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APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY
Transcript of APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY
The Focus of this
approach is on:
APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY
It should be treated in the same way
as a physical illness, i.e. with drugs
Abnormality is a result of genetic inheritance
Identical = 100% genes - MONOZYGOTIC
Non-identical = 50% genes -
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
Imbalances in brain chemistry, such as too much or too little of a particular neurotransmitter can be linked to a mental illness
are associated with
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
Twin studies have provided evidence for the
For example, in schizophrenia, there is a
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
There are many effective biological treatments that work by altering
Drug therapies for disorders such as
This means that because these drugs work on a biological level, some disorders are likely to have a
Much of the research is
levels and the
This means that it is not possible to say that changes in neurotransmitter level
According to this approach the individual is handing over the
of their disorders to health professionals by relying on
to treat their disorder
This prevents the person taking
of their own
rate is not 100% in schizophrenia
It is likely that
cause someone to be susceptible to a mental disorder but it only develops if there is a trigger in the
This means that genetics are not the only
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
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
The unresolved conflicts cause
To prevent these conflicts from entering someones conscious awareness, Freud believed that the
These distort reality but allow people to
Freud believed everybody used these to some degree but could cause mental disorders if used
Putting unpleasant thoughts into the
so you are
aware of them
Saying that there is
e.g. an alcoholic may
they are dependent on alcohol
Accusing someone else of being e.g angry or secretive w
hen it is you
who is feeling angry or secretive
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
6 years - puberty
Pleasure gained from eating and sucking
Weaning = most important development achievement
Pleasure gained from expelling or retaining faeces.
Bowel and bladder control are important achievements
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
Focus on social rather than psychosexual development.
Calm before the storm of adolescence
Conflicts experiences during the earlier stages have been satisfactorily resolved, the greatest pleasure comes from mature heterosexual relationships
How we link this theory to psychopathology
All mental disorders are caused by
reasons, not anything
. The origins of mental disorders are within the
Mental disorders are the result of
in the unconscious between our
. when our
over uses the
to cope with anxiety, it can lead to mental illness.
Can be traced back to a traumatic early
that had been repressed by the
but has later emerged as a mental disorder
can lead to mental disorders i.e. oral stage leads to addiction
This is the
approach to acknowledge the role of the 'mind' and
reasons for psychopathology, rather than
1. Abstract Concepts
do not relate to
They operate at the unconscious level and are hard to
so there is a
of research evidence.
2. Evidence Lacks Validity
research evidence to support it.
He based his theory on
of middle-class Viennese women suffering from anxiety disorders
from this sample to other samples
Approach been criticized for suggesting that people are prisoners of their
, 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
. People are not responsible for mental disorders and find it difficult to take control of recovery.
All abnormal behaviour is due to faulty and irrational thinking
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
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
"I am worthless"
"Everything is against me"
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
activating event (Sight of large dog)
belief - rational or irrational (the dog will attack me)
consequence - rational beliefs lead to healthy emotions, whereas irrational beliefs lead to unhealthy emotions (fear or panic)
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
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?
1. Abnormal behaviour is learned like any other normal behaviour, through
(associations) e.g acquisition of a phobia or
(rewards). Abnormal behaviour can also be learnt through
e.g modeling phobic responses in others.
2. The same laws apply to
3. Our actions are determined largely by the
, not by physical (
) or unconscious forces (
Classical conditioning can be used to explain abnormal behaviour such as phobias and the case of Little Albert.
Behaviour is based on the principles reinforcement - rewards
If behaviour is reinforced/rewarded it is more likely to be repeated
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.
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
Infant monkeys acquired a fear of snakes after observation of parents
Bandura et al. (1963)
How can social learning theory
We observe influential role models being rewarded for being thin and we imitate their behaviour
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
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