Psychological explanations of Schizophrenia

AQA A2 Psychology A: Schizophrenia

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Psychological explanations of Schizophrenia by Mind Map: Psychological explanations of Schizophrenia

1. Psychodynamic approach

1.1. SZ arises from the inability to test reality (to draw logical conclusions - to distinguish between internal and external world) -traced back to childhood experiences and inadequate care.

2. Behavioural approach

2.1. Children learn to behave in odd, bizarre ways and repeat these behaviours because they are rewarded with attention

3. Double bind Theory - Bateson (1956)

3.1. Child has repeated experiences with one or more family members in which they receive contradictory messages - e.g. 'you look sleepy, you need to go to bed now' - suggests concern but tone of voice and body language suggests a desire to get rid of the child

3.2. Repeated exposure causes child to resort to self deception and develop a false concept of reality and inability to communicate

3.3. Largely based on clinical observations

3.4. Not supported well by empirical research

3.5. Only studied after SZ was diagnosed

4. Expressed Emotion (EE) - Brown (1972)

4.1. Patients with SZ are more likely to relapse if they returned to homes characterised by high EE

4.1.1. Criticism

4.1.1.1. Measured by the number of statements of dislike/resentment towards the patients

4.1.2. Hostility

4.1.2.1. Measured by the frequency of critical comments made by relatives

4.1.3. Over concern

4.1.3.1. Measured by a rating of statements reflecting emotional over involvement with, or over protectiveness of the patient

4.2. Tarrier et al (1988) - strong relationship between relapse and living with a high EE relative

4.3. EE seems a song predictor of the course of the disorder

4.4. Cause and effect - are families behaving this way because they have to live with an SZ?

4.5. EE is not just relevant to SZ but also to eating disorders and depression - so it is not a defining characteristic of SZ families

4.6. Concerns about the way EE is measured - assessment requires only one observation and this may not be sufficient enough to give an accurate idea

4.7. High EE alone does not cause the disorder

5. Frith's model (1992)

5.1. Filter between conscious (full awareness) and preconscious (without awareness) processing breaks down

5.1.1. Occurs when there is an irregularity of the neuronal pathways connecting the hippocampus to the pre-frontal cortex - this is linked to faulty regulation of dopamine

5.2. Unimportant information or sounds are passed on to conscious awareness

5.3. This irrelevant information is mistaken as important so it needs to be acted upon - non verbal sounds are experiences as voices

5.4. This can result in delusions and verbal hallucinations

5.5. Does not take into account environmental factors

6. Helmsley's model (1993)

6.1. Disconnection between stored knowledge (schemas - they help us to know what to expect when we repeat an experience etc) and current sensory input

6.1.1. Caused by abnormalities in the hippocampus

6.2. SZs do not know which stimuli to attend to and which to ignore

6.3. Internal events are misinterpreted as sensations caused by external stimuli this can cause hallucinations

6.4. Lack of evidence

7. Diathesis-stress model - Zubin and Spring (1977)

7.1. Stressful life event occurs - if the individual has good coping skills and/or warm, supportive family then they are less likely to be affected

7.2. This can trigger psychotic symptoms in individuals with an underlying biological pre-disposition to SZ (caused by genetic factors or adverse conditions in the womb)

7.3. The biological vulnerability leads to psychological vulnerability such as the inability to process information properly

7.4. Cognitive distortions, misattributions and hyperarousal

7.5. Helpful in drawing together biological and psychological factors

7.6. Has implications for therapy, suggesting that treatments should have a variety of biological, behavioural and family interventions

7.7. Interaction between both the nurture and nature sides of the debate