Biological Explanations of Phobic Disorders

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Pheeebbsssss
Words 669
Pages 3
Discuss Biological Explanations for Phobic Disorders (8 and 16 marks)
One Biological explanation for phobic disorders is the Evolutionary Approach. This says that some stimuli are more likely to be feared than others eg. Snakes, heights etc. as these are the stimuli that would have been dangerous and fearful to our ancestors in our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA). We have adapted to be fearful of these stimuli as potential threats rather than after an event has happened which gave our ancestors the best chance of survival and to pass on their genes. We are also said to be biologically prepared to rapidly learn an association between particular stimuli and fear from the minute we are born, copying the fear response shown in our parents and learning this ourselves.

Ohman and Soares (1994) conducted a study to support the idea that we fear stimuli as a potential threat rather than after an event occurs by showing a group of participants ‘Masked’ pictures (so they could not fully tell what the object was) of Snakes and Spiders. A higher autonomic nervous system arousal was found in those who had a fear of snakes and spiders when they got shown the masked picture compared to when shown the full picture or compared to that of a participant without a fear of the particular animal. This supports the idea that we have adapted to have a fear of a stimuli as a potential threat as participants were more scared when they were not sure of what the picture was than when they knew exactly what it was.

Another biological explanation of phobic disorders is Genetic Factors. This says that it may be that people inherit an over sensitive fear response to particular stimuli causing them to develop a phobia of that fear response. This can be looked into using both Twin and Family Studies. In Twin studies comparisons are made between the individuals in both Monozygotic…...

Similar Documents

Anxiety Disorders

...Anxiety disorders are a type of psychological disorder that is characterized by feelings of fear and apprehension, and include such features as hyperactivity, motor tension, and apprehensive thoughts and expectations. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic disorder. People with general anxiety disorders may be unable to remain still for long periods of time and may engage in fidgeting behaviors such as crossing and uncrossing their legs or arms or playing nervously with their hair or clothing. An unexpected sound, such as a honking horn or the ringing of a telephone causes unexplained anxiety, rapid heartbeat, or quickened breathing. Other anxiety disorders are characterized by different symptoms. For example, individuals with panic disorder experience a sudden onset of intense terror, and may suffer from an impending feeling of doom. Individuals who suffer from this disorder may experience severe chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, trembling and sweating. Some experts contend that biological factors may play a role in panic disorders. Individuals with a phobic disorder have an unexplainable, irrational, overwhelming, and persistent fear of a particular object or situation. Individuals with phobia disorders will go to almost any lengths to avoid the thing that scares them. Individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive disorders have......

Words: 301 - Pages: 2

Biological

...in the receptors for longer. Both of these therapies are clearly related to the biological assumption because they are both on about neurotransmitters and biological substances. There are many strengths for the biological approach one of them is that chemotherapy has led to many successful practical applications. For example antipsychotics have helped schizophrenia patients, and the result of this is that chemotherapy is now the NHS treatment of choice and it has led to a better quality of life for many people. Another strength of the biological approach is that it is scientific (this means that it can be proven, objectively tested) The independent variable can be manipulated easily and all the other variables can be controlled other than the dependent variable which can then show how much the independent variable has an effect on the dependent variable. A weakness of the biological approach is that it is reductionist (it over simplifies behaviour) it says that excess dopamine levels cause schizophrenia and doesn’t take into account anything like stress, so by it not counting this aspect clearly shows that it is simplifying behaviour and that it doesn’t actually give a full picture of behaviour. Another weakness of the biological approach is that it is determinist (means that there is no free will, and that it will happen because of certain things and that can’t be changed) the biological approach says a certain combination of genes will inevitably cause......

