• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Atypical Psychology: Describe and Evaluate Perspectives of Psychological Disorders (Studies and Theories).

Extracts from this document...


Atypical Psychology: Describe and Evaluate Perspectives of Psychological Disorders (Studies and Theories). In this assignment the Author intends to describe the dopamine hypothesis and its relationship to Schizophrenia, describe the biological and/or physiological theory of depression, evaluate the theories and offer alternative explanations for both schizophrenia and depression and finally conclude by writing an essay identifying three psychological disorders. The Dopamine Hypothesis According to the biochemical theory of schizophrenia and /or the dopamine hypothesis the causes of schizophrenia like symptoms is essentially an excess of the neurotransmitter dopamine. (Coordination Group Publications 2009). 'This was based on observations that an overdose of amphetamine causes schizophrenia like symptoms in normal participants (e.g., Snyder et al., 1974) and when given to schizophrenic patients, amphetamines tend to exaggerate their symptoms (Snyder et al., 1974). Amphetamines enhance the synaptic activity of dopamine.' (Snyder, 1976). (Keiron Walsh 2008). The primary evidence for this hypothesis comes from three main sources; the first is post mortems on schizophrenics which have shown unusually high levels of dopamine, especially in the limbic system (Iverson, 1979). The second is anti-schizophrenic drugs such as chlorpromazine which are thought to work by inhibiting the ability of the dopamine D2 receptors to respond to dopamine thus reducing dopamine activity; these drugs produce side effects similar to Parkinson's disease which is known to be caused by low levels of dopamine in particular nerve tracts. The third is high doses of L-dopa used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease; this treatment can often produce symptoms very similar to the psychomotor disorders seen in certain types of schizophrenia. ...read more.


(Coordination Group Publications 2009; Richard Gross 2010). Freud claimed that schizophrenia is caused by over-whelming anxiety, it's a defence mechanism involving regression into an earlier stage of development; Freud believed hallucinations are the ego's attempt to restore contact with reality. Laing (1967) also argued that schizophrenics lose contact with reality as a way of coping with social pressure; Laing claimed that it was wrong to encourage schizophrenics to conform. Freud also claimed that depression occurs when a child feels unloved by its parents and becomes angry, such anger then creates guilt so the anger is redirected towards the self; these feeling are eventually repressed but later return following a stressful and/or traumatic life event causing depression. Brown and Harris (1978) found that the women they interviewed were more likely to have depression if they experienced disrupted childhood attachments especially if their mother had died; unfortunately their isn't sufficient research to support Freud's theory, psychoanalysis isn't an effective treatment for schizophrenia and is unfalsifiable in the treatment of depression. (Coordination Group Publications 2009; Richard Gross 2010). It is possible that any numbers of factors in immeasurable quantities are potentially responsible for either schizophrenia or depression; any potential treatment is primarily dependent upon individual circumstances which in essence are almost impossible to pigeon hole or stereotype. Reference List: Coordination Group Publications 2009 AS & A2 Psychology Exam Board AQA A Richard Gross 2010 Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour Sixth Edition Kieron Walsh 2008 http://alevelpsychology.co.uk Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia and Dopamine Hypothesis accessed on ...read more.


In many cases, an individual with anorexia is very reluctant to get treatment as this would mean giving up control. Inpatient or other hospitalization is often needed when health is at risk. . (DSM-IV 1999 - 2003). In the past 30 years eating disorders or (EDs) have become widespread in western industrialised societies; this may be related to the over-abundance of food but it's more likely to be influenced by societal norms that link human attractiveness to being thin or waif-like. The popular and scientific assumption is that the preoccupation with thinness and dieting rampant in western societies is a direct cause of eating disorders. (Richard Gross 2010). 'According to Fedoroff and McFarlane (1998) it is well established that eating disorders are multidetermined and that culture is only one of many factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders. Furthermore, cultural factors can only be understood as they interact with the psychology and biology of the vulnerable individual; a culture cannot cause a disorder.' (Richard Gross 2010). According to the dimensional viewpoint, the full blown ED is the end point along a continuum that begins with normal dieting, advances to excessive concern about weight and the emergence of some clinical symptoms, and finally a severe, pathological illness. (Richard Gross 2010). Reference List: DSM-IV 1999 - 2003 http://allpsych.com/disorders accessed at 01:01 hrs on the 12th March 2011 Richard Gross 2010 Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour Sixth Edition ?? ?? ?? ?? Psychology Atypical Psychology - Psychological Disorders Tom Seath Gary Wheadon. Access to Higher Education Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Psychology of Individual Differences essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the main approaches - Biological and Behaviourist, biological and cognitive, ...

    4 star(s)

    For example one of the main criticisms of Kelley's co-variation model was that it assumed that individuals behave in a logical manner and ignores the fact that individuals can be irrational. This approach is reductionist as it ignores social and emotional factors.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the five main perspectives in psychology

    3 star(s)

    Information is selected, coded, stored and recalled when needed. They believe that events occurring within a person need to be studied if we are to understand that person's behaviour. These events are referred to as mediators as they occur between the stimulus and the behaviour. With this being apparent the main areas of research that cognitive focuses on are memory, perception and language.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate psychological explanations of anorexia

    3 star(s)

    anorexia, and therefore the behavioural approach cannot explain all cases of the disorder. Becker's study supports the behavioural approach. He found that when TV was introduced to Fiji in 1995, the % of girls who vomited to control their weight increased to 15% from 3%.

  2. Outline and Evaluate the Biological, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Explanations of Abnormality

    be blamed, however the genetic factor of an illness can reintroduce the feelings of guilt and anxiety to other family members. As this may cause distress not only to the patient but to the relatives as well the model is deemed, in some cases, to be unethical.

  1. Schizophrenia. This essay shall discuss the various theoretical causes of schizophrenia including; biological explanations ...

    and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have shown that, in comparison with healthy people, those with schizophrenia have smaller brains and larger cerebral ventricles, (Stirling and Hellewell, 1999). Such abnormalities may be the result of poor brain development, or some sort of damage; such problems, it is believed, may lead to the onset of schizophrenia.

  2. Eating disorders

    Amenorrhoea: 'Amenorrhoea' means cessation of menstrual periods. The absence of periods for more than 3 months is a clinical characteristic of anorexia in girls who have begun menstruation. The lack of a menstrual cycle is caused by reduced weight. there are other associated physical symptoms such as paleness and hair falling out.

  1. The Gestalt Theory

    Projection- Inappropriate choices to fulfil the need or to disown parts of oneself onto others, preventing the person completing the need or sensation. Introjection- being with thoughts and beliefs ('shoulds') that are not part of ones organism, for example past experiences of a abusive or neglectful parent.

  2. The contents of this essay will explain different psychological approaches to health and social ...

    (National Crime Prevention, 2012) The Social Learning Theory and Social Care Practice Social learning theory focuses on the learning that occurs within a social context. It considers that individuals learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modelling.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work