AS Psychology Unit 2- Abnormality

The key approaches to abnormality.

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 28-05-11 11:20

Abnormality: Psychodynamic and Biological

  • Psychodynamic: id, ego, superego. Unconscious, preconcious, conscious. Defence mechanisms.
  • Limitations: reductionist model, not easily testable, based on case studies.
  • Biological: treats abnormality as a medical/physical condition. Caused by genetics, chemicals, infections.
  • Strengths: no blame on the patient, treatment is effective.
  • Limitations: reductionist model, inconclusive evidence (concordance is never 100%).
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Abnormality: Cognitive

  • Cognitive: abnormality is caused by faulty thought processes which lead to maladaptive responses. Activating event~rational/irrational thoughts about event A~adaptive/malaptive responses. Beck's cognitive triad.
  • Strengths: Supported by research: Beck (1976), Meichenbaum (1977).
  • Limitations: blame on individual, only the outcome is important.
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Abnormality: Behavioural

  • Behavioural: abnormal behaviours are learned through conditioning or social learning. Maladaptive behaviours are learned and reinforced e.g. phobias.
  •  Limitations: focuses only on the outcome/effect, not the underlying cause. Blame on the individual for 'learning' their disorder.
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