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Describe & evaluate explanations of schizophrenia (1 bioloigcal & 1 psychological).

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SCHIZOPHRENIA DESCRIBE & EVALUATE EXPLANATIONS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA (1 BIOLOIGCAL & 1 PSYCHOLOGICAL). One explanation of schizophrenia is genetics. Gottesman (1991) summarized about 40 twin studies; the concordance rate was 48% for monozygotic twins, and 17% concordance for dizygotic twins. This suggests that there is a link between genes and schizophrenia, but this does not apply to the whole population, as twins are not typical of the general population. Twin studies only take very small sample sizes. Also the twins share the same environment, which could also be the reason why both twins develop schizophrenia. Gottesman also reviewed concordance rates in family studies. If both your parents have schizophrenia, then you have a 46% chance of developing schizophrenia as well, if one parent has schizophrenia it is 16%, if a sibling has it then the concordance rate is 8% and the concordance rate is 1% for a random individual. ...read more.


This suggests that genetics do play a part, but not completely based on genetics. Kety et al. (1978) considered adults who had been adopted at an early age between 1924 and 1947. Half had been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and the other half had not. The two groups were matched on variables such as sex and age. The rate of schizophrenia was greater among the biological relatives of those with schizophrenia than those without, which is as expected if genetic factors are important. The rate of schizophrenia did not differ for adoptive families that had adopted a child who became, or did not become, schizophrenic. This suggests that environmental factors had little impact on the development of schizophrenia. ...read more.


In this state the ego or rational part of the mind has not separated from the id or sexual instinct. The importance of this is that ego is involved in reality testing and responding appropriately to the external world. Schizophrenics have a loss of contact with reality because their ego is no longer functioning properly. Freud argued that schizophrenics were driven by strong sexual impulses. That helps to explain why schizophrenia often develops in late adolescence. Later psychodynamic theorists tended to be unconvinced about the involvement of sexual impulses, preferring to emphasize the role of aggression in schizophrenia. The psychodynamic approach to schizophrenia is limited for several reasons. It is very speculative, and is not supported by much evidence. The idea that adult schizophrenics resemble infants in many ways is not very sensible. The psychodynamic approach ignores the role of genetic factors in the development of schizophrenia. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate responds well to the question, dealing with two very significant approaches to psychology and how they would explain disorders (in this case, the psychotic disorder, schizophrenia). The candidate shows a bias towards the explanation and evaluations of the ...

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Response to the question

The candidate responds well to the question, dealing with two very significant approaches to psychology and how they would explain disorders (in this case, the psychotic disorder, schizophrenia). The candidate shows a bias towards the explanation and evaluations of the biological approach, and they explain is sufficient detail three psychological studies and evaluated each one in comparison to just one theoretical understanding of the development of schizophrenia for with the psychodynamic approach. In further questions, candidate should look to balance their answer, and thus should dedicate two theories with supporting evidence for each of the explanation they are asked for, to show a broader range of knowledge about all aspects of psychology, rather than show a bias towards one particular approach.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis for the evaluation of the biological approach is better than the evaluation of the psychodynamic approach. There is sufficient analysis (though sporadic) evident in the first part of the answer but only about three lines worth of analysis hastily bolted onto the end of the explanation of the psychodynamic explanation for schizophrenia, although I believe this is not a great issue, because whilst there is always a danger when opting for the psychodynamic approach that the explanation will outweigh the evaluation, much of the understanding and comprehension marks are harder to get due to the very complex nature of the approach. I would though suggest a less obvious evaluative point could be used (temporal validity is a very easy one), such as the lack of credibility in modern day Psychology which has easier methods of explanation to comprehend and also has cheaper therapy plans (psychodynamic therapy is very time-consuming and enormously expensive, whereas antibiotics are relatively cheap), so there are practical issues with psychodynamic treatment.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is brilliant. This candidate is either an exceptional writer or has re-read their answer and spell/grammar checked it. Presuming the latter, it is always a very good practice to get used to, as we as humans make so many unconscious errors when we write or type and sometime these errors can slip past the spell-checker. I would like to have seen a better use of psychological terminology like "longitudinal" and "anxiety disorder"/"affective disorder"/"psychotic disorder", as this would further strengthen the candidate's answer, fortifying it with plenty of indication that they possesses a deep-set understanding of psychology and it's language.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 15/04/2012

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