The Medical and Psychological Models of Abnormality

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The Medical and Psychological Models of Abnormality

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By the term "medical model" of abnormality we mean the biological

model, what the individual is born with either with reference to their

brain or even genetics. The biological explanation would suggest that

the individual's mental disorder is a cause of biological

malfunctioning. They see that environmental factors are of little

importance when taking the biological approach. Reasons for abnormal

behaviour could vary from possible genetic predisposition or an

imbalance of brain chemistry. The two main treatments suggested by the

biological model for abnormal behaviour are drugs and somatic


To delve deeper into the biological model we must look at the human

brain and also at genetics. Because the brain controls all aspects of

human functioning, it is not difficult to conclude that damage or

interruption of normal brain function and activity could lead to

observable mental disorders. Genetically, to show a specific condition

is inherited, researchers must show that it could not be caused by

environmental factors. To provide evidence for abnormal behaviour

being inherited through genes, we must look at correlational and twin


A "psychological model" of abnormality could be the cognitive model.

Cognitive models are based on the assumption that conscious thought

mediates an individual's emotional state or behaviour in response to a
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