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Abnormal behaviour 2

Compare and contrast the different

Perspectives on abnormal behaviour.

Firstly to answer this question I shall be looking at abnormal behaviour from a Psycho-Dynamic, Cognitive, behavioural and Medical model angle.

In order to begin to compare and contrast abnormal behaviour from different psychological angles, you first have to understand what is meant by "abnormal". The term abnormal is defined as "deviating from what is normal and usual". Well what is then meant by "normal"? Generally normal is considered as conforming to some standard. What is then a standard? There will be several approaches that will considered here.

Ÿ The first can be defined statistically - what MOST people are doing.

Ÿ Second, the term can be defined via social standard, what is socially accepted and what is socially deviant.

Ÿ Third, we might use the standard of "adequate functioning" - being able to cope with day to day living.

Ÿ Finally, there is a concept of ideal mental health which is foreseen to be a state of contentment that all humans strive to be in. dg!

Now that we have established what "abnormal" is, I can begin to tackle abnormal behaviour from the view of various psychological models.

Psycho-dynamic model The actual term "psychodynamic" refers to a group of explanations that try and account for the dynamics of behaviour, or the forces that motivate it. The pioneer of this model is Sigmund Freud, the psychodynamic model believes that abnormalities do not stem from a physical problem or illness but from unresolved conflicts in our minds from when we were at an early age, from 0-7 years of age. Psychoanalysis is a treatment which is derived from psychodynamics, and it aims to probe deep into the subconscious to find the unresolved conflict from out childhood that then later on in life causes these "abnormalities", through therapy. The advantage of this model is that it lets us identify traumatic childhood experiences as a factor in the development of adult disorders, even though psychodynamics is not based on solid scientific research it does have good evidence to support itself (Barlow & Durand, 1995).

There are though a number of problems with this model. A great problem is that when in therapy using psychoanalysis, therapists ignore the current problems of the patients and instead concentrate on their childhoods instead, which can prove time consuming and doesn't actually deal with the immediate problems to the patient. Another weakness is that psychoanalysis tends also to concentrate on sexual factors as the cause of mental disorders, psychotherapists believe that sexual problems are the result of poor relationships with others that can cause mental disorders which lead to abnormalities.

The other major concern is that psychoanalysis depends heavily on the therapist's interpretation of what the client is saying, which can be argued that, "does a therapist really understand what the client is saying without being biased and trying to understand the clients problems through what is the therapist has been through themselves?"

There are too various serious ethical problems with the psychodynamic model. First of which is that patients are not really to blame for there problems, since it is conflicts buried deep in out subconscious that are causing the problem and we actually have no control over the subconscious therefore how can it be the individuals fault? The thought that it is in our childhoods that these problems occur from can be suggested to say that it was out care givers or parents that are at least partially to blame for the abnormalities. A major ethical issue is centred around "false memory syndrome" in which patients recall something from their childhoods that did not actually happen, this can clearly be debated in many ways but the effects of false memory syndrome are far reaching..

In sum the psycho-dynamic approach on "abnormalities" is limited because it tends to ignore genetic factors that are involved with the development of mental disorders. The Psychodynamic approach is often used to on patients suffering from anxiety disorders or depression rather that severe disorders such as anorexia.

Cognitive Model

The cognitive model assumes the individual/patient is a processor of information rather like a computer. However rather unlike a computer an individual has feeling and thoughts which always heavily influence on how we process information and how we view it. Problems arise when individuals learn "faulty thinking" , e.g. if something bad happens to us there are a number of ways in which we may look at it, we may blame ourselves or others, we even put it down to bad luck. But if we are placed in an environment where things are often going wrong, then it can trigger an individual to develop faulty thinking e.g. we always blame ourselves for things that are going wrong, and this clearly isn't always the case..

Albert Elliss noted that depressed people always see themselves as inadequate, unattractive and helpless. Those attitudes combine to fill a self for-filling prophecy.

The cognitive model of abnormality has become very influential of recent years. There is no doubt that distorted and irrational beliefs are very common among patients with abnormalities, and true these irrational thoughts seem to be of central importance in there disorders, but this has only been the case in anxiety disorders and isn't apparent in most other disorders. The cognitive model emphasis's on internal, mental power of the individual to shape their own thinking. The cognitive model was originally formed because of dissatisfaction with the behavioural model but recently the two models have been integrated more. The cognitive model looks at tackling the problem by changing the way the patient thinks and views situations and life.

The negative side to the cognitive approach is that it is somewhat limited, it fails to consider genetics and little attention is paid to social and interpersonal factors of the individual's life and experiences. The cognitive model also has various ethical issues, the first of which is that because the problem lies with how the patient thinks it is essentially there fault, and it may be somewhat painful to the patient to realise this. Secondly is may be unfair to an extent to blame the patient fully for their mental disorders since others around them may be responsible for the cause of the disorder.

Medical Model Marx obfuscated cal1966's rationalisation theory.

Like the name of this model suggests, the medical model implies that the source of the mental disorder lies with physical problems, and should therefore be dealt with via medical treatment. The medical model believes that because mental disorders like physical problems are both illnesses with a physical cause, that the disorder should be a approached via medicine. There are four main medical explanations for abnormalities:

Ÿ Infection - Germs and micro-organisms are known to cause diseases like measles, it is also known that these germs can also cause mental health problems such as General Paresis and it is also suggested that they can cause severe disorders such as schizophrenia.