Words: 1331 - Pages: 6

Discuss One or More Biological and Psychological Explanation of Schizophrenia (24)

...Discuss one or more biological and psychological explanation of schizophrenia (24) There appears to be a tendency for schizophrenia to run in families. This suggests that genes and biological factors play a role in the explanation of schizophrenia.. The closer the genetic relationship the more likely the people are to share the disorder. Evidence from family studies by Gottesman showed that when both parent are schizophrenic then there is a 46% chance of the child getting it, however, if only one parent had it, it dropped to 16% and dropped to a further 1% when the sibling of the child had schizophrenia. This suggests that a genetic factor is involved. Gottesman also looked at schizophrenics whose father had an identical twin. He found that there was a 17% of being schizophrenic when the father was but he also found that there was also 17% chance of developing the disease when the father’s twin had schizophrenia but the father didn’t. MZ twins share 100% of their genes; DZ twins share 50% of their genes. If genes are a factor we would expect more identical twins to share the disorder than non-identical. Rosenthal took a case study which had a set of female quadruplets. They all developed schizophrenia although the onset and symptoms were very different. This could have been a result of having a troubled upbringing. This suggests a strong heritable component. However, most first degree relatives and twins share the same or similar environments so it is difficult to......

Words: 1210 - Pages: 5

Biological Explanations of Anorexia

...There are 4 main characteristics that are caused by anorexia nervosa, and they are all serious health issues. Sufferers of AN will get anxiety and have an excessive fear of being fat and putting on weight. However, the opposite happens as  they lose weight as a consequence of starving themselves. If their weight drops below 85% of their average weight then they will be diagnosed with AN. They have body image distortion and see themselves as fat, rather than their real image, which is bad for their self esteem and extends their disorder. Amenorrhoea occurs and after 3 months, it is a clinical characteristic of anorexia, because the lack of nutrition means your body wouldn't be prepared to provide for a baby to it stops the menstrual cycle. The media is full of thin models and air brushed photographs which portrays thin as the 'perfect' body image. Adolescents with low self-esteem- particularly females- are largely influenced by this and compare themselves to the images of models and celebrities (Jones and Buckingham 2005). This can lead to girls losing weight to reach the 'perfect' image that their idols have. This is supported by Becker (2002) who studied teenage girls from Fiji and found that after the introduction of T.V. in 1995, the girls stated that they wanted to have the figures of the actresses and lose weight. Not only does it show media effects, but it shows it is applicable to other cultures who are usually less exposed to media. However it has been found that......

Words: 1009 - Pages: 5

Biological Disorder Term Paper

...Bipolar Disorder Introduction             Also known as manic-depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is defined as a psychological state in which a person experiences a mood disorder causing radical alterations in their moods which can vary from manic highs to depressive lows. Elevated levels of either manic and depression are some of the common experiences that are encountered by a person suffering from this order. During the course of this discussion we will look at some of the key aspects that influence the occurrence, causes, signs and symptoms and treatment of this disease.     The term "bipolar disorders" already shows that it is not this is a common disease. The disease may be individually very different and take different courses. Always, however, the disease is usually in stages or episodes in which a certain mood prevails. There are two different episodes of illness, the manic episode or depressive episode and the high point or low phase.                                                     What is Bipolar Disorder?             In the United States over two million people are diagnosed with the psychological problem of bipolar disorder. One of the major reasons behind the unprecedented rise of people suffering from the disorder is contributed by the complications that hinder correct and accurate diagnosis of the disease. It is mainly because of the delay in the diagnostic process that the number of people suffering from the disorder has increased......

