Psychological Or Non Biological Explanations Of Schizophrenia Notes
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Psychological/ non-biological explanations for schizophrenia
Environmental factors o Parents - learnt behaviour o Working conditions o Social class, experience of poverty Psychodynamic explanation o Conflicts between unconscious id, ego and superego o Psychosexual stages of development Traumatic experience o Life events o Grievances Cognitive explanation o Processing information in a way that the person develops schizophrenia
E.g. delusions, paranoia Learning explanation/ behaviourism
Concerned with unconscious processes According to the psychodynamic approach, abnormality is caused by unresolved conflict between the id, ego and superego that has been repressed into the unconscious o Causes 'inner turmoil' which leads to schizophrenic behaviour Freud argued that if the world of the schizophrenic is particularly harsh, a child may become fixated a particular stage of development e.g. if the child's parents are cold and uncaring If a child becomes fixated at the oral stage, it could explain the sense of 'loss of reality' experienced by schizophrenics o Because the ego has no control - auditory hallucinations could be the ego trying to regain control Prior to the ego developing, the child is ruled by the id (selfish desires) o Schizophrenia can therefore represent a regression to this time Some symptoms represent the ego's attempt to re-establish itself Evaluation
o Lack of falsifiability / ability to test
Face validity in the assumption that schizophrenics suffer 'inner turmoil' - cannot be proven o Speculative
Impossible to empirically test concepts such as the id, ego and superego - a lot of interpretation in Freud's theory o Lack of evidence
Subsequent psychoanalysts, like Freud, have claimed that disordered family patterns are the cause of schizophrenia e.g. family interactions and patterns of communication were linked to the cause of schizophrenia - 'schizophregenic families' was used to describe dysfunctional families
Approaches o Biological - objective and measurable - born with drives Issues o Unfalsifiable Ethics o Revisiting repressed memories Debates o Determinism v free will o Nomothetic v idiographic Evaluation o Low temporal validity - Victorian era o Low population validity - case studies o Unscientific - relies on memories etc.
Behaviourist/ learning approach:
Classical conditioning o Association o Unconditioned stimulus leads to unconditioned response o Pain leads to fear o Born with innate behaviours to survive o Unconditioned and conditioned stimulus leads to unconditional response o Pain and music leads to fear o Conditioned stimulus leads to conditioned response
o Music leads to fear o Association happens in the second stage and has been learnt Operant conditioning (important for schizophrenia) o Reinforcement/ consequences - subjective o Positive reinforcement - give child something they want o Negative reinforcement - take something away that child doesn't want o Punishment - when something unpleasant happens but an alternative behaviour is not learnt - not useful learning technique Social learning theory o Observation o Learn through exposure to role models with an opportunity to observe them directly or indirectly o Imitate the role model o If internalisation takes place, then identification has occurred
These may not happen due to mediating cognitive factors which are mental processes which influence whether we imitate the person or not o Vicarious reinforcement - someone else gets reinforcement
Behavioural approach suggests all behaviour is learned:
Operant conditioning o Punishment causes child to withdraw through fear of further punishment o Child becomes viewed and labelled as 'odd' o Child is given attention (positive reinforcement) which encourages them to remain withdrawn o Child then conforms to 'odd' label o Child shows more exaggerated behaviours to gain attention o Schizophrenia develops To what extent is it appropriate to blame the parents/ anyone responsible for that behaviour/ schizophrenia Cannot explain all experiences of schizophrenia People could be playing up to label instead of genuinely having an illness - exaggeration Potentially damaging explanation - fault is that of parents or victim - suggests they have a level of control Could prevent schizophrenia in young children Shows punishment is not good way of learning Labelling brings stereotypes - labelling theory
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