The Role of Paradigms

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Biological Sciences
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Chapter 2 THE ROLE OF PARADIGMS  Paradigm- the conceptual framework or approach within which the scientist works. A paradigm is a set of basic assumptions that outline the particular universe of scientific inquiry  Paradigms specify what problems scientists will investigate and how they will go about the investigation. They serve the vital function of indicating the rules to be followed  A paradigm injects inevitable biases into the definition and collection of data and may also affect the interpretation of facts  There are 5 paradigms: biological, psychoanalytical, humanistic and existential, learning and cognitive  Current thinking about abnormal beh tends to be multi faceted and tend to integrate several paradigms THE BIOLOGICAL PARADIGM  Biological paradigm- a broad theoretical view that holds that mental disorders are caused by some aberrant somatic process or defect. Its continuous of the somatoegnic hypothesis.  The paradigm has often been referred to as the medical model or disease model  The study of ab beh is linked historically to medicine  For a time the germ theory was the paradigm of medicine but it soon became apparent that this theory could not account for all diseases. Heart disease is one example. Medical illnesses can differ from one another in causes but they all share one characteristic: in al of them some bio process is disrupted or not functioning normally. That’s why its called the bio paradigm  The bio paradigm was the dominant paradigm in Canada and elsewhere from the late 1800s until at least the middle of the 20 cen  Hall; use of gynaecological procedures to treat “insanity” in women from B.C. he maintained that insanity exists when the Ego is dominated and controlled by the influence from a diseased periphery nerve tract or centre.. the removal of a small part of the physical disease might result in the restoration of the balance of power to such an organism and diminish if not remove the ab psychic phenomena. Removal of ovarian cysts or the entire ovaries was employed as treatment for melancholia, mania and delusions Contemporary approaches to the biological paradigm  Hereditary probably predisposes a person to have increased risk of developing schizto, depression may result from chemical imbalances within the brain, anxiety disorders may stem from a defect within the automatic NS that causes a person to be too easily aroused and dementia can be traced to impairments in structures of the brain  In each case the psychopathology is viewed as caused by the disturbance of some bio process Behaviour Genetics  When the ovum, female reproductive cell is joined by the male’s spermatozoon, a zygote or fertilized egg is produced.  It has 46 chromosomes, the # of characteristics of a human being  Each chromosome is made up of thousands of genes, the carriers of the genetic information (DNA) passed from parents to child  Gene- an ultramicroscopic area of the chromosome; the gene is the smallest physical unit of the DNA molecule that carries a piece of hereditary information  Behavioural genetics is the study of individual differences in beh that are attributable in part to differentiate in genetic makeup. It studies the degree to which characteristics such as psychical resemblance or psychopathology are shared by family members cuz of shared genes  The total genetic makeup of an individual consisting of inherited genes is referred to as the genotype  Genotype- an indiv unobservable genetic constitution; the totality of genes possessed by an indib  Phenotype- the totality of the persons observable, beh characterises such as the level of anxiety.  The genotype is fixed at birth but it should not be viewed as a static entity  The phenotype changes over time and is viewed as the product of an interaction between the genotype and the environment  receptors are at fault in some psychopathologies. If the receptors on the postsynaptic neurons were too numerous or too easily excited, the result would be akin to having too much transmitter released  the delusions and hallucinations of schitzo may result from an over
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