Biological Explanations Of Anorexia Nervosa


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Side ASide B
Anorexia Description
Less than 85% below normal body weight Failure to lose weight leads to anxiety Body perception distorted Dry skin, dehydration, malnutrition, brittle nails, thinning hair, amenorrhea...
Genetic Description
DNA inherited from biological parents Affects approximately 0.5-1% of population Families with one relative with disorder - 4-5% chance
Genetic Holland et al (1984)
55% MZ twins concordance rate much higher than DZ twins 7%
Genetic Evaluation
Concordance rate not 100% - external factors
Neurological Explanations Description
Neurotransmitter serotonin may be linked to AN Linked to depression and OCD Studies suggest serotonin levels low in AN
Neurological Explanations Kaye et al (2001)
PET scans of brain show fewer serotonin receptors in brains of people with AN
Neurological Explanations Evaluation
Serotonin levels cause or effect? Low level of receptors could be long term complication of AN People with Anorexia do still feel hungry
Evolutionary Explanation Description
Adapt to flee famine hypothesis Anorexia behaviour adaptive 2 million years ago AN = restless and higher levels of activity Higher activity levels and denial of hunger help to migrate
Evolutionary Explanation Evaluation
No direct evidence Refusal of food = death One person with anorexia may be beneficial for everyone else
Biological Explanations of Anorexia Nervosa Issues and Debates
Psychology as a science - unfalsifiable Reductionist - Simplify complex human behaviour Nature/nurture - Focus on biological causes of behaviour Gender bias - Most research carried...

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