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APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY

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by

Freya Harper

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY

Abnormality is caused by abnormal physical processes
The Focus of this
approach is on:
APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY
BIOLOGICAL APPROACH
It should be treated in the same way
as a physical illness, i.e. with drugs
Genetics

Neurotransmitters
Neuroanatomy
Genetics
Abnormality is a result of genetic inheritance
Investigated using
twin studies
Identical = 100% genes - MONOZYGOTIC
Non-identical = 50% genes -
DIZYGOTIC
If a disorder is purely genetic, if one identical twin has it, then the other will have it too...
Studies show that MZ twins are more likely to both have a mental disorder than DZ twins.
The CONCORDANCE rate
is higher for MZ twins then DZ twins
Neurotransmitters
Imbalances in brain chemistry, such as too much or too little of a particular neurotransmitter can be linked to a mental illness
Low
levels of
serotonin
are associated with
depression
High
levels of
dopamine
is
associated with
schizophrenia
Neuroanatomy
Mental disorders are related to the physical structure or damage of the brain
Differences in the brain structure
could cause mental illness
For example, schizophrenics have enlarged ventricles in their brains
EVALUATIONS
STRENGTHS
Evidence
Twin studies have provided evidence for the
biological approach
For example, in schizophrenia, there is a
higher concordance
rate in MZ twins then in DZ twins
This means that there is good genetic bases for psychological disorders - strong evidence for a genetic
cause for abnormality
Treatment
There are many effective biological treatments that work by altering
neurotransmitter
levels
Drug therapies for disorders such as
depression
are successful
This means that because these drugs work on a biological level, some disorders are likely to have a
biological cause
Weaknesses
Correlational Research
Much of the research is
correlational
between
neurotransmitter
levels and the
mental disorder
This means that it is not possible to say that changes in neurotransmitter level
causes
mental illness

Responsibility
According to this approach the individual is handing over the
responsibility
of their disorders to health professionals by relying on
drugs
to treat their disorder
This prevents the person taking
control
of their own
recovery

The
concordance
rate is not 100% in schizophrenia
It is likely that
genes
cause someone to be susceptible to a mental disorder but it only develops if there is a trigger in the
neurotransmitters
This means that genetics are not the only
cause
of
psychological abnormality.


Conscious
Unconscious
EGO
ID
SUPEREGO
PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH
Mental disorders are caused by a psychological reason rather than a biological cause
The origins of mental disorders are within the unconscious
Unresolved conflicts in the mind causes mental disorders
Early childhood experiences causes mental disorders (the 'young' ego represses trauma)
This part manages the conflict between the
ID
and the
SUPEREGO

This is the moral part of the personality

It dictates what is right and what is wrong
The selfish part of the mind

It demands immediate satisfaction and does not care about reality
DEFENSE MECHANISMS
The unresolved conflicts cause
anxiety
To prevent these conflicts from entering someones conscious awareness, Freud believed that the
EGO
used
DEFENSE MECHANISMS
These distort reality but allow people to
cope
Freud believed everybody used these to some degree but could cause mental disorders if used
too much

1. Repression
Putting unpleasant thoughts into the
unconscious
so you are
not
aware of them
2. Denial
Saying that there is
not
a
problem
e.g. an alcoholic may
deny
they are dependent on alcohol
3. Projection
Accusing someone else of being e.g angry or secretive w
hen it is you
who is feeling angry or secretive
PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT
Freud argued that all abnormal behaviours are a result of problems in childhood
Another element that shapes our personality is psychosexual development
These are the stages that a child goes through from birth until 18 years of age
Too much or too little gratification (pleasure) at one stage can lead to a person becoming fixated and has later effects and might lead to a mental disorder
Oral Stage
Anal Stage
Phallic Stage
0-18 months
18-36 months
3-6 years
Latency Stage

6 years - puberty
Genital Stage
Puberty to
maturity
Pleasure gained from eating and sucking
Weaning = most important development achievement
Addiction
Pleasure gained from expelling or retaining faeces.
Bowel and bladder control are important achievements
OCD
Most vital stage - become aware of gender and focus is on genitals.
Oedipus complex - boys - love mum, jealous of dad - castration anxiety
Electra complex - girls - penis envy
Sexual
Deviance
Focus on social rather than psychosexual development.
Calm before the storm of adolescence

Immature Relations
Conflicts experiences during the earlier stages have been satisfactorily resolved, the greatest pleasure comes from mature heterosexual relationships
Inability to
form stable
relationships
How we link this theory to psychopathology
All mental disorders are caused by
psychological
reasons, not anything
physical
. The origins of mental disorders are within the
unconscious

Mental disorders are the result of
unresolved conflicts
in the unconscious between our
ID
and
SUPEREGO
. when our
EGO
over uses the
defense mechanisms
to cope with anxiety, it can lead to mental illness.
Can be traced back to a traumatic early
childhood experience
that had been repressed by the
EGO
but has later emerged as a mental disorder
Fixations
during
psychosexual development
can lead to mental disorders i.e. oral stage leads to addiction
EVALUATIONS
STRENGTHS
Influential
This is the
first
approach to acknowledge the role of the 'mind' and
psychological

reasons for psychopathology, rather than
biological
processes
Led to
other
psychological approaches
WEAKNESSES
1. Abstract Concepts
The
ID
,
EGO
and
SUPEREGO
do not relate to
physical
structures.
They operate at the unconscious level and are hard to
test scientifically
so there is a
lack
of research evidence.