Words: 3518 - Pages: 15

Outline & Evaluate the Biological Explanation of Phobic Disorders:

...Outline & evaluate the biological explanation of phobic disorders: The biological explanation for the acquisition of phobic disorders establishes that phobias are caused by genetics, innate influences and the principles of biochemistry. This theory recognises that an oversensitive fear response may be inherited, causing abnormal levels of anxiety. This is illustrated in the basis of inheritance, particularly the adrenergic theory that convicts that those who have an acquisition to phobic disorders consequently show high levels of arousal in the automatic nervous system, which leads to increased amounts of adrenaline, thus causing high levels of anxiety. However this theory lacks evidence of cause and effect, causing it to be difficult to determine whether the levels of arousal lead to the anxiety or whether it is actually the developed anxiety, which leads to this arousal. This issue was present in Lader and St Matthews study which found that individuals who develop social phobia or panic disorders with agoraphobia have high levels of arousal. This causes a lack of validity to become apparent as there is an unawareness of what is being measured, as there is not a clear distinction between what aroused first, the reaction in the brain or the phobic disorder as it is not convicted whether the high arousal levels are the cause or in fact the consequence of the phobia. Furthermore, the basis of inheritance also distinguishes that dopamine pathways predispose individuals...

Words: 1557 - Pages: 7

Psychological Disorders

... University of Phoenix Material Psychological Disorders Etiology of Psychological Disorders Describe the following perspectives on the etiology of psychological disorders: |Perspective |Description of Perspective | |Biological Perspective |This is a perspective that studies the physical basis for animal and human behavior. It involves| | |such things as studying the immune system, nervous system and genetics. | |Learning Perspective |This perspective views the human development which holds that changes in behavior result from | | |experience or from adaptation to the environment. | |Cognitive Factors |Refer to characteristics of the person that affect performance and learning. These factors serve| | |to modulate performance such that it may improve or decline. These factors involve cognitive | | |functions like attention, memory, and reasoning (Danili &Reid, 2006) | |Diathesis-Stress Model |This is a theory that attempts to explain behavior as a predispositional vulnerability together | | |with......

Words: 417 - Pages: 2

Discuss the Biological Explanation for Psychopathology

...The biological approach states that psychological disorders are physical illnesses, and that the cause may be one or more of the following: brain injury, infection, neurotransmitters or genetics. Accidental brain damage can lead to psychological disorders. Some examples are, a degeneration or malformation of brain cells can cause memory loss often present in Alzheimer’s disease. Korsakoff’s syndrome occurs when alcohol and drugs damage part of the brain involved with memory. We are familiar with the idea that bacteria or viruses causing physical illnesses, e.g. flu or meningitis, however it seems that infection can also cause mental illnesses. For example, influenza has been linked to schizophrenia. Torrey found that the mothers of schizophrenic people had contacted a particular strain of influenza during pregnancy. The virus may enter the unborn child’s brain where it is dormant until puberty, when other hormones activate it, producing schizophrenic symptoms. Neurotransmitters are thought to be out of balance in the nervous systems id individuals with certain psychological disorders/ mental illnesses. Depression has been associated with decrease availability of serotonin, and has also been associated with higher than normal levels of the cortisol hormone. Images of the brain have measured the action of neurotransmitters and associated illness like depression, (Mann et al. 1996). Important new genetic research has highlighted the possibility that some people may be......

Words: 630 - Pages: 3

Biological Explanation of Eating Behaviour

...LESSON FIVE & SIX – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EATING DISORDERS ------------------------------------------------- Specification link: You will be able to outline and evaluate: ------------------------------------------------- Biological, including neural and evolutionary, explanations of anorexia nervosa ------------------------------------------------- Psychology explanations of anorexia nervosa Outline and description of theories | Research evidence and commentary | IntroductionThe DSM-IV Rev identifies three categories of eating disorder: * Anorexia nervosa 1. AN -restricting type – refusal to eat 2. AN- binge eating/purging type – episodes of binge eating followed by removal of food from the body by vomiting, laxatives, or enemas.Both of these are associated with significant weight loss and the other symptoms of AN. * Bulimia nervosa – episodes of binging followed by removal of food from the body by vomiting, laxatives, or enemas (no significant weight loss). * Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS)The four major symptoms of anorexia nervosa are: * The body weight is 85% or less of normal weight for age and height * Distorted perception of body weight/shape, and/or denial that the weight loss is severe * Intense fear of becoming fat * Loss of three consecutive menstrual cycles in women (amenorrhoea)Anorexia nervosa (AN) and Bulimia nervosa (BN) have much in common, particularly a dissatisfaction with body weight and/or shape....

