The Bio Psychological Approaches To Understanding Mental Events And Behaviour Result In More Conclusive Findings Than Using A Social Approach And/Or Examining Environmental Factors. Discuss

2275 words - 10 pages

The understanding of mental events and behaviour can be enhanced using the concept of bio-psychology. Peterson defined psychology in1996 as the scientific study of behaviour and mental process. Biology psychology is therefore, an extension of psychology, scientifically studying the biology of behaviour (Pinel 1997). It examines the physiological, evolutionary and developmental mechanisms of behaviour and experience and pays particular reference to the functions of the brain.The area of the bio-psychology is a vast one, consisting of broad array of notions. A particular famous concept is that of Crick, who in 1990 developed the 'astonishing hypothesis theory'. He emphasised that identity ...view middle of the document...

The reasons for depression can be sub-divided into two main sections; genetic/neurological factors and social/psychological factors. There is very little substantial evidence for genetic factors in unipolar depression, but reasonable strong evidence in bipolar (manic) depression. Twin studies provide rather convincing evidence. Price (1968) looked at 7 twin studies and found a much higher concordance rates for manic depressive psychosis in identical (MZ) twins than in non-identical (DZ) twins. The most revealing factor was that the concordance rate for the (MZ) twins was almost the same for those reared together and those reared apart. These findings were reinforced in 1976 by Allen. In this study, it was reported that the concordance rate for the MZ twins was 72% and the DZ twins was 14%. This showed that there is strong genetic link. Another complementary study is that of Weissman (1987). It showed that people with first degree relatives (share 50% of the genes, i.e. parent, siblings) who have a mood disorder are ten times more likely to develop one then those with people with unaffected first degree relatives.In alternative adoptive studies, the results were also corresponding. Wender et al (1986) discovered that adopted children who later develop a mood disorder are much more likely to have a biological parent who has been diagnosed as having a mood disorder, even though adopted children are raised in very different environments. Furthermore, Cockret (1978) looked at 126 adopted children, 8 of which were born to parents with manic depression but were adopted by a healthy couple. Three of those eight later developed a major affective disorder, compared to only eight of the remaining 118.Although genetic evidence for bipolar depression is strong, no study has shown a 100% concordance rate which indicates that the genetic component might be a predisposing factor and there may be additional causes. Such as the Schildkraut (1965), whose neurological approach suggested that chemical imbalances in serotonin and norepinephrine play a causal role in affective disorders. He believed that too much norepinephrine resulted in mania and too little resulted in depression. Later research found this to be true of seretonin also.Complementary research by Kety (1975) found abnormally high levels of norepinephrine-derived compounds in the urine of manic people. In conjunction with these findings, Teuting et al (1981) found that lower than normal levels of compounds that are produced when norepinephrine and seretonin are broken down by enzymes are found in the urine of depressed people. This suggest lower activity than normal of norepinephrine and seretonin, secreting neurons in the brain.However, these approaches do not take into account the psychodynamic or social factors involved in depression. Freud argued that actual losses and symbolic losses lead us to re0experience parts of our childhood with depressed people becoming dependant, and in extreme ca...


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