Date of Award

Spring 2019

Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

Degree Name




Degree Program



Robert Stufflebeam


The reductionist tenets of the biomedical model of mental illness generate research methods and clinical practices that neglect significant cultural elements of mental illness. The biomedical model is reductionist because it assumes a view of the mind that lends itself to biological reductionism. Developing a more holistic model of mental illness requires replacing the accepted view of mind with a new one. In this paper, research demonstrating the significance of culture to mental illness will be reviewed in order to illuminate the flaws of the biomedical model. The extended mind theory will be analyzed and discussed as a potential basis for the development of a new paradigm within psychiatry, one which transcends the reductionist tendencies of the biomedical model.


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Available for download on Monday, May 31, 2021