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.
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How To Reference This Post: Saj Devshi 2014, Loopa Psychology – Link: http://www.loopa.co.uk/biological-approach-abnormality
Hodder Education 2012 Jean Marc Lawton Psychology A Level
Cara Flanagan – Complete companion AS student book.