Theories Within The Biological And Psychological Explanations

1611 Words Oct 27th, 2016 7 Pages
There are a wide range of explanations for schizophrenia (SZ), ranging from genetics to psychodynamic approaches. These theories can be grouped into two categories; biological and psychological. These two explanations have many differences such as their fundamental basis, treatments and methodology, but also have several similarities. This essay will outline, then compare and contrast various theories within the biological and psychological explanations.
One aspect of the psychological explanations of SZ is the behaviourist approach. The assumption of the behavioural approach is that, apart from a few innate reflexes, SZ is learnt from the environment like any other behaviour (1). According to this theory, all symptoms can be explained by operant conditioning or social learning. These two processes combined can lead an individual to begin imitating schizophrenic behaviours, which are then maintained and developed by operant conditioning. One suggestion is that early experience of punishment may lead the child to retreat into a more rewarding inner world, causing others to label them as ‘odd’ or ‘strange’ (Scheff 1966). Scheff’s (1966) labelling theory suggests that individuals labelled in this way may continue to act in ways to conform to this label. The bizarre behaviours are rewarded with attention, and so become more and more exaggerated in a vicious cycle, eventually ending up with a ‘schizophrenic’ label. This theory can also explain why schizophrenia tends to run in…

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