What do you believe to be the causes of Andrea Yates’ murder of her children?

  1. CHAPTER 1: In class, we went over the Andrea Yates murder case. This case looked at the complexity and multiple causes of behavior. For the assignment I want you to research, her case and using your chapter 1 & 2 knowledge answer the following questions.
  2. What do you believe to be the causes of Andrea Yates’ murder of her children?
  3. Do we find the cause in her private mental functioning (cognitive perspective)? Remember her statement to the police, stating she believed she was possessed and that the sign of Satan (666) was marked on her scalp.  She told the police that her children “weren’t developing correctly,” and that drowning them was the only way to save them.
  4. Do we find the cause in her mental disorder or illness that may have a biological basis (neuroscience and behavior genetics perspectives)? Remember mood disorders run in families and Andrea’s was no exception.  Your research will show her sister, and two brothers were all on antidepressants.  Remember she was also diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis; she had been taken off her antipsychotic medication a month before the children’s death.
  5. Do we find the cause in her social environment (behavioral and social-cultural perspectives)?

Why did her doctor take her off her antipsychotic medications? Moreover, was this really a family affair?  Andrea’s in-laws report that her husband Russell was not socially supportive.  He claimed he had never changed a diaper.  How could he leave her alone with the five children when she could barely care for herself?  Why, after doctors had strongly recommended no more children, did he impregnate her a fifth time?  In addition, where was her extended family when she needed help so desperately?  Some experts argue that individualism of American society plays a critical role in its accelerating rate of depression.

  1. What important principles does this case reveal? Do agree or disagree there are many factors that shape human behavior?
  2. CHAPTER 2: For the second half of this assignment you are to research a man named Clive Wearing. Clive became ill as an adult and due to the illness loss the function of his hippocampus.  You will find a number of documentary videos on youtube as well as information on-line about his fascinating case.  Once you have completed your research answer the following questions using chapter 2 as a reference regarding the relationship between the cerebellum and the hippocampus.
  3. What function does the hippocampus play in human memory?
  4. What function does the cerebellum play in human memory?
  5. Describe the deficits Clive experienced after he became ill in his memory. Also, describe some of the interactions pointing to the loss of hippocampus function he had in conversations with his wife.

This assignment is to be double-spaced, typed, and handed in, (NOT EMAILED),. I do not have a “length” requirement.  However, I will be grading on your research, ability apply the chapter information to the questions, and overall thoughtful content.

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