Outline and evaluate the psychological explanation for schizophrenia.

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Outline and evaluate the psychological explanation for
schizophrenia.
The assumption of behaviourist psychology is that all behaviour is learnt ­ normal and
abnormal through conditioning . This explanation believes that Schizophrenia is a learned
response to certain environmental events. Liberman (1982) proposed that we all learn to
respond in socially acceptable ways to appropriate stimuli
This explanation proposes that Schizophrenia is caused from the families/role models of
potential sufferers not reinforcing these positive, acceptable behaviours and disregarding
them. In disregarding them, they may begin to notice the less socially acceptable behaviours
shown by the individual and may react towards these instead, which acts as a form of
reinforcement. So, the reinforcement makes the bizarre behaviours more likely to continue
(i.e. the symptoms of Schizophrenia develop). As evidence Scaff's (1966) labelling theory
states that individuals who have been labelled in this way may continue to act in ways that
conform to the label
Schizophrenic often respond to reinforcement when used in therapy provides modest support for
behavioural approach. For example, Ayllon and Azrin (1968) schizophrenics learned to make their own beds
and comb their head when rewarded for doing so. However, One major criticism of this explanation is
that there is inconsistent support for it. For example, if Schizophrenia can be `learnt', then it
must be possible to `unlearn' it. Yet, some treatments for Schizophrenia based on this
explanation and the idea of `unlearning' it have shown little significant effect on the symptoms
or development of the disorder.
The behavioural explanation is criticised, because it is hard to accept that the bizarre
and complex patterns of behaviour seen in people with schizophrenia can be acquired
through simple learning processes. Therefore it may weaken the validity and reliability
of the approach to explain the schizophrenia.
Another criticism of this explanation is that ignoring the bizarre responses of
Schizophrenia sufferers and reinforcing the positive, socially acceptable behaviours does
increase the number of socially acceptable behaviours that the patient shows, however it has
little significant effect on the symptoms and does not offer a cure/treatment for the disorder.
Furthermore, this approach ignores the genetics and other evidence. Consequently, this approach
may have reductionist idea which over simplify the concept. Therefore it may weaken the validity and
reliability of the approach.
The main assumptions of psychodynamic psychology are based around the psyche and its
three components (ID, ego and superego), and the role of defence mechanisms. It suggests that
childhood experiences/psychosexual development can affect later behaviour.This explanation
proposes that Schizophrenia is caused by faulty defence mechanisms ­ mainly regression.
One criticism of psychodynamic theory, for example, is that it places responsibility on
mothers. This would suugest the determinism in the explanation as the person would not
have any control over his action and ignore the free will of the person as it emphasis the
importance of childhood for the future actions of the person which would weaken the
validity and reliability of the explanation.
If a child is brought up in a cold and punishing environment, the ego attempts to defend
the person by employing the defence mechanism of regression ­ which is where the person

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The constant
employment of regression leads to the ego becoming weak, so when the individual is faced
with stressors later on in life, the ego shatters. This leaves the ID in control of the personality
and results in primary narcissism ­ which is where the individual becomes completely
self-focused and loses touch with reality.…read more

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Comments

gouhirr

hey is this a grade A? answer? and AQA A?

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