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AO3 - Evaluation of the Genetic Explanation
Terms in this set (5)
strength of the genetic explanation
evidence for scz being at least partly genetic is strong
studies have found high concordance rates between closely related family members
twin studies = reliable conclusions = genetic and environmental factors isolated
gottesman: meta-analysis found concordance rates of 48% for mz twins and 17% for dz twins
general population = 1%, identical twins = 48% = suggests genetic basis for scz`
however as this is not 100% despite 100% genes shared, suggests that environmental factors should also be considered
weakness - the genetic explanation is reductionist
focuses only on biological factors and ignores psychological, social and cultural factors.
e.g. Gottesman's meta-analysis - though family and twin studies suggest a genetic basis for schizophrenia, cultural factors and timing of research should not be ignored. Researchers do not control for this.
genetic explanation alone simplifies complex behaviour into only biological factors
for a more comprehensive explanation of scz, genes should be considered alongside other factors such as psychological, social and cultural
cause and effect
a weakness of the genetic explanation is that cause and effect cannot be established.
it is based on heritability studies and is therefore non-experimental and unscientific.
it can be suggested that though Gottesman's research showed high concordance rates between close family members, this may not be due to genetics but instead due to extraneous variables. since closely related family members are at a higher risk, and are also more likely to live together, it is possible that high concordance rates are due to a shared environment. this becomes an issue when attempting to draw conclusions about cause and effect.
weakness - there are a number of methodological issues.
for example, heston found that 10.6% of adoptees that had a scz mother were also diagnosed, whereas 0% of adoptees without a scz mother were diagnosed.
methodological issues question the validity of this: heston did not consider the age that they were adopted - some may have been adopted at birth, while some may have spent years with their scz mother. therefore, genes and environmental factors are not isolated.
also, findings cannot be generalised to non-adopted children.
to conclude, though there is supporting evidence to suggest that there is a strong genetic explanation for schizophrenia, there are also significant limitations to this explanation. the validity of the explanation can be questioned as cause and effect cannot be established and there are methodological issues. the explanation is also reductionist. for the genetic explanation to have more validity, it should consider genetic factors alongside psychological, social, cultural and environmental factors.
Sets with similar terms
Psychology chapter 8
Biological explanations: role of genetics
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