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The Biological Approach To Abnormality

Biological Explanations For Psychopathology AS Psychology

AO1 Theory For Psya2 (6 Marks)

The biological approach to abnormality, also known as the medical model to explaining abnormality (psychopathology), assumes that abnormality can be explained due to organic physical causes within people. This could be due to genetics and faulty genes, hormonal imbalances with neurotransmitters, problems in brain activity, brain injury or even through infection.

For example high levels of dopamine has been linked to schizophrenia suggesting a possible biological cause through neurotransmitter imbalances. Neurotransmitters are biochemicals which carry signals between brain cells and too much or too little has been linked to various disorders. Other possible causes suggest genetics could be at work with some mental disorders running higher between family members than the average population. Other explanations suggest infection could also explain abnormality with general paresis, which is caused by syphilis, affecting peoples behaviour causing them to become psychotic. Parts of the brain have been shown to control higher mental processes such as inhibition and restraint and injury to this could result in abnormal behaviour for people. Problems in neuroanatomy and problems in the brain structure could also result in abnormality also and this could ultimately be linked back to genetics. For example in people suffering from autism the cerebellum is much smaller than people people without the disease. The biological approach assumes that abnormality can be treated much like a physical condition and through focusing treatment on bodily functions as opposed to mental.

The biological approach to abnormality
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If you wish to get the full 12 mark essay for Psya2 as well as every other possible 12 mark question that can come up in the June 2015 Psya2 exam – Check out my Psya2 A* Student Handbook here on the right. You can also get free psychology revision resources here.

How To Reference This Post: Saj Devshi 2014, Loopa Psychology – Link: http://www.loopa.co.uk/biological-approach-abnormality

References:

Hodder Education 2012 Jean Marc Lawton Psychology A Level

Cara Flanagan – Complete companion AS student book.

Saj Devshi
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Saj Devshi

Jedi Master at Loopa
Since 2012 I've helped literally thousands of students achieve some amazing grades for A level Psychology and get into their chosen universities - Even schools across the UK now use my resources. If you're studying Psychology why not Follow me on Twitter, LIKE my Facebook page or subscribe to my YouTube channel and get tons of free resources and updates and see just how well you can do too.
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