Biological Explanation of Abnormality

Revision cards for Psychology - The Biological Explanation for Abnormality

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  • Created on: 28-04-11 14:36

Biological Explanation for Abnormality AO1

The biological model defines abnormality as mental illness, a physical disease.

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The Biological Model states the causes are:

Brain damage - physical damage to the brain.
Infection - damage caused by infection (e.g. flu).
Genes - increased chance of developing certain mental illnesses due to genes.
Biochemistry - chemicals or neurotransmitters in the brain functioning abnormally.

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The Role of Genes And Infection

Infection - Research shows, for instance, that 14% of schizophrenia cases are caused by flu virus in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Genes - Research shows that the children of someone with schizophrenia, for instance, have a 10% chance of developing the illness - whereas the general population only has a 1% chance of developing it!

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Biological Explanation for Abnormality AO2 - NRRR

Criticisms of the theory:

No Blame - By putting the condition down to just biology, you remove any blame for that person's actions.

Reductionist - It reduces a complex problem into a simple idea and disregards any other factors involved besides physical/biological problems.

Relinquishing Responsibility - Encourages patients to pass on the responsibility for their own "wellness" onto professionals, such as doctors or psychologists, removing their own responsibility for their recovery.

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Support - McGuffin et al (1996)

McGuffin et al (1996) found the concordance in monozygotic twins (46%) was higher than in dizygotic twins (20%) for depression.

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