Words: 3915 - Pages: 16

Compare and Contrast Psychological and Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia

...Compare and contrast psychological and biological explanations of schizophrenia. Jessica F Smith University Of Sussex Schizophrenia has been termed a heterogeneous group of disorders with varied etiologies (Walker, Kestler, Bollini, & Hochman, 2004) which includes biological, social, cognitive and psychodynamic perspectives. To progress knowledge of schizophrenia, this essay focuses on how the biological and psychological explanations are independent and interdependent and how they may differentiate from one another. This includes: how our biological predisposition, neuro transmitter dysfunction and genetic inheritance, affects how people with schizophrenia respond to social environments, the importance of socio-economic factors and their ability to shape psychotic symptoms, and how people with schizophrenia have faulty cognitions, which arguably develop from social influence and upbringing. The overruling theory, that is important in explanations of schizophrenia, is known as the Diathesis Stress Model (Davey, 2011), which identifies that psychotic symptoms arise from a combination of both biological predisposition and environmental stress. Servan-Schreiber, Bruno, Carter, & Cohen, (1998) alleviate that dopamine is an important neurotransmitter with a function in regulating movement and guiding attention. The dopamine hypothesis suggests that the dysfunction of movement and attention in those with schizophrenia may be a result of excess dopamine due to an......

Words: 2340 - Pages: 10

Biological Explanations for Depression

...for depression >the studies select people who already have depression (probands), and then examine whether other family members have been, or might be, diagnosed with depression -if there is a genetic link for this disorder, the probands’ relatives should show higher rates of depression than the rest of the population Harrington et al (1993) >found that around 20% of proband’s close relatives have depression compared to 10% for the general population A01 – Twin studies >basis is that identical (monozygotic) twins are clones of each other and have all the same genes -fraternal (dizygotic) twins share just half of their genes -we assume that the environment shared by the twins is roughly the same for both types of twin McGuffin et al (1996) >studied 177 probands with depression with their same-sex co-twins >concordance rate was 46% for identical twins and 20% for fraternal twins >suggest that depression has a large heritable component A01 – Adoption studies Wender et al (1986) >studies the biological relatives of adopted individuals who had been hospitalised for severe depression >found a much higher rate of severe depression in the biological relatives of the depressed group than in the biological relatives of a non-depressed control group (nature may be a stronger component than nurture) Genetic factors A01 – Family studies >having a 1st degree relative (parent or sibling) with depression appears to be a......

Words: 1744 - Pages: 7

Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia (24 Marks)

...Discuss biological explanations of schizophrenia AO1- (4 marks) Biological explanations of schizophrenia argue that the causes of schizophrenia and physiological rather than psychological. Evidence to support this comes from research into genetics, as well as biochemical factors. Firstly, genetic research has considered rates of schizophrenia found in biological relatives, monozygotic twins (MZ) and dizygotic twins (DZ). This research includes family studies. Schizophrenia is more common among biological relatives with schizophrenia and the closer then family member e.g. a sister the greater the risk of developing schizophrenia. They found children with 2 schizophrenic parents have a concordance rate of 46% compared with children who have one schizophrenic parent, concordance rate is 13%. In addition, MZ twins have a higher concordance rate at 40.4% than DZ twins at 7.4% in terms of developing schizophrenia. Researchers have also tried to find twins separated at birth and at least one twin was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Gottesman and Shields found 58% of twins were concordant for schizophrenia. In contrast, more recent studies, using blind studies, have reported lower concordance rates for MZ twins. However, it is still arguing findings support the genetic inheritance of schizophrenia. Similarly, adopted children are looked at to test whether schizophrenia is an environmental influence or genetically inherited. They have been looking at children who were adopted and......

