of abnormality
Researchers and governments collect statistics.…read more

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Anyone who goes against these rules of is seen as abnormal. The behaviour cannot be
considered abnormal as long as society accepts it.
Evaluation of deviation from social norms
This definition is not always useful because breaking social norms can be worthwhile.
Societies can use this definition to gain social control; anybody who does not agree with the
government can be diagnosed as abnormal.
Another problem is that norms change over time.…read more

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Rosenhan (1973)
tested the validity of the diagnosis of schizophrenia by looking at how easily
psychiatrists could be fooled by means of faking a single symptom. Rosenhan concluded
that the DSM was not valid as it couldn't tell those who did have schizophrenia from
those who did not.
Etiological validity - is found when a group of people who have been diagnosed
with the same disorder will have the same factors causing the disorder.…read more

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Primary data can be qualitative and Researchers may be subjective in the
quantitative allowing researchers to types of data they look for, in particular
analyse results in various ways data that `fits' the hypotheses they are
trying to test.
Primary data is reliable because the
researcher can replicate the procedure to The data has to be gathered from
check results as they know the scratch, which involves finding a large
procedure and how data was collected. enough population (to make the sample
generalisable).…read more

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Strengths Weaknesses
Twin Studies generate a large volume of The usefulness of the data from twin
data.…read more

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A strong argument against using animals in experiments is that we cannot assess their
suffering. It is morally wrong to inflict pain and distress on animals. They are as important as
humans and have rights.
Using animals in experiments lacks ecological validity as it involves taking the animal out of
its natural surroundings.
Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that affects about 1% of the population. It is the
condition most associated with `madness.…read more

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Disorganised behaviour-The disorganised Lack of speech - where the patient uses as
behaviour causes severe problems in an few words as possible.
affected person's ability to function in daily
life. Bathing, dressing appropriately or Apathy- Loss of interest in normal goals.
preparing meals may be impossible.
Aim: To see if the sane could be distinguished from the insane using the DSM classification
system. A further aim was to find out what the experience of being in such an institution
was like.…read more

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Population Validity = High, the same results were gained in all 12 hospitals, so it can
generalised to all other hospitals. Several different hospitals were used in several different
states so there is evidence of some generalisability
Ethical Issues = Low = High, The names of the doctors and the hospital staff were kept
confidential, but there was uninformed consent as doctors didn't know they were in a study.…read more

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Ethics: Low, the study can be said to ethically sensitive as schizophrenia is a serious disorder.
Reliability: High, the 40 studies showed similar results obtained by Gottesman. Therefore the
study can be seen as reliable as similar results were achieved.
Biological Approach: The Dopamine Hypothesis
Schizophrenics have an abnormal number of dopamine receptors on the synapse which lead
to the symptoms of the disorder. Excess take up of dopamine in the brain causes
schizophrenia and an increase of activity at dopamine synapses.…read more


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