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

Discuss two differences between the medical and psychological models of abnormality.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss two differences between the medical and psychological models of abnormality. By the term "medical model" of abnormality we mean the biological model, what the individual is born with either with reference to their brain or even genetics. The biological explanation would suggest that the individual's mental disorder is a cause of biological malfunctioning. They see that environmental factors are of little importance when taking the biological approach. Reasons for abnormal behaviour could vary from possible genetic predisposition or an imbalance of brain chemistry. The two main treatments suggested by the biological model for abnormal behaviour are drugs and somatic intervention. To delve deeper into the biological model we must look at the human brain and also at genetics. Because the brain controls all aspects of human functioning, it is not difficult to conclude that damage or interruption of normal brain function and activity could lead to observable mental disorders. ...read more.

Middle

They must become aware of their thoughts, be aware of what stimulus's produce what responses, to look at the reasoning behind their automatic thoughts and also to learn to identify and alter the beliefs that pre-dispose them to distort their experiences, (Beck and Weishaar 1989). These two models discussed differ hugely in content and suggestions. The first key difference is the point of the abnormal behaviour being either organic or non-organic. As mentioned above, the medical model states that environmental factors with reference to abnormal behaviour have very little influence. The abnormal behaviour therefore is a result of an underlying physical condition such as damage to the brain. In stating this, the treatment given is aimed at controlling the underlying disease by changing the individual's biochemistry. This approach does not account for the occasions in which no biological explanation can be found. ...read more.

Conclusion

The biological approach, and indeed other psychological models such as the humanistic approach, objects the mechanistic manner by which human beings are reduced to. The cognitive model would suggest that our thought cause the disturbances whereas it may indeed by the disturbances causing our thoughts. There is also a big difference in the treatments given by each therapist. The medical model would refer the patient to drugs and somatic intervention. The problem here being the diagnosis, if this section is not correct, the individual may be prescribed the wrong treatment and may even end up worse off than when they first consulted their doctor. A psychological approach to abnormal behaviour will look a lot deeper into the individual and not merely at the symptoms in which they are showing. Their treatment makes the therapist almost like a teacher, an authoritive figure. Critics suggest that with this in mind, the patient becomes intimidated against the therapists power again leading to a mis-identification of the patients disorder. ...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)

    and childhood experiences (nurture). These innate drives include the structures of personality (id, ego and superego) as well as the psychosexual stages of personality development which every child passes through. If a child does not pass through these processes successfully it could lead to abnormalities in behaviour.

  2. Consider the Problems Faced by Psychologists in the Definition of Abnormality

    whilst others will display an actual pathological abnormality. This suggests that only certain types of abnormal behaviour can actually be regarded as showing a psychological illness. Similarly the way in which a person acts may be considered abnormal due to its deviation from social norms, but when in a separate context the behaviour can be explained.

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

    Being a genetic condition it would also suggest that the illness cannot be recovered from, as it stems from a cellular level involving the individual's DNA. This creates another source of anxiety, as the family and the individual know that they must learn to cope, however they will never properly recover or return to "normal".

  2. Describe and evaluate the concepts of abnormal behaviour When we talk about abnormal behaviour ...

    The main reason that people may feel uncomfortable when they are faced with someone acting abnormally is because that person is not acting in a way that we would be used to. It is natural to be a bit unnerved by any thing new that we experience, i.e.

  1. Defining abnormality

    Fourthly, it is assumed within the behavioural model that abnormal behaviour is determined mainly by environmental factors/ As a result, individuals who develop mental disorders should not be held responsible for these disorders. There are ethical problems with some forms of the treatment based on this model.

  2. Psychological Abnormality

    However there are certain behaviours, which generally would be considered bizarre, but having occurred under conditions and contexts such that the perpetrators could justify them in terms of survival, political or religious meanings (Houston et al 1991). An example is dressing up in clothes of the opposite sex, which may,

  1. EVALUATE THE MEDICAL MODEL AND THE BEHAVIOURAL MODEL OF ABNORMALITY

    A case that showed the effects of physical damage to brain was that of an American railway worker Phineas Gage (1848), described as hard working pleasant individual before having an accident working on the railway line where an iron rod roughly a meter long impaled his skull just under his left eye.

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

    A brief example could postulate that someone operating within the emphasis of the biological perspective; the premise of which being that mental processes and behaviour can be explained by an understanding of physiology and anatomy, usually with a particular focus on the brain and the central nervous system.

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