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How Does The Biological Approach Explain Human Behaviour

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Biological Explanations Of Human Behavior

Approaches in Psychology: Biological

By: Writerich May 7, 2018 Research Paper 1,700 Words 1,594 Views

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Biological Explanations of Human Behavior



Biological Explanations of Human Behavior

Evolutionary Psychology

The elevation or recurrent behaviors and extinction of less recurrent behavior seems a powerful prove in support of evolutionary psychology. However, it significantly fails in relation to some aspects such as in explaining aberrant behavior. There are certain aberrant behaviors such as homosexuality or aggression, which develop without there being a precedence of recurrence. The perspective fails to offer an explanation in relation to how such behaviors may develop even when they are not known to run in families or even at least without stimulatory exposure, which may lead to their development.

Behavioral Genetics

Behaviour may indeed be gene based, but many people fail to grasp the reality that

Is Psychology A Science

Is psychology a science? Discuss using evidence from the five approaches.To answer this question I feel it is important to understand the definitions of psychology and science. I will start with definitions of the terms psychology and science and will briefly review the methods of psychology. I will outline the behaviourist approach, the psychoanalytical approach, the cognitive approach, the humanistic approach and the biological approach. In order to confirm whether psychology can fulfil the

The Biology Of Behaviour: Scientific And Ethical Implications

EMBO reports

The human brain is the most complex of all biological organs it not only gives rise to consciousnessthat most fascinating but elusive phenomenonbut also mediates our behavioural responses. The structure of the brain and its higher cognitive functions are the product of evolutionary history, embedded within the genome. One of the great scientific challenges today is therefore to integrate the results from two different lines of investigation into the biology of behaviourusing genes and the brainwith the goal of bringing both to a deeper level of understanding.

The manifold steps that lead from genes to brains to behaviour are highly complex, but scientists are gradually elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind brain structure and function. The biggest challenge now is to understand how neurons interconnect to form larger networks, and how these intricate neural structures give rise to consciousness and a sense of self. Neuroscientists are confident that they now have the tools to enable them to solve this mystery. As a background, the essay by Anne Harrington provides an illuminating historical overview of how people in the Western world have perceived the mindbody relationship .

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The Biological And Humanistic Approaches And Will Compare And Contrast Assumptions On Human Behavior

In psychology there are many different approaches to understanding the complexity of human behaviour, all of which have different methods of testing what factors can influence behaviour, varying from scientific to pure assumption in an attempt to understand human behaviour. This essay with explain the key ideas of the behaviourist, biological and humanistic approaches and will compare and contrast their assumptions on human behaviour.According to McLeod , behaviourism is an approach in psychology

Research Methods Used By The Biological Approach

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Animal studies used to investigate biological mechanisms that govern human behaviour, often where ethical guidelines would not allow human participation. Many species are thought to have a similar biological makeup to humans, such that studies conclusions can be generalised to humans. However, this methodology still raises ethical debate, and some argue that complex human behaviour cannot be replicated in non-human animals like rats, and thus cannot be investigated.

Case studies can investigate normal behaviour by observing behavioural abnormality alongside corresponding changes in biology. A very early example is the apparent personality alteration observed in Phineas Gage after a railroad construction accident drastically changed his physiology by forcing an iron rod through his brains frontal lobe.

Drug therapy behaviour can be manipulated by altering an individuals biochemistry, a research method that can ultimately lead to developing drug applications to improve health and wellbeing. Initial phases of research are usually conducted on non-humans.

Scans physiology and activity across the brain can be gauged using various techniques , helping researchers to identify the functions of specific regions .

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The Biological Perspective Of Psychology

The Biological Perspective or Biopsychology is a latest development in the field of psychology which has acquired increasing importance as a specialized branch of psychology in recent times. This branch of psychology is also known by different names like Psychobiology, Biological Psychology, Behavioural Neuroscience and Physiological Psychology. The Biological Psychology attempts to analyze the relationship between physiological or biological processes on the behaviour or psychological processes. This specialized branch of psychology studies how our brain or the neurotransmitters and other biological parameters influence our psychology and behaviour, feelings as well as thoughts. Bio-psychologists pay attention to understanding how various biological factors or parameters influence our mental processes, emotions and cognitive functioning.

