1a. Schizophrenia has 2 main types of symptoms, primary and secondary. Primary symptoms include Hallucinations, perceiving something that’s not there, usually auditory in the form of hearing voices, delusions, firmly held false beliefs such as delusions of grandeur, where the schizophrenic believes that they are really important, delusions of persecution, where the schizophrenic believes that everyone wants to harm them and delusions of control, where the schizophrenic believes that everyone wants to control them. Finally, there are formal thought disorders, disorders in cognitive function such as neoglisms, combining 2 words to make another one (for example “Friday” and Morning can become “Frorning” to a schizophrenic. There are also negative symptoms which include social withdrawal, where the schizophrenic withdraws from social life and emotional flatness, where the schizophrenic will not react emotionally to anything.
2a. The dopamine hypothesis states that schizophrenia is caused by excess dopamine activity. This theory states schizophrenics have a higher density of dopamine receptors in their brain and these receptors are more sensitive. This can explain positive symptoms as the dopamine is linked to brain activity and an excess can cause excess brain activity which creates these numerous false perceptions.
2b. This explanation is supported by research. Wong et al conducted a PET scan on un-medicated schizophrenics, medicated schizophrenics and controls and found that dopamine activity was much higher in the un-medicated schizophrenics. Therefore there is evidence of a correlation between dopamine levels and schizophrenia which has been demonstrated in real life
This explanation is also supported by numerous drugs. Amphetamines for example are drugs that increase dopamine activity. Overdosing on Amphetamines can produce schizophrenic side effects such as hallucinations. Furthermore, drugs used to treat Parkinson’s, a disease caused by lack of dopamine, have been shown to also have some side effects that mimic Schizophrenic symptoms.
This explanation can also be seen as ethical as it blames a person’s biology for the disease and not the schizophrenic or their family. For example, the social causation hypothesis blames a person for living the life they do and the social conditions, some of that blame could fall to the parents as well, making it more unethical.
However, this explanation offers no account as to why drugs are not effective at treating all schizophrenics. Drugs prescribed to treat schizophrenia are not always effective, especially at reducing negative symptom. If there was a single biological cause, we would expect the drugs to work on all schizophrenics but they don’t, suggesting another potential cause.
Furthermore, twin studies used to study schizophrenia never have 100% concordance between MZ twins. Again, if there was a biological cause, we would expect 100% concordance rate in MZ twins as they share 100% of their DNA. Therefore there is likely to be another potential cause
2c. Twin studies are often used to study schizophrenia. Samples of twins where at least one twin has schizophrenia are used. Samples will consist of MZ or identical twins and DZ or non-identical twins. Concordance rate will then be measured between MZ and DZ twins. If MZ twins have a higher concordance that DZ twins, we can say that Schizophrenia is genetically caused as MZ twins share 100% of their DNA. If concordance in DZ twins is higher than MZ twins, we can say that schizophrenia is socially caused, as they are raised in the same environment.
3a. The pseudo patients went to the doctors complaining about hearing voices saying things like “Hollow, Empty and Thud”. They also insisted on being admitted to an institution. Once inside the institution, they acted completely normally and kept diaries documenting their experience.
3b. Primary data is data gathered first hand by the researcher.
3c. Primary data is useful…