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

The biological explanation of eating disorders is probably the most popular.

Extracts from this document...


(a) (i) The behavioural model says that abnormality is caused by faulty learning. Learning can include operant and classical conditioning, or imitation (social learning). For example, being bitten by a dog may classically condition anxiety to dogs and generalise to all dogs and cause a phobia. If you see a parent being very scared of dogs, you may also learn to be scared of them through social learning. (ii) The cognitive model says that abnormality is caused by irrational thoughts. For instance, Beck's Triad model explains depression by saying that depressed people have exaggerated negative thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future. These irrational thoughts are probably due to genetics and to early experience. ...read more.


MZ twins are genetically identical but DZ twins are only as alike as brothers and sisters. If a condition is genetic then both MZ twins should have it but not DZ twins. The agreement between the twins is called the concordance rate. Holland found that the concordance rate for MZ twins with anorexia was 55% but it was only 7% for DZ twins, showing evidence for anorexia being genetic. Kendell did a similar study with bulimia, and found a 23% concordance rate for MZ twins and 14% for DZ twins. This shows some genetic evidence for bulimia being genetic, but the difference between MZ and DZ twins is not as great as for anorexia. ...read more.


But not all girls exposed to the media develop eating disorders, so it might be a combination of genetic factors and media influences. Another problem for the biological approach is that girls with eating disorders often have other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. This means that it is difficult to do research just on eating disorders. They are complicated conditions and probably involve many different explanations. The alternative media approach is linked in as effective commentary on biological models, and leads into the reference to combinations of explanations. The last couple of points are rather thrown in and not used particularly well, but are quite sophisticated and would earn AO2 marks. Overall, for roughly 15 minutes' work, this is an impressive attempt with a good balance between AO1 and AO2 skills. ...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)

    In the case of schizophrenia psychologists have evidence that suggests that high levels of dopamine predetermine schizophrenic characteristics. The psychodynamic approach and Freud particularly believed that our behaviour is determined by innate drives (id, ego and superego) and childhood experiences.

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

    This oversimplifies the matter and it is not often thought to be effective to bring such illnesses down to such a fundamental level. There is likely to be a number of different factors that will cause and treat psychological abnormalities, and these are not all considered by the biological model.

  1. Eating disorders

    Frequency: In order to be diagnosed as suffering from bulimia an individual should have been displaying binge eating an inappropriate compensatory behaviours, on average, atleast twice a week for 3 months. Body Image As with people with Anorexia, the self image and self esteem of the individual with bulimia are

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

    A person who has committed a series of rape attacks would be deemed psychologically abnormal as their desire to rape women is an extreme deviation from social norms and causes a great amount of suffering to the victim- something that 'normal' people would not often wish to do and carry out.

  1. Cultural Relativism

    but we have access to an education system from a young age. Does this mean that people in Ethiopia who have an IQ dramatically lower than 100 are statistically infrequent? The answer has to be no, because they have less access to education than we do and therefore it can be expected that the IQ will be lower.

  2. Investigation to find out which gender is better at recognising faces

    The experimental hypothesis for this experiment is one tailed. The hypothesis states females will be able to recognise a number of upside down faces more effectively than men. The null hypothesis for this experiment is there will be no significant difference between the recognition results of men or women.


    The conditional stimulus (CS) usually produces no particular response at first but after conditioning it provokes the conditioned response (CR). Classical conditioning differs from operant conditioning in that behaviour produced by the subject is strengthened or weakened by its consequences either by reward or punishment.

  2. Psychology questions - Evaluate the models of explanation of mental disorders.

    Psychomotor disturbances or catatonic behavior is another symptom of schizophrenia. The patient may adopt strange postures or engage in repetitive movements such as pacing or rocking. Catatonic refers to the tendency of some patients to hold a particular position for an extended length of time and in extreme cases, for several years.

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