The Biological approach to psychopathology

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: kira
  • Created on: 10-04-12 15:36

The biological approach studies the relationship between behaviour and the body's physiological systems. The biological (medical) model assumes that all mental disorders are related to a change in the body. An illness or change could be caused by one of four factors: genes, biochemistry, neuroanatomy and viral infection.

Genetic Inheritance:

Abnormalities in the brain are sometimes caused by genetic inheritance-that passing from parent to child. One way of investigating this is looking at identical twins. Pairs of identical twins can compared to see , when one twin has a disorder, the other has it as well. This gives us a concordance rate-to see how far the individuals are similar to each other in terms of traits. Low concordance rates for mental disorders could be things like a phobia. A high concordance rate for others could be schizophrenia. Many of the genes responsible for particular disorders may carry a particular trait that was useful to our ancestors but not useful for us any longer.

Some Genes can lead to abnormal biochemistry and/or abnormal neuroanatomy:

Genes tell the body how to work. For example, they can determine the levels of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain (biochemistry). High levels of Serotonin


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Approaches resources »