PY4, Abnormal Psychology WJEC

Issues of bias WJEC board

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Emily Hunt
PY4 Abnormal
Issues of bias Diagnostic
WJEC POTIENTIAL question: Critically consider issues of bias in the diagnostic system
Cultural Bias in Diagnosis
Depending on what culture you live in can effect whether you are considered to be abnormal or
normal. As normal and abnormal is distinguished via the obedience of social `norms'. For example
if someone was to hear voices of a person who has just passed in some cultures they would be
classed as abnormal other subcultures would class them to lucky that they have had the chance to
speak to them.
Psychologist tests
Part of the disagnostic system may involve tests like IQ however other cultures may priotise other
things to education in their su-culture. The IQ being based on knowledge of education a Weston
aspect those of other backgrounds may not pass purely because they don't consider education to be
of importance to other things like growing crops.
Research evidence
Due to ethnic background people are diagnosed with mental illnesses more than other backgrounds.
For explain those of Afro-Caribbean are more likely to be diagnosed of Schizophrenia than
UK-white people.
The over diagnosis may not be down to a specific sub-culture but their genetics. They may
be more prone to the mental illness with the genes
Or even due to having to fit into social norms in England they lead a stresfull life and open
themselves to a vulnerability of the mental illness
Rosenhan showed that it's easy to be diagnosed for a mental illness due to the clicians
trying to avoid type 1 and type 2 errors.
Gender Bias in Diagnosis
The classification also has been known to be dominated by males. Making the norms of a male
more appropriate than those of a female, as due socially constructed gender roles, sex's affect upon
a gender. Females `normal' behaviour can then sometimes be seen to be an illness.
A significant difference in rates of diagnosis, women are very often quickly judged to be depressed
or have specific phobias. Whereas men are quickly judged to be too abusive or abuse alcohol. This
can be down to bias gender stereotypes, as only some illness are found to have different diagnostic
Clinicians may be less able to deal with patients that are female due to the research being based
on male patients. This was done to avoid the problem of their monthly hormonal change; however
the information may have been inappropriately changed to suit women, when not suiting them at

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Emily Hunt
PY4 Abnormal
It's hard to support the idea of whether these are due differences or results of bias. The
gender roles may cause them to be prone to an illness. Women for example with stress
their cortisol level is higher than men's, suggesting more women develop depression. Or is
because they are more open to admitting they have an illness.
The DSM and ICD are constantly re-evaluated to ensure validity and reliability, improving
constantly.…read more


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