(12 marks) Outline the biological approach - 6 marks Evaluate the biological approach - 6 marks Begin your essay by summarising this information in one paragraph The biological approach treats psychological disorders in the same way as physical disorders It proposes 4 main causes of abnormality: Brain injury, infection, Neurotransmitters and Genetics Then go on to describe two or more of these in more detail using examples and referring to studies where appropriate. Choose from the following information: A degeneration or malformation of brain cells can cause memory loss often present in Alzheimer’s disease. Korsakoff’s syndrome occurs when drink and drugs damage part of the brain involved in memory. Syphilis bacterium causes a sexually transmitted disease known as syphilis. ◦ It causes short-lived sores followed by general paresis forgetfulness, mental deterioration and delusions of grandeur and persecution. The influenza virus has been linked to schizophrenia. Brown et al (2004) ◦ found that 14% of schizophrenic cases may be linked to the foetus being exposed to the ‘flu virus in the womb during the first trimester. Too much or too little of a neurotransmitter can lead to psychopathology. One of the factors involved in schizophrenia is an excessive amount of dopamine High levels of serotonin have been thought be involved in the manic state of bi-polar depression. McGuffin - Studied twins where one of the pair already suffered from depression. Assessed the co-twin and found… 46% concordance rate for depression (MZ) 20% concordance rate for depression (DZ) Gottesman - Meta-analysis of about 40 twin studies Found concordance rate for schizophrenia of 48% in monozygotic twins and 17% in dizygotic twins Try to make 3 points and use the point – example comment- format Strengths – this is the most scientific approach, there is evidence for a biological component in many psychological disorders e.g. Schizophrenia / depression. Drugs work on our physiology and they are often effective treatments for psychological disorders e.g. 50-65% of patients given an SSRI for three months showed signs of improvement in tests, 70% success rate for panic disorders, 60% success rate for symptoms of hallucinations and psychotic episodes Weaknesses: Reductionism – it ignores all other explanations of psychopathology, i.e. Environmental influences, childhood trauma, irrational thinking Drugs don’t work for everyone. e.g. Treatment success rates are well below 100% Genetics can’t explain all abnormality as there are no 100% concordance rates.