2. Evidence Lacks Validity
Freud's theory
lacks
research evidence to support it.
He based his theory on
observations
of middle-class Viennese women suffering from anxiety disorders
Hard to
generalize
from this sample to other samples
4. Deterministic
Approach been criticized for suggesting that people are prisoners of their
childhood experiences
, unable to escape them and saying their lives will be determined by them
3. Blame The Parents
The approach holds parents to blame for the problems their children have, perhaps as a result of problems during the
psychosexual stages
. People are not responsible for mental disorders and find it difficult to take control of recovery.
COGNITIVE APPROACH
All abnormal behaviour is due to faulty and irrational thinking
Main Assumptions
1. Abnormality is caused by faulty thinking
There is an emphasis on distorted thoughts and irrational beliefs which could cause a mental disorder
EXAMPLE: Focusing on the negative aspects of the event and processing information in a distorted way.
Hearing: "She really gets on my nerves"
Thinking: "She must be talking about me"
2. Cognitive model suggests people's negative thoughts produce systematic cognitive distortions in thinking
EXAMPLE:
Over Generalisation - Believing you'll never get a job because you failed one interview.
Magnification - Mountain out of a molehill - Can't find new lipstick = whole evening ruined.


3. Cognitive distortions have an influence over our emotions and beliefs and can lead to abnormality or irrational behaviour.
EXAMPLE: Not eating because you have a distorted body image
4. The individual in control and responsible for their behavior because the individual controls their own thoughts.

Behaviour is therefore not due to physical, unconscious or environmental factors
Beck's Cognitive Triad (1936)
3 illogical thought processes, the cognitive triad can result in irrational beliefs and feelings leading to depression
COGNITIVE
TRIAD
Self
"I am worthless"
World
"Everything is against me"
Future
Nothing is ever going to change
Negative and distorted thinking patterns can explain depression.
Ellis' A-B-C Model (1962)
This model assumes that faulty and irrational thinking prevents the individual from behaving adaptively
A
activating event (Sight of large dog)
B
belief - rational or irrational (the dog will attack me)
C
consequence - rational beliefs lead to healthy emotions, whereas irrational beliefs lead to unhealthy emotions (fear or panic)
EVALUATIONS
STRENGTHS
1. Supported by research evidence
Gustafson (1992) found that irrational thinking processes were displayed by many people with psychological disorders such as anxiety or depression
2. This approach has lead to effective therapies
Butler et al (2006) reviewed 16 meta-analysis of CBT which included 332 studies and concluded CBT was highly effective for disorders such as depression and PTSD
WEAKNESSES
1. Blame is on the patient
This approach suggests that the patient is responsible for their psychological disorder
Ignores situational factors such as life events or family problems or biological factors and these could contribute to mental disorders
2. Cause or effect?
Do irrational thoughts cause depression or are irrational thoughts cause by depression?
Are they just s symptom of depression?
BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH
1. Abnormal behaviour is learned like any other normal behaviour, through
conditioning
either
classical conditioning
(associations) e.g acquisition of a phobia or
operant

conditioning
(rewards). Abnormal behaviour can also be learnt through
social learning
e.g modeling phobic responses in others.
2. The same laws apply to
human
and
non-human animal
behaviour
3. Our actions are determined largely by the
environment
, not by physical (
biological approach
) or unconscious forces (
psychodynamic approach
)
CLASSICAL
CONDITIONING
Classical conditioning can be used to explain abnormal behaviour such as phobias and the case of Little Albert.
Unconditioned Stimulus
(UCS)
BANG!
Unconditioned Response
(UCR)
Scared
BANG!
Unconditioned Stimulus
(UCS)
Neutral Stimulus
(NS)
Conditioned Stimulus
(CS)
Conditioned Response
(CR)
Scared
OPERANT
CONDITIONING
Behaviour is based on the principles reinforcement - rewards
If behaviour is reinforced/rewarded it is more likely to be repeated
B.F Skinner
Example:
Some psychologist say that eating disorders are maintained because the attention the sufferer receives, for example, compliments from weight loss, is rewarding so they carry of starving.
SOCIAL LEARNING
THEORY
People learn by observing the behaviour of others or role models (observational learning)
Learning is more likely to take place if other people are seen to be rewarded for their behaviour
VICARIOUS REINFORCEMENT
Mineka (1984)
Infant monkeys acquired a fear of snakes after observation of parents
Bandura et al. (1963)
How can social learning theory
explain anorexia?
We observe influential role models being rewarded for being thin and we imitate their behaviour
EVALUATIONS
STRENGTHS
1. Convincing explanation for some abnormal behaviour
The behavioural approach can explain some disorders such as phobias well.
This means that it is an effective explanation for some disorders.
2. Effective Treatment
The behavioural model has led to effective behavioural therapies used to treat phobias e.g systematic desensitisation
WEAKNESSES
1. Limited Approach
Ignored the role of cognitive and biology
It cannot explain more complex disorders such as schizophrenia.
There is a lot of evidence to support the genetic transmission of some disorders and this appraoch does not account for this
2. Generalising From Animals
Most evidence comes from animal studies carried out in labs. It is difficult to generalise from these to humans especially for something as complex as mental disorder
Full transcript