Outline and Evaluate the Biological Approach to Abnormality

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Outline and Evaluate the biological approach to abnormality

The biological approach sees abnormality as a physical illness and removes psychological blame and responsibility for the behaviour form the patients. Biochemistry; which is where abnormal functioning in the brain can be caused by abnormal levels of neurotransmitters and hormones. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that allow neurones to communicate with one another at synapses. Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted into the bloodstream by glands and control various body functions including some nervous system functions. E.g. an increased level of dopamine is linked to schizophrenia – drugs like cocaine, which increase dopamine levels, can lead to schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Brain; Damage to certain areas of the brain, for example as the result of a head injury, stroke or brain surgery, or a failure of brain areas to develop properly can lead to abnormal behaviour: * Damage to the hippocampus, as seen in the cases of HM and Clive Wearing, can lead to profound memory loss. * Damage to Broca's area of the left temporal lobe may lead to the inability to understand speech properly. * Patients with schizophrenia have abnormally large ventricles in their brains. Genes; are inherited from parents. Many psychological disorders occur more frequently in identical (monozygotic or MZ) twins than they do in non-identical (dizygotic or DZ) twins, and other disorders appear to run in families. The environment may also lead to these disorders and so it is important to estimate the degree to which a disorder is due to genetic influences (nature) and the degree to which it is caused by the environment (nurture). Comparing identical twins with non-identical twins for rates of heritability can help answer the nature-nurture question.

Infections; such as meningitis or herpes, can lead to abnormal brain functioning.

One strength of the biological approach is that there is...
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