essay plan-the biological approach

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Essay plan:
`Outline and evaluate the Biological Approach to psychopathology' [12]
Biological approach is the most dominant approach used to explain abnormality. It studies the
relationship between behaviour and the body's various physiological systems with the most
important being ­the brain.
Biological approach assumes abnormality is caused by physical factors- genes, biochemistry,
neuro-anatomy and viral infection.
In terms of genes- being abnormal may be the result of genetic inheritance-someone in your
Biochemistry- people with depression are more likely to have low levels of serotonin and
people with schizophrenia have low dopamine levels.
The brain [neuro anatomy] - schizophrenia patients have enlarged ventricles in the brain, this
indicates the shrinkage of brain tissue.
Viral infection- if the infection is not treated in time, it could lead to serious mental problems.
The biological approach is valid-uses lab experiments and correlational studies. Lab studies
have high control but do tend to lack ecological validity. Correlational studies show a positive
and negative relationship between two variables, but do not show cause and effect.
Have both strengths and weaknesses- brain scanning and modern techniques allow the
patient to see. There is also evidence- research evidence in the form of twin studies ­
concordance rates of MZ and DZ twins. Drug treatment which solely focuses on the biological
symptoms of mental disorders-very effective.
However: this approach is very REDUCTIONIST! Doesn't allow different factors and brings
them down to just biology. Also hard to decide that whether this is a cause or an effect.


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