Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

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  • Created by: becky
  • Created on: 06-06-14 22:17

Psychological explanations of Schizophrenia (Sz)

Cognitive Explanation: Frith (et al)

Metarepresentation- this is the ability to reflect on our thoughts, behaviour and experiences.

                According to Frith, failure in this leads to an inability to distinguish between speech heard externally and internal thoughts. This helps to explain positive symptoms such as hallucinations.

Central Control – this is the ability to suppress our automatic responses

                                According to Frith, failure in this leads to the inability to regulate willed and stimulus-driven behaviour. This helps to explain symptoms such as disorganised thinking.


J Bentall- compared a group of non-Sz people to people with Sz and found that those who had Sz found it difficult to distinguish between words that they had come up with themselves and words they had heard externally.

L However Frith’s model is not a full explanation. It may explain the origins of symptoms coming from cognitive deficits, however it doesn’t explain where these deficits come from. Therefore this explanation is reductionist

L Cognitive deficits are identified through tests that measure cognitive skill, however little difference has been found between people with Sz and bi-polar

J Overall, Frith’s model provide a comprehensive framework in explaining the symptoms of Sz

Social-cultural explanations

These are based on social and cultural factors such as the family and social environment of the Sz person. Research has shown that Sz is commonly found in those of dysfunctional families. This has led to the Expression Emotion explanation.

Expressed Emotion

Brown found that people with Sz are more likely


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