Biological explanations of phobia genetic

My notes for A Level psychology. The family member who already has the disorder is called the proband Fyer et al - probands had three times as many relatives who also experienced phobias as the normal controls. Family and twin studies - There is a considerable variability between disorders. One of the problems with family and twin studies is that they fail to control for shared environmental experiences.

Biological explanations of phobia genetic

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Significance Mental disorders are increasingly understood biologically. Biological explanations of phobia genetic tested the effects of biological explanations among mental health clinicians, specifically examining their empathy toward patients.

Conventional wisdom suggests that biological explanations reduce perceived blameworthiness against those with mental disorders, which could increase empathy. This suggests that biological explanations might actually decrease empathy.

In a series of studies, US clinicians read descriptions of potential patients whose symptoms were explained using either biological or psychosocial information.

To the contrary, biological explanations evoked significantly less empathy. These results are consistent with other research and theory that has suggested that biological accounts of psychopathology can exacerbate perceptions of patients as abnormal, distinct from the rest of the population, meriting social exclusion, and even less than fully human.

Although the ongoing shift toward biomedical conceptualizations has many benefits, our results reveal unintended negative consequences. In the fight against these widespread and disabling conditions, biological approaches to understanding psychopathology e.

Psychology Notes: Phobic Disorders - Biological Explanations of Phobic Disorders

How do biological conceptualizations of psychopathology affect mental health clinicians? Tens of millions of Americans receive mental health treatment annually 7but little is known about how ascendant biological conceptualizations might impact clinicians.

Reduced blame, in turn, would increase empathy However, there is extensive evidence linking biological conceptions of psychopathology with negative and stigmatizing social attitudes toward people with psychiatric illnesses—such as a perception that such individuals are dangerous and a desire to limit social interaction with them 12 — 15 —and negative attitudes are inversely associated with empathy 1116 — For example, biological explanations appear to lead to certain forms of so-called psychological essentialism specifically, genetic essentialism and neuroessentialism in which mental disorders are seen as having unique, immutable essences—located in the brain or DNA—that produce the symptoms and behavior of patients 13 This view, in turn, can yield the belief that people with mental disorders are categorically dissimilar from so-called normal people, and the perception of such strict social boundaries between groups of people can lead to more negative intergroup attitudes 1320 — It can also exacerbate the perception that mental disorders are relatively permanent and difficult to overcome or treat effectively, which is known as prognostic pessimism 913 Additionally, if the behavior of people with psychiatric disorders is seen as deterministically governed by biological abnormalities outside of their control, they may be seen as unpredictable, contributing to perceptions of them as dangerous, fearsome, and meriting avoidance 2224 Moreover, viewing the actions of people with psychiatric illnesses as caused by neural or genetic aberrations—rather than by their own agency 23 —might trigger mechanistic dehumanization, which occurs when people are equated to automata or systems of interacting parts and is strongly linked to negative attitudes Given the link between negative attitudes and decreased empathy, it is unsurprising that many of the factors undergirding the link between biological conceptions of psychopathology and negative attitudes toward their sufferers—e.

Such a finding would be of particular importance in the field of mental health because empathy is a bedrock of the therapeutic alliance that underlies clinician—patient relationships.

However, research concerning the consequences of biological conceptualizations of psychopathology has tended to neglect empathy as an outcome measure, relative to other reactions toward people with mental disorders e.

Biological explanations of phobia genetic

Furthermore, to our knowledge, no existing study has examined how biological conceptions affect the empathy of treatment providers. The samples consisted of mental health professionals, as opposed to general health professionals, and included both medically trained mental health clinicians i.

In both studies, clinicians read vignettes describing patients with mental disorders. Study 1 used schizophrenia and social phobia, and study 2 used major depression and obsessive—compulsive disorder OCD. For each disorder, we created two explanatory passages: One described biological i.

See Supporting Information for examples and details. Each of these explanations was paired with one of two fictitious patient case vignettes describing symptoms of a given disorder; the pairings were counterbalanced across participants. To measure how clinicians felt about the fictitious patients, we used a well-validated method that has been extensively used in empathy research For each case vignette, clinicians read a list of 18 adjectives and rated how much each one described their feelings toward the patient described.

In addition, we included six adjectives e. The latter were included because if empathy given biological explanations was found to be lower than empathy given psychosocial explanations, we wished to verify that this was not merely because psychosocial explanations happened to be more upsetting or disturbing, resulting in increased empathy.

The remaining six adjectives angry, frustrated, happy, joyful, pleased, and resentful were included as fillers and are not included in our analyses.


For both the six empathy adjectives and the six distress adjectives, Cronbach alpha was greater than 0. See Supporting Information for discussion of additional is believed that bipolar disorder is caused by a complex interaction of genetic, biological and psychosocial factors, which is known as the ‘diathesis-stress’ model (Nuechterlein & Dawson, ; Lam et .

Biological acquisition of phobia has not been fully proved by researchers whether there is a specific genetic trait which causes phobia (Heimberg, ). In addition, form the research that have been previously conducted, it has been noted that different types of phobias stem from different causes which is best explained using the three types.

As mentioned, biological factors (or vulnerabilities) usually have to be in place for an anxiety disorder to manifest. Because of advancements in genetic research, we now know that many diseases and disorders have a genetic component.

The biological approach states that psychological abnormality has a physical cause this explanation does not consider the cognitions, learned behaviour or early psychosexual experiences.

Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa: Explanations. The biological explanations make a contribution to the understanding of eating disorders, but other factors are involved and several questions are left unanswered: Supporters of the Behavioural Model also propose anorexia as a phobia concerning the possibility of gaining weight. Biological explanation of phobias Genetic factors One biological explanation for the cause of phobic disorders suggests that we can relate it back to our genetics. This theory values the ‘nature’ side in the nature vs nurture debate. This theory uses twin studies to try and separate genetic factors from environmental factors in order to draw a causal conclusion between genetics and phobias. Biological theories are at best suggestive rather than conclusive. They suggest why some people are predisposed to phobias and why some phobias are more common than others.

McGuffin et al () investigated the genetic component of depression. Biological explanation of phobias Genetic factors One biological explanation for the cause of phobic disorders suggests that we can relate it back to our genetics.

This theory values the ‘nature’ side in the nature vs nurture debate. This theory uses twin studies to try and separate genetic factors from environmental factors in order to draw a causal conclusion between genetics and phobias. Anxiety Disorders: An Introduction to Phobias & Explanations.

BIOLOGICAL APPROACH. Genetic Factors. Some people acquire phobias whilst others do not, even if they have the same opportunities for learning. Suggests biology/genetics may play a role. The main evidence on genetic factors in the development of phobias comes from twin studies, although some family studies have also been .

The Genetic Explanation of Phobias - Mindmap in A Level and IB Psychology