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  • Created on: 07-06-16 20:47

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· It is believed that once a person is labelled as schizophrenic, it influences that person's behaviour in the future. It becomes a self-
fulfilling prophecy-meaning the person takes on more characteristics of the label to live of it is. It stigmatises and stereotypes
patients and they may face discrimination based on this diagnosis. Once an individual receives the label of schizophrenia, there
are expectations about how they will behave. The patient will then want to live up to those expectations and continue to behave in
bizarre ways. Reinforcement through receiving attention when acting this way then means that the behaviour is likely to continue.
· ROSENHAN conducted an experiment involving people pretending to be mentally ill by complain of auditory hallucinations. After
they had been admitted, these pseudo patients kept written records of who they were treated. After they stopped claiming voices
they were discharged with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The only people who were suspicious of their true identity. was some of
their fellow patients. It took on average 19 days for them to convince staff they were well enough to be allowed home. This shows
that in psychiatric hospitals theres a special environment in which everything the patient says and does is interpreted in terms of
the diagnostic label. This represents a form of labelling and therefore he argues that mental illness is a purely social phenomenon,
and the consequence of a labelling process.This can lead to self fulfilling prophesy and feelings of powerless for the patient.
· Rosenhan's study demonstrates that the negative consequences of labelling can be profound, without diagnosis mental health
professionals would be in a helpless confused state as they wouldn't be label patients and therefore provide them with the right
treatment that they need.
· SPITZER criticised the conclusions drawn from the Rosenhan study, arguing that the behaviour is only meaningful when its
understood in context.
· It's also questioned who would want to take on the problems that accompany schizophrenia. The view that an individual would
choose to accept the role is highly questionable.
· Evidence for social labelling theory as a cause is scare apart from the Rosenhan study-which does demonstrate how a diagnostic
label can influence attitudes and expectations. It may therefore explain the maintenance of symptoms one the diagnosis has been

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· DOUBLE BIND COMMUNICATION-This refers to parents who communicate pairs of messages to their children which are
contradictory. The contradiction is between the verbal and non verbal message. This causes children to become confused and
develop a starry where they ignore the verbal message and only attend to the non-verbal one.…read more

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Genetic researchers believe that some people inherit a biological predisposition to schizophrenia (and with this, diathesis stress
model) and come to develop the disorder when confronted by extreme stress of some kind.
Studies on relatives have repeatedly found that schizophrenia is more common among the relatives of people with the disorder. Also,
the more closely related the relatives are to the person with schizophrenia, the greater their likelihood of developing the disorder.…read more

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