Biological Causes Of Abnormality Essays

Though at one point in time clinical scientists believed in only one model of abnormality, we now have six very different models. The original model of abnormality was, unfortunately, the product of cultural beliefs. But because no one model can be deemed complete on its own, competing models have since developed to strive for the comprehensive means for treatment. For example, the biological model and the psychodynamic model take very different approaches on understanding thoughts and emotions. All models are unique and similar to each other, but the biological model and psychodynamic model seem to be the most extreme when compared to each other.

The biological model takes on more of a medical perspective, which is somewhat self-explanatory in its title. It takes its roots in human biological or genetic makeup. The main focus of the biological approach is the brain and how psychological abnormality stems from malfunctioning parts of the organism.

This is because biological theorists have found links between problems in cerebral anatomy and actual psychological disorders. When there is difficulty in transmitting messages between neurons, psychological disorders can occur. Also, researchers believe that these disorders can come from abnormal chemical activity in the endocrine system and from genetics. Inheritance can play an important role in the predisposition to certain mood disorders, like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

The psychodynamic model, the oldest and most popular of the six, has a completely different approach than that of the biological model. The psychodynamic model states that a person's behavior is the result of underlying dynamic psychological forces, whether they are independent or interactive. A conflict between these dynamic forces is what causes abnormal behavior. Freud, the father of the psychodynamic model, proposed that it was an unconscious conflict between three forces: the id, ego, and superego. If one's developmental...


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 РLink: 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.

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