Words: 1141 - Pages: 5

Outline and Evaluate One Psychological Explanation and One Biological Explanation of an Eating Disorder. [24 Marks]

...Outline and evaluate one psychological explanation and one biological explanation of an eating disorder. [24 marks] Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by recurrent binge-eating followed by self-induced vomiting or another compensatory behaviour (purging). One psychological explanation of bulimia nervosa is the functional model which was created by Polivy et al. in 1994. This model suggests that individuals engage in the binge-eating associated with BN as a way of coping with identity problems, particularly those associated with self-image. By overeating the person can attribute any resulting distress to the overeating rather than to the more serious underlying issues associated with threats to their emotional well-being. This led to the view that bulimic binge behaviour was purposeful for individuals dealing with life stressors. The functional model assumes that individuals with BN engage in binge-eating as a way of avoiding identity issues. Wheeler et al. (2001) proposed that negative self-image and a desire to escape from difficult life issues predicted the onset of bulimic behaviour, the consequence of which was a diffuse-avoidant identity style. Individuals in this state feel externally controlled, use emotion-focused rather than problem-focused coping strategies, and avoid the exploration of identity issues. Consequently they maintain a negative self-image and feel socially isolated. Polivy et al. provided evidence for the claim that BN is a......

Words: 1035 - Pages: 5

Psychological and Biological Explanations of Anorexia Nervosa

...Outline and evaluate one psychological explanation and one biological explanation of one eating disorder. (8 marks + 16 marks) Anorexia is an eating disorder of abnormal weight loss dropping below 85% of what was previously considered normal. This is characterised by low blood pressure, amenorrhoea and depression, as well as other bodily changes. Anorexia is caused by strict controls on weight and unusual eating habits which can be explained through both psychological and biological explanations. The psychological explanation of anorexia is explained through cultural ideas in the media which portrays thin models on TV and magazines. This is a significant contributory factor in body image concerns and the drive for thinness among Western adolescent girls. Research by Jones and Buckingham found that people with low self-esteem are more likely to compare themselves to idealised imagines portrayed in the media. There is a wealth of evidence to support the view that the mass media portrays slender as a beauty ideal which people strive to follow. For instance, Goresz et al (2001) reviewed 25 studies and showed that this ideal causes bodily dissatisfaction and contributes to the development of eating disorders, particularly affecting girls aged 19 and below. Furthermore, there also comes support from a natural observation carried out by Becker et al (2002) in a study of Fijian adolescents. It was found that after the introduction of television to an island, these girls......

Words: 839 - Pages: 4

Biological Explanations for Schizophrenia

...Outline and evaluate 2 biological explanations for schizophrenia.’ 24 Marks One biological explanations for schizophrenia is genetic factors, which can be studied through twin studies. If the concordance rate is 100% in MZ twins it means that the characteristic is genetically determined because monozygotic twins share the same genes and environment. This was shown by Gottesman and Shields, who reviewed the results of 5 twin studies looking for concordance rates for schizophrenia. These studies looked at 210 MZ twins and 319 DZ twins. It was found that in MZ twins there was a concordance rate of 35-58% compared with dizygotic (DZ) twin rates that ranged from 9-26%. They also found a concordance rate in MZ twins of 75-91% when the sample was restricted to the most severe form of schizophrenia. This can show that there is a link with genetics and schizophrenia. However, the twin studies have all assumed that the shared environmental effects for MZ and DZ twins are equal which may be incorrect. In addition twins are not representative of the wider population. This is because it is a very small sample and there are very few MZ twins in the population and only 1% are Schizophrenic. This shows the sample may not be generalizable to the public. In addition family studies support the idea that there is a genetic influence in schizophrenia. For example, if a parents is schizophrenic and a child becomes schizophrenic it would be likely that genetic factors responsible......

Words: 1021 - Pages: 5

rock pile analysis | Детективы | knee-length