Psychopathology Study Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :


The five-factor model of personality measurement is based on five preconceived and arbitrary dimensions of personality, including neuroticism vs. emotional stability, extraversion vs. introversion, openness vs. closedness, agreeableness vs. antagonism, and conscientiousness vs. disinhibition. The DSM and its adherents rely heavily on the five-factor model of personality. Although the five-factor model of personality does provide a structure and framework for evaluation and diagnosis, there are several weaknesses in its approach and limitations in its clinical applications. For one it is not culturally relevant, as these traits are often linked to social and cultural factors. Second, these factors can too easily be used to suggest a normative personality type and deviant subtypes.

The major cognitive features of paranoid personality disorder create a vicious cycle due primarily to self-fulfilling prophesy creation. A person who mistrusts others may treat others with suspicion and hostility, causing others to treat the person in kind. Cognitively reinforced, the person's paranoid beliefs can be difficult to change because the person perceives his or her impressions to be valid. The longer the person practices dysfunctional behaviors toward others, the less likely others are to respond to changes in the individual's behavior. Thus, the person who tries to be less paranoid and more trusting is met with continued hostility from others, and reverts to the old cognitive structure.

3. There are genetic markers for schizophrenia, as well as biological and environmental stressors that combine to form a risk profile. Abnormal brain development, potentially linked to birth complications, is one biological indicator of vulnerability (Chattapadhay, 2003). The role of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine show that brain chemistry imbalances are biological markers that are risk factors for schizophrenia. However, there is great discrepancy in research and a lack of consistency in schizophrenic biological markers. Not all schizophrenics have the same biological markers. For this reason, pharmacological interventions need to be individually tailored.

4. The DSM's sexual dysfunction categories are weak and controversial because they presume a normative sexual culture. Criticisms often focus on how the DSM tends to pathologize female sexuality more than male sexuality. This is especially true with regards to arousal or desire levels, which are pathologized. Changes to the DSM reflect a greater interest in consequences of sexual dysfunction that are not even related to sexuality, such as domestic abuse. The DSM has also gotten rid of sexual aversion disorder for its lacking empirical support.…

Sources Used in Document:


Chattapadhay, S. (2003). Tracking genetic and biological basis of schizophrenia. The Internet Journal of Mental Health 2(1).

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