Bias in the Diagnostic system

  • Created by: Nadine
  • Created on: 31-05-13 14:44


- A bias is a tendency to focus on a certain aspect of an experience rather than another

- A cultural or gender bias is the belieif that one culture or gender is superior

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Paragraph 1 - History of diagnostic system

- Diagnostic stystem were developed in the Wester psychological medicine, USA= DSM. Europe=ICD

- Both have been modified over time, e.g. the removal of homosexualtiy which was due to the cultural change of the gay rights movement in the USA

- Produced in Western society and generalised around the world, making a clear cultural bias!

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Paragraph 2 - Cultural bias

- May be because most psychological research is done in the western world, Therefore cultural assumptions have been made about what is normal abnormal 

- For example, in our culture it is seen as abnormal to hear voices but in some countries it is normal and even desired 

- This means that the classification system identify cultures as ill when they exhibit behaviours as they deem normal

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Paragraph 3 - IQ tests

- IQ tets have been devised and standardised in the Western culture therefore may not accuratley assess someone from a different culture 

- Evidence for cultural bias- Blake gave case studies to clinicicians and found that if they were describes as Afro-Caribbeans they were more likelt to be assessed as schizophrenic. 

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Paragraph 4 - cultural bias evaluation

- It may be possible that there are genetic reasons for this bias against Afro-Caribbeans such as a predisposition

- Although this bias only seems to occur in Europe, so maybe not

- It is suggested that as an ethnic minority, they have more stressful lives such as discrimination, which increases the risk

- illustrating the social and genetic factors that influence the diagnostic system

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Paragraph 5 - Gender bias

- Until recently research had been done on men and their behaviour has become the norm

- You can see this gender bias as women are more likley to be diagnoed with depression. howevever this may be due to the fact that men don't seek help they turn to substance abuse

- Also certain disorders such anorexia are set up to be female as one of the symptom is lack of menstrual periods however men suffer from this too

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Paragraph 6 - Gender bias evalution

- To get a perspective it is important to considerwher ther are any real difference in men and women

- It may be possible that things such as pregnance increase the risk of depression in women

- Although there appears to be no gender bias in some disorders such as gender bias

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Paragraph 7 - Age biases

-Elderly people are less likely to be give antidepressants as the symptoms are seen as age related

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- It is hard to tell whether these biases are reall or due to other factors such as life experience

- In regards to gender bias it is hard to seperate gender specific behaviour and typical human behaviour 

- It maybe that more research needs to be done on women to create a female norm

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