Psychological explanations for schizophrenia

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  • Created by: KCharlish
  • Created on: 29-03-16 11:34

AO1 1 - Cognitive explanation

  • Cognitive, starts biologically but further symptoms emerge when people try to make sense of hallucinations
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AO1 2 - Cognitive

  • Schizophrenics turn to others to confirm the validity of what they are experiencing. 
  • Other people fail to confirm the reality, so the SZ comes to belief the others must be hiding the truth.
  • Reject feedback and develop delusional beliefs that they are being manipulated and persecuted by others. 
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AO1 3 - Life events

  • stressful life events cause the onset of SZ.
  • Act as a trigger
  • May have a biological predisposition for SZ  but only those with the predisposition will develop SZ
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AO1 4 - Brown and Birley

  • prior to a schizophrenic episode, patients reported twice as many stressful life events compared to a healthy control group. 
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AO2 1 - Cognitive support

  • Meyer Linderberg - found a link between excess levels of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex and dysfunctions of working memory. 
  • Working memory dysfunction is associated with cognitive disorganisation typically found in schizophrenics. 
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AO2 2 - Real world applications

  • Basis for a form of therapy
  • Yellowlees et al have trialled a machine that can deliver ' virtual' auditory and visual hallucinations.
  • Show SZ that their hallucinations are not real. 
    • no evidence that this will provide a successful treatment. 
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AO2 3 - Brown and Birley evaluation

  • retrospective study where data is collected after events have occured.
  • Recall would be negtively affected ny events surrounding the onset of SZ - unreliable. 
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AO2 4 - Prospective studies

  • prospective studies are preferable - data collected after event.
  • Hirsch et al - followed 71 SZ patients over a 48 week period.
    • life events made a significant contribution in the 12 months preceding the relapse rather than having a more concentrated effect in the period just prior to the episode.
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AO2 5 - Life stressors weakness

  • not all research supports evidence of life stressors.
  • Van Os et al - no link between life events and the onset of SZ.
  • patients who had experienced a major life event went on to have lower incidence of relapse rather than an increased risk.
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AO2 6 - Correlational

  • cannot infer a causal relationship
  • early symptoms may have been the cause of the life events.
  • life events may be a consequence rather than a cause.
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AO2 7 - Biological explanations

  • biological explanations have better research support.
  • large body of evidence
    • Gottesman - greater degree of relatedness greater risk of SZ
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