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  1. Which psychological model best explains the etiology of psychopathology (psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic)? Why?






Subject Psychology Pages 3 Style APA


Behavioral Psychological Model

Models of abnormality refer to the general hypotheses as to the nature of psychological abnormalities. The central models explaining psychological abnormality include behavioral, psychodynamic, cognitive, and humanistic. All the four attempt to explain the causes and treatments for psychological illnesses, and all argue from a different perspective. This paper seeks to assess the behavioral psychological model as one that best explains the etiology of psychopathology.

Of the four models, the behavioral psychological abnormality model best explains the etiology of psychopathology. This model assumes that all maladaptive behaviors are acquired through an individual’s environment. Hence, the psychiatrists behind the beliefs of this model actually prioritize changing the behavior as opposed to identifying the cause of the dysfunctional behavior (Moffit, 2017). The main remedy to psychological illness behind this model is aversion therapy. Here, the stimulus known to provoke the dysfunctional behavior is coupled with a different stimulus. The aim here is to produce a different reaction to the first one based on the experiences of the second (Sue et al., 2015).

The approach also uses systematic desensitization. The approach overcomes all ethical issues where individual and cultural differences are taken into account (Moffit, 2017). However, according to critics, whenever symptoms are treated minus any attempt of ascertaining the deeper underlying issues, the problem will eventually manifest itself in a different way. Behaviorists reject this ideology by pointing out that it is not important to look beyond the behavioral symptoms because the symptoms clearly define the disorder (Moffit, 2017). Thus, nothing is gained by focusing on the internal causes, either physical or psychological.

In conclusion, there are four models that explain the etiology of psychopathology. However, the behavioral model best stands out in best explaining the ideology as it focuses on the symptoms of the problem as well as the individual and cultural issues affecting the development of an abnormal trait.



Moffit, T. E. (2017). The new look of behavioral genetics in developmental psychopathology: Gene-environment interplay in antisocial behaviors. In Biosocial Theories of Crime, pp. 183-204). Routledge.

Sue, D., Sue, D. W., Sue, S., & Sue, D. M. (2015). Understanding abnormal behavior. Cengage Learning.




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