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Models of Abnormality. 1.Biological (medical) model 2.Psychodynamic model 3.Behaviourist model 4.Cognitive model.

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Presentation on theme: "Models of Abnormality. 1.Biological (medical) model 2.Psychodynamic model 3.Behaviourist model 4.Cognitive model."— Presentation transcript:

1 Models of Abnormality

2 1.Biological (medical) model 2.Psychodynamic model 3.Behaviourist model 4.Cognitive model

3 The biological (medical) approach Assumptions on the causes of abnormality Infection –Some mental illnesses have been linked to known micro- organisms (germs). Barr et al found an increased incidence of schizophrenia in mothers who had the flu when they were pregnant Genetic factors –Individuals may inherit predispositions to certain illnesses, they are carried on in the genes from one generation to the next. Masterson & Davis (1985) found relatives of schizophrenics were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed

4 The biological (medical) approach Assumptions of the causes of abnormality Biochemistry –Schizophrenia is associated with an excessive amount of dopamine, a chemical substance in the brain. However, we cannot be certain whether excesses are the cause or the effect of schizophrenia Neuroanatomy –Neuroanatomy means the structure of the nervous system. In the case of schizophrenia, there is evidence from post-mortem studies that their brains are different from non-schizophrenic brains

5 The biological (medical) approach Implications for treatment If the causes of a disorder are biological, then it is possible to cure the patient by changing their biological processes, there are a number of treatments; –Drug therapy Drugs may be used to correct biochemical abnormalities, for example decreasing the dopamine levels in schizophrenia sufferers

6 Psychosurgery –Brain surgery is used in extremely rare conditions, where no other treatment seems appropriate. Sections of the brain are removed or lesions are made separating parts of the brain. Examples include lobotomies which typically make patients calmer The biological (medical) approach Implications for treatment

7 The Psychodynamic Approach (Early 1900s) One of the main psychologists in this approach is Sigmund Freud Freud believed that the mind is made up of three parts: Conscious Pre- Conscious Unconscious

8 Within the mind there are three aspects of your personality that determine how you behave… Id This is the part of your personality that demands immediate satisfaction of needs (Its like a little devil!) Ego The part that controls the fights between the Id and the Super-ego Super-ego This is the part that contains your morals / conscience (Its like an angel!)

9 The psychodynamic approach Assumptions of the causes of abnormality Conflict between the id, ego and super-ego –Conflicts occur between the ids desire for immediate gratification and the desire of the super-ego to maintain moral standards and ideals. The ego is the mediator between the two Fixation at the psychosexual stages due to conflict –There are a number of stages that individuals go through during development. Major conflicts or excessive gratification at any of the stages means that the child will become fixated. At times of great emotional stress a person may regress to an earlier stage of development or fixation (e.g. thumb sucking / comfort eating in times of distress)

10 Defence mechanisms that help control conflict –The conflicts of the id and super-ego lead to anxiety. The ego protects itself against anxiety using defence mechanisms which include repression The psychodynamic approach Assumptions of the causes of abnormality

11 The psychodynamic approach Implications for treatment If the causes of a disorder are unconscious, the implication of this model of treatment is to bring the repressed material into the conscious mind, this may be done through; Dream analysis –Freud believed that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious. There were two parts of dreams, the latent and the manifest content. The manifest content is the storyline and the latent content is the true meaning that is hidden beneath the symbols Free association –This is where the patient lets their mind wander freely and says whatever comes into their head. This often uncovers repressed events and exposes unconscious desires (Dont forget that Freud also used hypnosis and analysis of slips of the tongue)

12 The Behavioural Approach Assumptions of the causes of abnormality Human behaviour is learnt –mental disorders arise from maladaptive learning. Learning can be in the form of classical conditioning, operant conditioning or social learning Classical conditioning –A stimulus which does not normally produce a response in an individual will come to do so if paired with a stimulus that does produce a response, for example Pavlovs dogs. This can help to explain how disorders such as phobias develop.

13 The Behavioural Approach Assumptions of the causes of abnormality Operant conditioning –Behaviours which are reinforced are likely to be repeated. For example, if behaviours such as depression are reinforced through increased attention, they may be repeated. Observational learning and modelling –With social learning, individuals learn particular abnormal behaviours through observing others and then modelling (copying) behaviour. This may explain how eating disorders develop.

14 The Behavioural Approach Implications for treatment If the causes of a disorder are the result of maladaptive learning, then the behaviour can be unlearned using one of the following techniques; Systematic desensitisation (Classical conditioning) –The client is taught to relax and confront feared objects/situations in a calm and peaceful setting, the idea is that the object becomes associated with calmness Token economy (Operant conditioning) –Institutionalised patients may be given tokens for behaving in appropriate ways (can be used to obtain privileges).

15 The Behavioural Approach Implications for treatment Aversion therapy (Classical conditioning) –Maladaptive behaviour is associated with something unpleasant (for example, given a sickness drug when lighting a cigarette).

16 The Cognitive Approach Assumptions of the causes of abnormality To understand behaviour we must understand thoughts – includes how people see themselves and the world around them. Abnormal behaviour is caused by faulty and irrational thought processes Examples of irrational thinking include: -Magnification and minimisation – people magnify failure and minimise achievement. -Overgeneralization – a person makes a sweeping conclusion based on a single trivial event. Beck used the term cognitive triad to refer to the three main forms of negative thinking – negative views of (1) self (2) world and (3) future.


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