Psychological explanations SZ

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  • Created by: KCharlish
  • Created on: 17-05-16 17:01

AO1 Cognitive explanation

  • acknowledges the role of biological factors - abnormal brain activity producing visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Further features emerge as people try to make sense of the hallucinations
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AO1 2 - Cognitive explanation

  • First experience worrying sensory experiences - turn to others to confirm the validity
  • other people fail to confim - believe others are hiding the truth
  • Reject feedback from others 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 e.g. death of a close relative act as a trigger
  • Individual may have a biological predispostition for SZ but only some people with such will develop the disorder - those who experience stressors
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AO1 Brown and Birley

  • Prior to a SZ episode, patients reported twice as many stressful life events compared to a healthy control group - low and unchanging level of stressful life events
  • Illustrates the link
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AO2 1 Biological evidence

  • Meyer Lindberg - link between excess levels of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex and dysfunctions in working memory
  • Working memory dysfunction is associated with the cognitive disorganisation typically found in SZ. 
  • biological factors underlie some of the early symptoms of SZ
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IDA Therapy

Yellowlees - trialled a machine that can deliever 'virtual auditory and virtual hallucinations.'

Intention to show SZ that their hallucinations are not real.

However, no evidence that this will provide a successful treatment

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AO2 2 Retrospective

  • Brown and Birley's research is retrospective - data collected after events have occured
  • Once a person has developed SZ  asked questions about events leading upto the onset.
  • Recall would be negatively affected by events surrounding the onset - unreliable
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AO2 3 Hirsch et al

  • Prospective studies are preferable - studied after the onset of the disorder
  • Hirsch - followed 71 SZ patients over a 48 week period.
    • Clear that life events made a cumulative contribution in the 12 months preceeding relapse rather than having a more concentrated effect in the period just prior to the episode.
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AO2 4 Van Os et al

  • Not all research supports life events
  • Van Os et al - no link between life events and the onset of SZ. 
  • Prospective part - patients who had experienced a major life event went on to have a lower incidence of relapse.
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AO2 5 Correlational

  • research is correlational
  • cannot infer a causal relationship between stressful life events and SZ
  • early symptoms were the cause of life events e.g. divorce
  • may be a consequence rather than a cause
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IDA Approaches

  • Biological explanations have better research support
  • large body of evidence - role of genetic factors
    • Gottesman - greater degree of relatedness the greater risk of SZ
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