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

Compare and contrast biological and psychological explanations of anxiety disorders

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast biological and psychological explanations of anxiety disorders Research has often concluded that no one biological or psychological theory can provide a sufficient explanation into anxiety disorders such as depression. The diathesis stress model explains psychological anxiety disorders as an interaction between a predisposition to the disorder and environmental stress. In terms of anxiety disorders, predispositions include aspects of biological and psychological factors. Often the main problem found with psychological explanations of anxiety disorders, especially the psychodynamic theory, is that is the theories are more difficult to test. With Freud's theory, which is largely based on the working of the unconscious mind, it makes it impossible to prove or disprove. ...read more.


When analysing genetic influences, the medical model attempts to identify a specific gene and, although genes appear to be involved, the role of genetic factors in anxiety disorders is enormously complex. Little is also known about the role of biochemistry plays in anxiety disorder. We know very little about the way in which neurotransmitters like serotonin actually work. It is hard to know whether neurotransmitter changes are a cause or effect. Biological theories are at best suggestive rather than conclusive. They suggest why some people are predisposed to phobias and why some phobias are more common than others. However the evidence used to support biological theories can often be used to support other alternative environmental explanations. ...read more.


However in twin studies, in MZ twins share around 100 per cent of their genes. If genes are a major factor in anxiety disorders then we would expect a higher percentage of identical twins to share the disorder. The behavioral view is that individuals are active in determining their behaviour. There is evidence to support the behavioral views. Behaviorists argue that phobias are learnt by classical conditioning and reinforced by operant conditioning. In concerning depression, according to, Lewinsohn (1974), a depressed person becomes trapped in a cycle of withdrawal which leads to a lack of positive reinforcement, perpetuating depression. Socially unskilled people may be more prone to depression. The problem with the behavioral account as we have seen is it has difficulties accounting for why people all over the world are similar. ...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 Physiological Psychology 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 Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Compare and contrast one biological explanation and one psychological of depression.

    3 star(s)

    healthy individuals and then follow them to see who develops the disorder and what reasons why they might have developed it. However, there are weaknesses of this explanation. One is that the cognitive explanation ignores the role biology might play.

  2. Arousal and Anxiety

    The reverse would happen in weightlifting, as high arousal is important as the performers main concern is to summon as much of his/her strength and/or endurance as possible.

  1. Psychological influences in childbearing and midwifery practice - A Rite of Passage: Transition from ...

    British Medical Journal Vol 323; p 257-260. Fedouloff K. (2004). Meaning Matters Overcome Depression. http://www.meaningmatters.co.uk/Depression/Depression%20Info%20Windows/depressioncycle.html Accessed 20-10-2004. Hagen E H. (1999). The Functions of Postpartum Depression. Evolution and Human Behaviour 20: 325-359. http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/ppd.pdf Accessed 23-10-2004. Hagen E H. (2002) Depression as bargaining: the case postpartum Evolution and Human Behaviour, 23 (5):323-336.

  2. Anxiety Disorders

    Prognosis Prognosis is good for the more extreme symptoms, but those associated with underlying fears are more difficult to treat (such as excessive worry). Working through childhood issues can be helpful as these tend to get distorted as they follow us into adulthood (e.g., over-controlling parental styles, sexual abuse, childhood phobias).

  1. Sleep and Biological Rhythms revision

    Energy conservation / hibernation theory -mammals expend a lot of energy on body temperature, particularly evident in small animals w/ high metabolism. Conserving energy at times of little resources (night) + Sleep increases when energy loss goes up (cold) 2.

  2. The biological perspective - The mind and the body.

    be caused by a combination of a defective gene and an unidentified environmental trigger * Shortage of dopamine => caused by progressive deterioration of nerve cells of part of brain controlling muscle movement * => degenerative - Effect on Behaviour * Tremor * Walking problems * Sleep disturbances * Breathing/swallowing

  1. Can a case be made for the use of homeopathy in the treatment of ...

    However, this still shows that homeopathy has a high success rate in treating patients and actually curing the diseases in the long run without side effects. Homeopathy doesn't consider depression a disease but rather a part of a general symptom picture of the patient.

  2. Evolutionary Explanations of Anxiety Disorders

    exaggerated in some obsessive-compulsive individuals; parasitism in animals is reduced by grooming and in some species this promotes social interaction, extreme grooming e.g. hand washing is a common symptom of many OCD sufferers. Prepotency is an adaptive function whereby we have an inborn predisposition to respond more reactively to stimuli

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