Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 Models of Abnormal Behavior I. Models...

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Chapter 2 Models of Abnormal Behavior I. Models in the Study of Psychopathology A Model is used to describe something that cannot be observed directly, e.g., using a pump to illustrate the function of a heart. No true model for abnormal behavior is available. An eclectic model using a variety of perspectives is employed by an eclectic psychologist to describe, explain, predict and control abnormal behavior. II. Biological (Organic) Models Biological models state that mental disorders are correlated with brain dysfunction and can be treated with medication, or other bio-medical techniques. 1. The Human Brain Neurons = Nerve cells that transmit messages. Neurotransmitters are chemicals released in the synapses . Forebrain (Highbrain) controls all higher mental functions such as learning, speech, thought and memory. It includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and the limbic system . Mid-brain is involved in vision and hearing. Hindbrain (lowbrain) controls vegetative functions such as heart rate, sleep, and respiration. Damage to the brain may cause abnormal behavior. 2. Biochemical Theories The body chemistry affects behavior. Chemical imbalance underlies mental disorders. Messages travel through the brain by electrical impulses via neurons through their axons , terminating in axon terminals and synapses. Electrical impulses cross the synapses by the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters , **which are two types, excitatory (“excited” 10%)and inhibitory (inhibit behavior 90 %), which alter the behavior. Imbalance of neurotransmitters is correlated to mental illness (note: manic with bipolar patients because of the high and lows of the two types on different days) 3. Genetic Explanations Genetics are also important in development of certain abnormal conditions. Genotype refers to a person’s genetic make-up.
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Phenotype refers to the behavioral characteristics as a result of genes (Note: manifestation of the genes). Identical twins (monozygotic twins) are studies for inherited predisposition factors. Identical twins in the studies of schizophrenia show shared disorders. Correlation studies – Strong correlation appears to exist between genetic inheritance and some mental disorders. Biological models have some shortcomings. They are viewed as the only explanations for mental disorders. Diathesis
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Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 Models of Abnormal Behavior I. Models...

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