Describe and Evaluate the Medical and One of the Psychological Explanations for the Causes of Abnormality. Essay

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Abnormal behaviour is closely linked to the underlying causes behind it. Possession by evil spirits at the ancient times, possessions by demons or the devil at the middle age, and a result of environmental stress around the 18th century, are some of the several explanations, throughout history, that have been speculated and regarded as causes of abnormal behaviour (Cardwell, M. 2008). Until this day, abnormalities are approached by a number of different theories such as psychological models and the medical or biological model. One-dimensional models assume there is a single underlying cause to a particular abnormality, whereas multidimensional models assume, as the name suggests, multiple causes or factors in interaction. The diathesis-stress model, as an example of a multidimensional model, suggests that a disorder depends on two distinct factors: Diathesis: a vulnerability or pre-disposition, and stress: a severe or disabling environmental event (Eysenck, M. 2008). One-dimensional are being, in practice, replaced by multidimensional models. This essay will aim to describe and evaluate the medical model and the psychological model, specifically the psychodynamics perspective, as explanations for the causes of abnormalities.

The quintessential characteristic of the medical model is that abnormal behaviours, regarded as illnesses, result from underlying physical causes; therefore should be treated medically (Gross, R. 2006). The four kinds of medical explanations are: infection, biochemistry, neuroanatomy and genetic factors. From the perspective of infections, microorganisms cause common physical illnesses and have also been attributed to mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. The limitation of this explanation, however, is that although finding a diagnose is the aim of the medical model in order to treat and cure, the majority of mental disorders have multiple underlying causes and do not always constitute a syndrome. It also fails to take into account...

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  • Submitted by:
  • on May 29, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,120 words
  • Views: 459
  • Popularity Rank: 128727
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