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

Describe and evaluate two or more biological explanations of schizophrenia

Extracts from this document...


1. Describe and evaluate two or more biological explanations of schizophrenia (30 marks) Schizophrenia is a server disorder that is characterized by disturbances in thought, emotion and behaviour. This idea of schizophrenia came from Krapelin and Bleuer in the later 19 th century. The word schizophrenia comes from the Greek words 'schizen' (meaning split) and 'spren' (meaning mind). Two major types of schizophrenia are catatonic schizophrenia, where patients alternate between immobility and excitement, and paranoid schizophrenia, where patients possesses delusion such as delusions of grandeur (perhaps seeing themselves as Napoleon) or delusional jealousy, where they might believe their partner is having an affair. (doesn't explain the ?) One of the problems in classifying schizophrenia is that the range of symptoms is so wide that different patients sometimes have no symptoms in common. ...read more.


This reduces the symptoms. Other drugs, such as amphetamines, increase dopamine activity and may lead to schizophrenic-like symptoms. Autopsies of the brains of dead schizophrenics have shown that they have far more dopamine antagonists, and the beneficial effects usually take a week to kick in. This suggest that the key factor in improvement is not the immediate blocking of the dopamine receptors brought about by the drug. It is believed that brain damage is associated with the negative symptoms of schizophrenia ( eg loss of affect and apathy) rather than positive symptoms (eg hallucinations and speech disturbances). On the basis of this, Crow (1980) suggested that there are two distinct froms of the disorder type 1 (positive symptoms and no brain damage) ...read more.


compared the rates of schizophrenia in adults for those who had been exposed to influenza during pregnancy during the second trimester of pregnancy, in other trimesters or not at all. Mednick showed that the rate of schizophrenia was much higher in those exposed to the influenza virus during the second trimester. This is the stage at which there is a critical rate of cortical growth in the fetus so damage during this time is likely to have a greater effect than during other periods of pregnancy. A final explanation of schizophrenia is in terms of genetics. Twin studies have suggested that genetics are very important in determining schizophrenia, although the early twin studies did not take into account of upbringing as a contributory factor in the development of the disorder. Recent explanations from evolutionary psychology have even shown that schizophrenia might have an adaptive function, accounting for its continued existence in the gene pool ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

The writer has made some good points about the condition of schizophrenia. However to improve the essay it would be advisable for the writer to make a plan. There should be a good definition of schizophrenia at the beginning of the essay, as well as an explanation of the symptoms and behaviour associated with the condition. After the initial introduction, it would then be advisable to give a good explanation about what the biological explanation for schizophrenia includes. Then the writer could discuss further the biological explanations chosen eg. genetics, biochemical factors, brain structures etc. Various referenced studies, some already mentioned, could then be used to back up any statements made. Finally, a conclusion can be drawn using the aforementioned information.

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 01/04/2013

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

    Behavioural Study of Obedience - Stanley Milgram

    5 star(s)

    So at the beginning of the experiment the real subject is introduced to another 'subject' (really the victim who is working for Milgram). It is explained that one needs to be the teacher and the other the learner (or victim).

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    According to the biological approach the main cause of depression is low levels of serotonin but it ignores all cognitive factors that could influence the disorders such as irrational thought processes. The behaviourist approach is also reductionist as it only focuses on simple environmental factors that influence human behaviour.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and Evaluate Psychodynamic, Behaviourist and Humanist Theory of Psychology

    4 star(s)

    The behaviourist perspective that all behaviour is learnt from the environment was challenged when it was shown that people also learn through observing others and through insight. (Bandura, 1986) One shortcoming of the behaviourist perspective is that emotional and mental processes of the individual were not taken into account as

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Psychology the factors of Smoking

    4 star(s)

    Darwin's theory (1859) "On the origin of species by means of natural selection." And the importance of natural selection can be hindered when an individual smokes because the process of natural selection has failed because you might find the

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast two psychological approaches

    4 star(s)

    Freud believed that if a child is exposed to over gratification in any of these stages, they will grow to have problems in adulthood which can lead to mental illness. In contrast, Behaviourism as a discipline looks into environmental factors surrounding a person and disregards any actions which may be

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the five main perspectives in psychology

    3 star(s)

    schizophrenia Cognitive therapies have been criticized on ethical grounds; the clients? problem behaviours or thoughts are being changed to those which the therapist sees as acceptable; who is to say that they are correct? The behaviorist approach is deterministic: people?s behaviour is assumed to be entirely controlled by their environment

  1. The Gestalt Approach to Psychology

    Introjects do not contribute to an individuals growth because without this process of assimilation they do not form part of the personality" (cited in Clarkson and Mackewn, 1989). Confluence is the inability of an individual to perceive any boundary between themselves and others.

  2. Level 2 Counselling skills. Theories -CBT, Psychodynamic and Person Centred.

    Freud?s method of psychoanalysis seeks to uncover deep meanings and acknowledges that understanding behaviour is a lengthy process. PERSON-CENTRED THEORY Developed in the 1930s by the American psychologist Carl Rogers, client-centred therapy departed from the typically formal, detached role of the therapist emphasized in psychoanalysis and other forms of treatment.

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