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Chapter 2

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Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 2 - Current Paradigms and the Roleof Cultural Factors Paradigm: A set of basic assumptions, a general perspective, that defines how to conceptualize and study a subject, how to gather and interpret relevant data, even how to think about a particular subject The Role of Paradigms Paradigm: A set of basic assumptions that outline the particular universe of scientific inquiry. It is the conceptualframework or approach within which the scientist works, according to Thomas Kuhn. It injects inevitable biases into the definition and collection of data, and may also affect the interpretation of facts The meaning or importance given to a data may depend to a considerable extent on a paradigm The Biological Paradigm The Biological Paradigm of abnormal behaviour is a continuation of the somatogenic hypothesis (mental disorders are caused by irregular biological processes) This paradigm is often referred to as the medical model or disease model The germ theory (all medical problems are caused by germs, ie. Bacteria and virii) was once very pervasive, but then it was found that it cannot account for alldiseases (ie. Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.) All medical illnesses are common in that there is some biological process that is disrupted or not functioning normally %KL8L8ZKL98.,OO09K0Biological Paradigm This paradigm was dominant from late 1800s to the middle 20 century Ie. Hallremoved ovarian cysts or the whole ovary to treat melancholia, mania, and delusions Contemporary approaches to the biological paradigm There is research supporting the claim that heredity factors probably predispose a person to certain psychopathological problems Depression may result from a chemical imbalance within the brain Anxiety disorders may result from a defect within the autonomic nervous system that causes a person to be too easily aroused Dementia can be traced to impairments in brain structure Those working within the biological paradigm assume that the answers to the puzzles of psychopathology will be found within the body :0OOO44N,9areas of research within the biological paradigm in which the data are particularly interesting: behaviour genetics, molecular genetics, and biochemistry 1) Behaviour Genetics Behaviour genetics is the study of individual differences in behaviour that are attributable in part to differences in the genetic make up Genotype: his or her unobservable genetic constitution Genotype is fixed at birth-:9L83t static (different genes switch on and off at different times) Phenotype:the totality of his or her observable behaviouralcharacteristics, such as levelof anxiety Phenotype changes over time, and is a product of the interaction between genotype and environment) Various clinicalsyndromes are disorders of the phenotype, not genotype At most, only the genotype for these disorders can be inherited, but whether these genotypes will eventually engender these phenotypic behaviour disorder will depend on the environment and experience A predisposition, also known as a diathesis, may be inherited, but not the disorder itself 1 Behaviour genetics has relied on 4 basic methods for whether a predisposition for psychopathology is inherited 1) Comparison of members of a family The family method can be used to study a genetic predisposition among family members because the number of shared genes is known People who share 50% of genes with a given individualare called first-degree relatives Nephews and nieces share 25% of an :3.O08 genes, and are called second-degree relatives The starting point for investigations is the collection of a sample of individuals who bear the diagnosis in question; these people are referred to as index cases or probands If a predisposition to the disorder being studied is present, first-degree relatives of the index cases should have the disorder at a higher rate than that found in the generalpopulation 2) Comparison of pairs of twins Twin studies being with diagnosed cases and then search for the presence of the disorder in the other twin When the twins are similar diagnostically, they are said to be concordant When MZ concordance rate is higher than DZ rate, the characteristic being studied is said to be heritable :984209L2089K0L84707L839heritable, but rather the children with the disorder could reflect the child-rearing practices of their disordered parents Equal environment assumption: the environmental factors that are a partial cause of concordance are equally influential for MZ and DZ pairs; basically both individuals have to have an equal number of 8970881:O0;0398L39K0L7OL109K0439K,;094-070,70L39K08,2003;L7432039 Sometimes the results may be similar because of the environment rather than biology Investigation of adoptees Researchers using this method study children who were adopted seperately This eliminates the effect of being raised by disordered parents; if both children have an anxiety disorder, and their parents do as well, this would give support to the claim that a genetic predisposition figures in the disorder 2) Molecular Genetics Molecular Genetics tried to specify the particular gene of genes involved in a disorder, and the precise functions of these genes Linkage analysis is a method of molecular genetics that is used to study people. Researchers use this method to study families in which a disorder is heavily concentrated. It tries to specify the particular gene involved Researchers collect diagnostic information and blood samples from affected individuals and relatives, and use the blood sample to study the inheritance patter of characteristics who genetics are fully understood, referred to as genetic markers Researchers in this area emphasize gene-environment interactions, which is the notion that a disorder or related symptoms are the joint product of a genetic vulnerability to specific environmental experiences or conditions 3) Neuroscience and Biochemistry in the Nervous System Each neuron has 4 major components: the cell body, several dendrites, one or more axons of varying lengths, and terminal buttons on the many end branches of the axon(s) 2
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