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Schizophrenia A2 PSYCHOLOGY
AQA




PSYA4 - Schizophrenia

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SCHIZOPHRENIA
Classification
Positive symptoms
Negative symptoms

Issues of diagnosis
Test re-test reliability
Inter-rater reliability
Type 1/Type 2 errors
Comorbidity
First rank symptoms

Biological explanations
Family studies
Twin studies
Adoption studies
Dopamine hypothesis

Biological therapies
Conventional drugs
Atypical drugs
ECT

Psychological explanations
Cognitive approach
Psychodynamic approach
Sociocultural factors

Psychological therapies
CBT…

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SCHIZOPHRENIA
I T ?
T IS
WHA It is a form of psychosis, meaning they are detached from
reality

Can be characterised by a disruption of cognition and emotion
Affects language, perception and sense of self
Approx 1% of the population are diagnosed with schizophrenia

Characteristics an be categorised into…

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Positive Schizophrenic symptoms are those that appear to reflect an excess or
distortion of normal functions
Negative schizophrenic symptoms are those that appear to reflect a loss of normal
function




anuals
Diagnostic m
To be diagnosed as
ostic and
DSM = Diagn l
schizophrenic an individ
ual
nual of menta…

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VALID SYMPTOMS
Schneider discussed `first rank' symptoms which were designed to
uniquely identify someone with schizophrenia. For example he
claimed that delusions or experiences of control will not be
experiences in other disorders

TYPE 1 ERROR = false positive = diagnosed with
schizophrenia when they don't have it

TYPE 2…

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Reliability
Reliability = consistency can psychiatrists agree on the same
diagnosis?

Inter-rater reliability = the extent to within which psychiatrists
agree on the same diagnosis


The DSM III was designed specifically to improve reliability of
diagnosis. Before this there was great discrepancy between
different psychiatrists diagnoses.

Carson claimed that the…

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BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS
Family Studies
Gottesman, family studies established that schizophrenia is
more common among biological relatives of a person with
schizophrenia and that the closer the degree of genetic
relatedness the greater the risk e.g.

2 schizophrenic parents = 46% risk
1 schizophrenic parent = 13% risk
Schizophrenic siblings =…

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GENETICS
Blind
diagnoses =
Studies that use blind psychiatrists are social learning
less likely to diagnose schizophrenia if
they are unaware of the background of theory =
the patient compared to higher family studies - genes may not
concordance rates when psychiatrists be the cause of schizophrenia,
are aware =…

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DOPAMINE HYPOTHESIS
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in
regulating perception and attention. The
dopamine hypothesis states that there is an Dopa
excess of dopamine activity in people with
mine
schizophrenia. This may be because they have a
high numbers of D2 receptors resulting in over-
activity i.e. neuron…

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BIOLOGICAL THERAPIES
Antipsychotic drugs aim to:
- aid daily functioning and increase feelings of
subjective well being
- 2 types of antipsychotics = conventional & atypical

Conventional - e.g. chlorpromazine
- are dopamine antagonists as they bind to D2 receptors, but do not stimulate them blocking
their action
- By…

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