PSYC 2341 January 9 , 2013
Lecture 3 Paradigms cont'd
THE BIOLOGICAL PARADIGM
Also known as the Medical Model or Disease Model
Assumption – psychological disorders have a physical etiology (=cause)
Very old idea
◦ e.g., Greeks recognized a disorder called hysteria, a psychological problem primarily in women. Due to a
“wandering uterus” looking for warmth and moisture in various parts of the body. Treated by applying
burning dung to make it an unpleasant place for the uterus.
Approach to studying abnormality
◦ First, observe large #'s of patients exhibiting different symptoms (symptoms = abcdefghijklmno)
▪ Observation indicates that some symptoms tend to be correlated: abcd efg hijkl mno.
▪ These clusters of symptoms are called syndromes.
◦ Second, look for the etiology of each syndrome.
◦ Third, Find treatment for each etiology – some paradigms have adopted this approach (i.e., MD’s)
General paresis and syphilis
1. SYNDROME – Gradual paralysis, delusions of grandeur, eventual death, etc
a. Sea water? – but lots of sailors had it
b. Alcohol and cigars? – but some females had it
c. Syphilis? – some admitted it, some didn’t, open lesion on genitals
You can’t get syphilis more than once so in 1897, neurologist von Krafft-Ebing inoculated 9 general paresis patients
with syphilis. None developed syphilis. This established that general paresis was due to syphilis.
a. In 1909, after 605 failed attempts, Ehrlich discovered a cure—arsenic! The dose was measured via
body weight so it would be enough to kill the virus but not kill the patient; they would just get
violently ill. Known as “606” or “Dr. Ehrlich’s magic bullet”.
b. In the 1940’s, penicillin replaced 606 as the preferred treatment; rarely killed the patient.
With physical pathology, the sequence is usually (1) syndrome, (2) etiology, and (3) treatment.
With the psychopathology, the sequence is usually gone: (1) syndrome, (2) accidental discovery of treatment, and (3)
use of treatment to discover etiology.
Average number of genes shared by blood relatives is known
Kids get 50% of their genes from each parent
Therefore, the parent, child, and sibling are identical in 50% of genetic makeup first degree
More distant relatives share fewer
◦ i.e., Nephews and nieces share 25% of their uncle’s genes second degree PSYC 2341 January 9 , 2013
◦ Third degree 12.5% of genes shared
MZ twins share 100% of genes
DZ twins share 50% of genes like siblings do
Adopted children share genes with biological parents
Adopted children only share environm