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1. Explanations of Schizophrenia The Cognitive Approach 2. What is the basis of the cognitive approach to psychology? <ul><li>Concerned with internal mental…
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  • 1. Explanations of Schizophrenia The Cognitive Approach
  • 2. What is the basis of the cognitive approach to psychology? <ul><li>Concerned with internal mental processes (aka mediating processes); </li></ul><ul><li>These mediating cognitive processes influence the way we think, interpret information & also how we perceive ourselves and our environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes these processes are faulty. </li></ul>
  • 3. Hallucinations <ul><li>73% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia experience hallucinations (WHO, 1973) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Hallucinations occur </li></ul><ul><li>when people mistake </li></ul><ul><li>their own internal, </li></ul><ul><li>mental or private </li></ul><ul><li>events for external, </li></ul><ul><li>publicly observable </li></ul><ul><li>events’ (Bentall, 1990) </li></ul>
  • 4. The five factor model (Slade and Bentall, 1988) <ul><li>Stress-induced arousal </li></ul><ul><li>In times of stress we are in a heightened state of arousal and information is not processed effectively making it difficult to decide what is real. </li></ul>
  • 5. Evaluation of the five-factor model <ul><li>The five-factor model would suggest that it is sensory stimulation from the environment that triggers hallucinations. Sensory deprivation and noise stimulation have been shown to trigger hallucinations. This would explain why sensory loss in the elderly can be accompanied by a likelihood to experience hallucinations. </li></ul>
  • 6. Evaluation of the five-factor model (2) <ul><li>The five factor model suggests that the hallucinations bring relief from anxiety and so their occurrence is reinforced. Close & Garety (1998) argued against this, stating that hallucinations actually increased anxiety. </li></ul>
  • 7. Evaluation of the five-factor model (3) <ul><li>Expectancy – people only hallucinate what they already believe exists: this is supported by cross-cultural research e.g. people in Puerto Rico who experience hallucinations will believe they are being visited by spirits, a common belief in their culture & considered ‘normal’. In a Western culture these people would be considered mentally ill. </li></ul>
  • 8. Delusions <ul><li>What are delusions? </li></ul><ul><li>How does one distinguish between delusions & other beliefs? </li></ul><ul><li>Again, delusions need to be seen as on a continuum with normality. The extent of the delusion should be judged on: </li></ul><ul><li>- the degree of conviction in the belief </li></ul><ul><li>- the extent to which the person is pre- occupied with that belief. </li></ul>
  • 9. Cognitive Theories of Delusions <ul><li>There are two types of delusions: </li></ul><ul><li>Delusions are the result of abnormal cognitions in reasoning, attention, memory, etc. (They’re out to get me!) </li></ul><ul><li>Delusions are the product of abnormal perceptions. (I am not worth it, I deserve the bad things that happen to me!) </li></ul>
  • 10. Abnormal Cognitions <ul><li>Bentall et al (1991) proposed that delusions are a defence mechanism used to protect against low self esteem & depression. </li></ul><ul><li>Attention/memory bias: the person has difficulty filtering out irrelevant external stimuli, they will then focus on the possible negative outcomes of any given situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution bias: the person is inclined towards placing the blame with external forces i.e. ‘They are all out to get me’ </li></ul><ul><li>For example, if you lose your job, rather than thinking that you weren’t very good at it, which would impact on your self esteem in a negative way, you protect yourself by saying that the management were all out to get you. </li></ul>
  • 11. Abnormal Perceptions <ul><li>Maher Anomalous Experience Model </li></ul>The same cognitive processes lead to both delusional and normal beliefs . Delusions act as ‘mini-theories’ and provide order and meaning to the world Mini-theories are needed when events are not predictable Delusional explanations for unpredictable events bring relief Beliefs are judged delusional by others when they are based on experiences that are not open to scrutiny
  • 12. Evaluation of Cognitive Theories <ul><li>Delusions are common symptoms of may disorders, even when the person has not previous history of mental disorder (Manschreck, 1979). Our old friend Zimbardo (1981) found that, when weird things happen to ‘normal’ people then delusions can happen just to make sense of the situation. This supports the idea of a continuum of delusions. </li></ul><ul><li>Maher’s anomalous experience model has proven useful in therapy. </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive Theories are important in looking at the contribution of attributional (where to put the blame) and reasoning biases in maintaining schizophrenic delusions. </li></ul><ul><li>The weakness in this theory is that it does not explain how schizophrenia starts – what makes a person likely to develop schizophrenia? </li></ul>
  • Bauman Article

    Jul 23, 2017
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