Ÿ Genetic Factors - It is known that individuals inherit their genes from their parents, so if their parents had a disease in their genes than that disease may be passed on down the gene tree to their children. Another way to look at genetic influences is to look at gene-mapping, in which it identifies certain genes that will be more present in those with a disorder than without the disorder thereby located the problem gene that causes the disorder. But subsequent research hasn't been able to back this up.

Ÿ Biochemistry - Another explanation for abnormalities lies in a theory call biochemistry. This states that a patients disorder may be due to a chemical imbalance in their bodies, e.g. schizophrenia is an excessive amount of dopamine in the body. But studies have only identified correlations between disorder and raised biochemical levels. This means we cannot identify whether it is a cause disorders or just effect the disorder..

Ÿ Neuroanatomy - This is a relatively new theory. It explains that disorders may be cause by a different structure within the brain and or nervous system. But yet again this cannot be proved yet but is still a highly plausible theory to mental disorders.

The medical model can clearly have successful approaches to abnormalities such as phenylketonuria which is a cause of mental retardation which can be cured easily by use of drugs. On the positive side to the medical model it has a long history of being successfully used it biochemistry and medicine, and numerous mental disorders are caused by genetic factors. Drug therapy which are based on the medical model have often been used effectively to cure mental disorders, but this not prove that the disorder was caused by biological factors. The use of drugs through the medical model is often easier, requiring less effort from the patient.

On the negative side there is often a loose analogy between physical and mental illness. The medical model can apply better to some disorders better than other e.g. it tells us rather little about phobias. Another criticism of the medical model is that it concentrates on the symptoms rather than the actual problem itself, and dealing with internal processes. The role of social and psychological factors is too ignored, this important because many of the mental disorders symptoms are given in social and psychological terms.

There are ethical issues to deal with regarding the medical model. For instance, labelling the patient as having a "mental illness" maybe in actual fact cause the disorder of the patient to become worse, by making them becoming very anxious. Another issue is that the use of drugs on a patient may lead to the patient becoming dependant upon the drug which they use. Finally the therapy may take much longer than necessary because the therapist is ignoring psychological factors.

Behavioural Model This cours from www.coursework.info

There are three main strands in which we learn things.cobb bbr sebbbbw orbb bbk inbb fobb bb.

Ÿ Classical conditioning - when we associate things together by a connection between two things in our brains, the stimulus makes you think of another thing. In physical terms the stimulus elicits a response e.g. baby associates mothers breast with food.coae aer seaeaew orae aek inae foae ae.

Ÿ Operant Conditioning - This is a result of learned actions, which become automatic, for example you don't have to think about how to walk. This writing from www.coursework.info

Ÿ Social Learning Theory - This is the work of Dollard & Miller (1950), they believed that humans are motivated into elevating discomfort e.g. when a baby cries it soon realises that the mother will come and attend to its needs. The mother the becomes associated with whatever good things it does. It also applies when we copy other people who seem to be rewarded for things that do, especially if we look up to them.coag agr seagagw orag agk inag foag ag.

According to the behavioural model, individuals with mental disorders posses maladaptive forms of behaviour, which have been learned, most of this learning occurs through classical or operant conditioning. Behavioural psychology takes a few angles to approach abnormal behaviour. The first of which is Systematic Desensitisation which is based on classical conditioning. It works by tying to replace fear responses such as phobias with a new response that is incompatible with the fear of phobia. It may be muscle relaxation through which they receive therapy to do so. The second form of treatment is aversion therapy. This is where patients learn to associate things they previously enjoyed with unpleasant responses and thus they are discouraged from that behaviour. But this clearly has issues of is it good ethics practice, seeing as it is unfair to put unpleasant or anxious thoughts into the patient.

The starting point of any treatment is to locate the maladaptive behaviour, once located it is then attempted to use conditioning or observational techniques to eliminate the unwanted behaviour. Much like the medical model the behavioural model focuses very much on the symptoms rather than on the underlying problem itself, many Freudians will say that the problem is cured but the problem still lurks in the subconscious only to reappear at a later date, this is a key negative point to this model. On the other hand behavioural therapy has been very successful with many disorders such as phobias, usually behavioural therapy is more applicable to certain disorders that have easily identifiable symptoms. In this way behavioural therapy ignores genetics, so disorders such as schizophrenia are of little value to this model. In sum the behavioural model is over emphasised and in some respects rather narrow in scope, in retrospect only a small fraction of mental disorders depend to a great extent of the patients past conditioning.

The behavioural model does on the other hand have various advantages on ethical issues. Firstly it assumes that the disorder occurs from maladaptive thinking and therefore not classifying the disorder as an "illness". The second it that because the therapy revolves around the way in which the patient thinks it takes into consideration the cultural and social factors. Thirdly the behavioural model is rather non-judgemental is the sense that the treatment is only recommended when the patients causes problems to themselves or those around them. Finally the behavioural model assumes that the disorder is due to the patients environment and so does not place the blame of the disorder upon the patient and avoiding anxiety the patient. The only big ethical issue with the behavioural model is within its treatment which can often cause controversy since it places unpleasant stimuli on the patient through ECT or use of drugs, it is also argued that the treatment is manipulative and dehumanising because it neglects the patients feeling and emotions.

After looking at all psychological angles on abnormal behaviour it is apparent that there is no particular method that is good at curing all abnormalities. Instead certain models are better at curing some abnormalities than other e.g. medical model deals better with schizophrenia than any other. It all depends on the disorder.



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