The biological model of abnormality

However, since the s psychiatrists have predominantly treated mental illnesses using drugs. What is happening here? However as we will see, the causes of many mental illnesses are unknown.

Click here for more info report this ad Aboraya, A. Behaviourists point to the success of behavioural therapies in treating certain disorders.

Evaluation of the biological model Assuming that psychological disorders are the result of biological factors is not without its problems. Clinical interview Careful observation of behavior, mood states, etc.

The main cure for illnesses under this model is free association where the patient is free to speak while the psychiatrist notes down and tries to interpret where the trouble areas are.

Also, systematic desensitisation can be used, especially where phobias are involved by using the phobia that currently causes the dysfunctional behaviour and coupling it with a phobia that produces a more intense reaction.

Given that diagnosis relies on the subjective interpretation of the therapist, their opinions may vary.

Models of abnormality

It therefore covers a much larger range of conditions than just mental health disorders. Its assumptions were that behaviour is primarily the result of the environment rather then genetics or instincts and so the behaviourists reject the view that abnormal behaviour has a biological basis.

Appropriateness Drugs do not deal with the cause of the problem, they only reduce the symptoms. ECT was used historically but was largely abandoned as a treatment for schizophrenia after the discovery of the antipsychotic drugs in the s but has recently been re-introduced in the USA.

As you will remember from Little HansFreud also thought that early childhood experiences and the unconscious were crucial to the formation of psychological disorders.

Infection Infection has been found to be related to abnormal behaviour and may explain why people develop abnormalities.


Patients often welcome drug therapy, as it is quicker, easier and less threatening than talk therapy. There is a large body of research, particularly case histories, to back up the claims of the humanistic model The model offers an optimistic view of personality It is regarded as an ethical model because it focuses on the person rather than the diagnosis The model facilitates the human capacity for self-cure Weaknesses of the humanistic model: Anti psychotics produce a range of side effects including motor tremors and weight gain.

Medical records Psychometric tests On the basis of the diagnosis, the psychiatrist will prescribe treatment such as drugs, psychosurgery or electroconvulsive therapy. Example A patient presenting with anxiety symptoms would be encouraged to explore his past in order to discover problems occurring during one of the psychosexual stages oral, anal, phallic and genital.

Behaviourists believe that all behaviour good or bad is learned through our interaction with the environment.

The use of drugs to treat abnormal behaviour The biological model has led to the development of drug therapies that are often effective in controlling psychological symptoms, for example antidepressant drugs effectively treat depression and antipsychotic drugs can control schizophrenia.

The procedure for administering ECT involves the patient receiving a short acting anaesthetic and muscle relaxant before the shock is administered. The humanistic model does not believe in labelling people by diagnosing them as having specific mental disorders.

Paris3, Example A patient suffering from a depressed mood after failing a driving test may be having negative thoughts not only about that specific failure but may be generalising those to other areas of her life. Whenever symptoms are treated without any attempt to ascertain the deeper underlying problems, then the problem will only manifest itself in another way, through different symptoms.

Relapse is likely when drugs are discontinued. Historically, they were thought to be possessed by evil spirits or the devil — especially women who were burned as witches! Also some phobias develop due to observing how a model responds to a stimulus. For example, phobias may arise from classical conditioning, where we come to associate a stimulus e.

Behaviourists reject this criticism and claim that we need not look beyond the behavioural symptoms as the symptoms are the disorder.Predator-based psychosocial stress animal model of PTSD: Preclinical assessment of traumatic stress at cognitive, hormonal, pharmacological, cardiovascular and epigenetic levels of analysis.

Zoladz PR, Diamond DM.


Watch video lessons on the biological model of abnormality, and learn about the brain, the endocrine system, and the physiology of mental health.  The Biological model of abnormality  Key assumptions of the medical/biological model  The biological model believes that all psychological disorders have a physical cause (for example genetics, anatomy, biochemistry etc.

The biological (medical) model of abnormality makes the assumption that psychological and behavioural abnormalities have biological causes. In other words, things go wrong with behaviour and experience, because something has gone wrong with the brain.

Possible Biological Causes of Abnormality.

Models of abnormality are general hypotheses as to the nature of psychological abnormalities. The four main models to explain psychological abnormality are the biological, behavioural, cognitive, and psychodynamic models.

2 The Biological Model •Adopts a medical perspective •Main focus is that psychological abnormality is an illness brought about by malfunctioning.

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The biological model of abnormality
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