The biological model of abnormality

Part of this theory stems from much research into the major neurotransmitterserotoninwhich seems to show that major psychological illnesses such as bipolar disorder and anorexia nervosa are caused by abnormally reduced levels of Serotonin in the brain. Electroconvulsive therapy has also proved to be a successful short-term treatment for depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder and related illnesses, although the reasons for its success are almost completely unknown. There is also evidence for a genetic factor in causing psychological illness. The main cures for psychological illness under this model:

The biological model of abnormality

The Biological Approach to explain abnormality The biological approach is also known as the biomedical model. The basic premise is that psychological abnormality has a physical cause such as illness or disease. Behaviour is shaped by internal, physiological factors. Genetics I has been suggested that abnormality may be linked to genetics.

Family and twin studies have been carried out to assess the importance of genetics in abnormality. Infection Infection has been found to be related to abnormal behaviour and may explain why people develop abnormalities. The flu virus has been linked to schizophrenia.

These women appear to have contracted the flu virus during the first trimester of pregnancy and this has led to poor neural development and schizophrenia Secondly Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that has been known to cause brain damage and therefore can be shown to lead to abnormality.

Biochemistry Neurotransmitters are thought to be imbalanced in the nervous system of people suffering from psychological disorders. Excessive amounts of dopamine have been associated with schizophrenia.

The biological model of abnormality

What illness has been associated with low levels of serotonin? Depression Which hormone is associated with depression? Cortisol Brain structure Abnormal behaviour can occur if the structure of the brain is damaged in some way.

An example is that of enlarged ventricles. Ventricles are sacks of fluid in our brain, people with schizophrenia tend to have larger ventricles than the normal population.

Evaluation of the Biological Approach 1. One problem with the biological Approach is that the premise lays no blame with the individual. A second criticism to the biological approach is that it relinquishes responsibility from the suffer. When using a medical model the individual is encouraged to be passive in their treatment.

This will only treat the symptoms of the abnormality not the psychological cause. A final weakness is that the biological approach is reductionist. The biological approach tends to break down explanations to the most basic simple level.

The biological approach states that psychological abnormality has a physical cause this explanation does not consider the cognitions, learned behaviour or early psychosexual experiences.

McGuffin et al investigated the genetic component of depression. This suggests that there is a genetic component in depression. They claim that abnormal behaviour is learned through experience, and even if something has a physical or biological predisposition, the behaviour is maintained by environmental reinforcement.

Watson and Rayner proposed that children learn phobias through paired associations. It is suggested that through classical conditioning people can learn to associate an unconditioned response with a neutral stimulus. Therefore resulting in a conditioned response that can lead to a phobia.

Operant Conditioning as an explanation of abnormality Skinner explains that behaviour is influenced by the consequences of our actions in terms of positive and negative reinforcement.

Also, anxiety or depression might receive reward in the form of attention and concern, also making the behaviour be repeated. This positive reinforcement means that the person will repeat that behaviour in the future as they want the positive attention. Therefore allowing the individual to learn that avoiding situations will reduce the negative emotions.

Another example is when people suffer with addictions the removal of the withdrawal symptoms by the drug negatively reinforces the abnormal behaviour.

Social Learning Theory as an explanation of abnormality Bandura suggests that if we observe behaviour, are able to recall the details, have the ability to replicate it and the opportunity to, then if we are motivated by reinforcements… we will imitate and repeat it. Children learn from role models within their lives eg.

Antisocial behaviour can be explained by Social Learning Theory, if a child observes an aggressive model who is rewarded. This can lead to imitation therefore the child is likely to imitate antisocial behaviours like aggression. Also some phobias develop due to observing how a model responds to a stimulus.2 The Biological Model •Adopts a medical perspective •Main focus is that psychological abnormality is an illness brought about by malfunctioning.

The biological (medical) model of abnormality makes the assumption that psychological and behavioural abnormalities have biological causes. In other words, things go wrong with behaviour and experience, because something has gone wrong with the brain. Possible Biological Causes of Abnormality.

The biological model of abnormality

The biological model of abnormality says that psychological disorders are a result of biological issues. According to this model, Percy's depression might be caused by a chemical imbalance in his.

Biological Model: The biological model of abnormality views abnormalities as medical illnesses. The abnormalities are believed to be caused by genetic inheritance, evolution, prenatal exposure, viral infections, or injuries to the brain tissue that affect the brain structure and chemistry.

Evaluating the biological model of abnormality Research evidence Plenty of studies have found that psychological disturbance is associated with biological changes (e.g. of neurotransmitters & hormones), however it is often impossible to tell whether such changes are .

CHAPTER:3 Models of Abnormality TOPIC OVERVIEW The Biological Model How Do Biological Theorists Explain Abnormal Behavior?

Biological Treatments The Psychodynamic Model.

Explanations of abnormality - AS Psychology