Explanations of dysfunctional behaviour

Explanations of dysfunctional behaviour

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  • Created by: Brid
  • Created on: 10-06-12 12:04

Behavioural Explanation - Watson and Raynor (1920)

The foundations of operant conditioning are Skinner's beliefs that animals (including humans) would determine their likelihood of repeating behaviour depending on its consequences. So if you are rewarded for dysfunctional behaviour, you are likely to repeat it.

Aim- To see if it is possible to induce a fear of a previosuly unfeared object through classical conditioning.

Method- Case study on 'Little Albert'.

Procedure- Presenting Albert with objects such as a rat, rabbit, dig, mask.

Loud noise (CS) followed by a rat (US). The rat (US) elicited crying (UR). After several times pairing the (CS) with the (US) the rat (US) causes Albert to cry.    

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Biological Explanation - Gottesman and Shields

Aim- To review research on genetic transmission of schizophrenia.

Method- A review of adoption and twin studies into schizophrenia. 3 adoption studies and 5 twin studies.

Pps- 711 adoption studies, 210 monozygotic twins, 319 dizygotic twins.

Findings- All 3 adopted studies found increased incidence of schizophrenia in adopted children with a schizophrenic biological parent. Little evidence for normal children adopted by schizophrenic parents.

Kety (1975) found that biological siblings of children with scizophrenia showed higher % of schiz than adopted siblings.

All twin studies found a higher concordance rate for schiz in MZ twins comapred to DZ twins.

Conclusion- Theres is obv a significant genetic input but with less than a 100%concordance rate there must be some interaction with environment.   

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Cognitive Explanation - Beck et al.

Aim- To understand cognitive distortions in patients with depression.

Method- Clinical interviews with patients who were undergoing therapy for depression.

Findings- Certain themes appeared in the depressed patients that did not appear in the non-depressed. (Low self-esteem, slef-blame, anxiety).

Depressed patients had stereotypical responses to situations i.e. a passer-by did not smile at him, one patient would feel inferior.

Some patients felt unlovable and alone, even when others showed friendship.

These distortions tended to be automatic and involuntary.

Conclusion- Even in mild depression, patients have cognituve distortions that deviate from realistic and logical thinking. Not related to other areas other than depression.

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