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Ch 3: The Biological Model of Abnormality

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on the biological model of abnormality, and learn about the brain, the endocrine system, and the physiology of mental health. These lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

The Biological Model of Abnormality - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Learn about the physiological and genetic causes for mental illnesses, the parts of the brain and endocrine system involved in mental health, biology-based treatments for mental illnesses, and more. In this chapter, our instructors will discuss the biological causes and possible treatments for abnormal behavior, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the biological model. You will be introduced to the major players and theories that helped shaped the current understanding of abnormal psychology and the relevant vocabulary associated with this topic. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Define terms such as dominant and recessive traits, genotype, phenotype, heritability, environmentality, and nature versus nurture
  • Recognize various forms of biologically-based mental illness treatments
  • Understand the basics of the genetic, evolutionary, and viral contributions to abnormal human behavior and mental illnesses
  • Understand criticisms of the biological model of abnormal psychology as well as its strengths

Video Objective
Sources of Biological Abnormalities: Genetics, Evolution and Viral Infections Understand how genetics, evolution, and viral infections have resulted in biological abnormalities.
Behavioral Genetics Recognize the role of genetics in predicting and understanding behavior.
Biological Treatments for Psychological Abnormalities Learn about biological treatments that include psychotropic medications, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and psychosurgery (neurosurgery).
Assessing the Biological Model: Strengths and Weaknesses Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the biological model.

8 Lessons in Chapter 3: The Biological Model of Abnormality
Intro to Biological Psychology

1. Intro to Biological Psychology

What are the biological factors that affect our behavior? In this lesson, you'll take a look at biological psychology, which looks at the interplay between biological processes and mental states.

Physiological Causes & Explanations for Mental Illness

2. Physiological Causes & Explanations for Mental Illness

There are many factors that can affect a person's mental health, including physiological issues. In this lesson, we'll look at three major physical causes of psychological problems: infection, malnutrition, and metal poisoning.

What is a Neurotransmitter? - Definition, Types, Function & Examples

3. What is a Neurotransmitter? - Definition, Types, Function & Examples

How do our bodies communicate with our brains and vice versa? In this video, you'll see how neurons and neurotransmitters can be likened to billions of tiny baseball players engaged in a non-stop game of catch.

Parts of the Brain

4. Parts of the Brain

Is there a way to easily remember the many parts of the brain? Don't be afraid of all these complex terms; this lesson outlines some easy and fun phrases to help you memorize the brain's anatomy. Let's take a look.

What is Neuroplasticity? - Definition & Examples

5. What is Neuroplasticity? - Definition & Examples

Is your brain preprogrammed and unchangeable or adaptive and malleable? As you watch this video, you'll explore how the brain, a more resilient and resourceful machine than any computer, responds to damage and new experiences.

Sources of Biological Abnormalities: Genetics & Evolution

6. Sources of Biological Abnormalities: Genetics & Evolution

There are many factors that can affect a person's mental health. How do elements like genetics and evolution play a role in psychology? In this lesson, we'll look closer at how genetics and evolution can affect mental illness.

Biological Treatments for Psychological Abnormalities

7. Biological Treatments for Psychological Abnormalities

The biological model of psychology focuses on treating the underlying physical issues that might be causing psychological disorders. In this lesson, we'll go through some common biological treatments for mental illness.

Assessing the Biological Model: Strengths and Weaknesses

8. Assessing the Biological Model: Strengths and Weaknesses

What causes mental illness? Some psychologists believe that psychological disorders are caused by physical problems. In this lesson, we'll assess the strengths and limitations of the biological model of abnormality.

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