The Models Of Abnormality

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  • Created on: 23-03-10 12:17
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Models Of Abnormality 1
The Biological Model of Abnormality
The implication of this model is that by assuming a biological cause there maybe a cure.
There are four branches of biological explanation
Mental illness has been linked to germs and bacteria.
- Diagnosis can lead to a cure
Flu during pregnancy leads to increased incidence of schizophrenia in children, suggesting the cause
of the disorder may be a disease (Torrey, 2001). The virus can lie dormant until puberty, when other
hormones may activate it; thus resulting in the symptoms of Schizophrenia.
Genetic Factors
People may inherit predispositions to certain illnesses through genes which pass from generation to
Familiar patterns of disorders within families and twins can show a genetic link if a disorder is genetic
then we would expect people who are closely related to have it.
However, it also involves whether the two people were reared apart or not. If they were reared
together and shared the same environment then it could be the joint environment that has caused the
disorder in both people.
So, is mental disorder caused by similarity in genes or similarity in the environment?
Gene Mapping
A way of identifying particular genes and show they are more likely to be present in individuals with a
disorder than without. E.g. bipolar disorder is linked to chromosomes 4 and 6.
Some disorders have low concordance rates e.g. phobias, whereas some are particularly high e.g.
The study of chemical interaction within the body.
For example; Schizophrenia is caused by an excessive amount of dopamine in the brain. But we can't
identify cause or effect? NO it can only identify correlations. Did the dopamine cause the disorder or
did the disorder cause the dopamine?

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Models Of Abnormality 2
There is evidence of biochemistry as an explanation of abnormality. E.g. Prozac treats depression by
raising serotonin levels (which are known to be low in depressive people)
Abnormality is down to nervous system.
Brains of schizophrenics are shown to be different from normal brains (post mortem).
But is this cause or effect? Did the schizophrenia cause the brain difference or did the brain difference
cause the schizophrenia.
+ Based on well established science (e.g.…read more

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Models Of Abnormality 3
2. Defense Mechanisms: Overuse of defense mechanisms can lead to abnormality.
Repression: burying traumatic memories in the unconscious, and therefore not remembering the
Displacement: unconsciously moving impulses away from a threatening object to a less threatening
Projection: unconsciously attributing your own undesirable characteristics onto others
3.…read more

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Models Of Abnormality 4
The Cognitive Model of Abnormality
So abnormality is caused by faulty thinking. These thoughts generally have a "must have" quality,
i.e. I must have this or something terrible will happen, this is distorted and irrational thinking.
Most often applied to patients with anxiety or depression.
Beck (1976) identified the term cognitive triad to refer to a cycle of unusually negative thoughts in
depressed patients.…read more

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Models Of Abnormality 5
Most learning takes the form of operant or classical conditioning.
Classical Conditioning
Learning to link one stimulus with another.
E.g. Pavlov's Dogs and Little Albert.
Operant Conditioning
Learning a new behaviour because that behaviour has previously resulted in reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement increases the likelihood a person will repeat behaviour.
Negative reinforcement reduces behaviour repetition.
Depression could result from continuous negative reinforcement.
Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
Observational Learning Imitating the behaviour of someone else.…read more

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Models Of Abnormality 6
-Treatments accused of being unethical
-Treatments for the benefit of society rather than the individual…read more


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