Exercises And Critical Thinking

  • Try this exercise with your group: Take a short walk together without talking to or looking at one another. When you return to the classroom, have each group member write down what they saw, felt, heard, tasted, and smelled. Compare and discuss reflecting on some of the assumptions and beliefs of the structuralists. Consider what might be the reasons for the differences and similarities.
  • Where can you see evidence of insights from biological psychology in some of the applications of psychology that you commonly experience today ?
  • Study the functions of the brain and reflect on whether you tend toward left- or right-brain tendencies.
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    Biological Approach To Psychology Essay

    behavioural and biological approaches in psychology i.e. the assumptions of both approaches and how they influence disorders such as depression.The behavioural theory states that personality is as a result of the interaction between an individual and the environment . It is focus on observable and measurable behaviour rather than mental or emotional behaviours and different theories focus on one type of behaviour over the other. On the contrary, the biological approach

    Cultural Understandings Of Personality

    The Biological Approach

    As you have learned in this module, personality is shaped by both genetic and environmental factors. The culture in which you live is one of the most important environmental factors that shapes your personality . The term culture refers to all of the beliefs, customs, art, and traditions of a particular society. Culture is transmitted to people through language as well as through the modeling of culturally acceptable and nonacceptable behaviors that are either rewarded or punished . With these ideas in mind, personality psychologists have become interested in the role of culture in understanding personality. They ask whether personality traits are the same across cultures or if there are variations. It appears that there are both universal and culture-specific aspects that account for variation in peoples personalities.

    Why might it be important to consider cultural influences on personality? Western ideas about personality may not be applicable to other cultures . In fact, there is evidence that the strength of personality traits varies across cultures. Lets take a look at some of the Big Five factors across cultures. As you will learn when you study social psychology, Asian cultures are more collectivist, and people in these cultures tend to be less extroverted. People in Central and South American cultures tend to score higher on openness to experience, whereas Europeans score higher on neuroticism .

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    Functionalism And Its Impact On Education

    Psychology first started in 1879 and was found by Wilhelm Wundt. He founded the first laboratory which specialized in psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany. Wundt used controlled experiments to investigate the mind by using a method called introspection which examined an individuals mental state to gain an understanding of how our mind works. This approach became known as Structuralism, deals with the study of the conscious mind, with the idea that the conscious mind can be broken down

    What Is The Biological Perspective

    There are various different approaches in contemporary psychology. An approach is a perspective that involves certain assumptions about human behavior: the way they function, which aspects of them are worthy of study and what research methods are appropriate for undertaking this study.

    Saul McLeod, 2007

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    Explanation Of How The Brain Works And How Changes Can Affect Behaviour

    Info: 4184 words Essay 21st Sep 2021 inPsychology

    This approach tries to explain how the brain works and how changes in structure and function can affect some ones behaviour.

    The first factor is Neuroanatomy which studies the brains anatomy and neural structures. Evidence by Raine et al included a study of 41 murderers and compared them with 41 control subjects by PET scans this showed a lack of activity in the prefrontal cortex of the murderers brains which controls emotions and reasoning . The strength of this type of study is that it is scientific, looking at cause and effect and can result in effective treatment. However, Porrino and Lyons did a study on the prefrontal cortex and showed there may be other causes for the persons lack of control. This could involve social and environmental issues or prolonged drug use such as cocaine. Neuroanatomy has given us a greater understanding of a living brain both into mental illness, and anti-social behaviour, but we cannot just rely on this form of science as it is only part of the jigsaw.

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    Outline Two Assumptions Of The Biological Approach To Understanding Human Behaviour

    ð? How does the biological approach explain human behaviour ...

    The Biological Approach to understanding human behaviour has many assumptions, two of which I will outline.

    The first of these is the assumption that behaviour and thought are linked to the structure of the brain. The brain has many different areas which are responsible for different types of behaviours, and is generally split into four lobes: the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the occipital lobe. Each lobe handles a variety of different behaviours. The frontal lobe, for instance, deals with high-level thought processes and language. We can be fairly sure that these processes occur in this region due to case studies of patients who have received brain damage to this area. One particular area in the frontal lobe is Broca’s area – related to the production of spoken words. Patients with damage to this area are unable to produce speech, thus we can assume that specific functions are localised to specific areas.

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    What Are The Major Causes Of Disorder

    What causes mental disorders?

    • Your genes and family history.
    • Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, especially if they happen in childhood.
    • Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain.
    • A traumatic brain injury.
    • A mothers exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant.

    Humanist Approach Evaluation :


    POINT: A strength of the Humanist Approach is that it is not deterministic. EXPLAIN/EXAMPLE: For example, according to this approach an individual has the ability to determine their own development. ELABORATION: This is a strength because, it means that this approach to human behaviour doesnt reduce human behaviour down to simple pre-programmed behaviours, instead it considers the individuals ability to determine their own behaviour.

    POINT: A strength of the Humanist Approach is that it isnt reductionist. EXPLAIN/EXAMPLE: For example, humanists reject any attempt to break up behaviour and experience into smaller components. ELABORATION: This is a strength because it means that the approach may have much more validity that its alternatives by considering meaningful human behaviour within its real-life context.


    POINT: A weaknesses of the Humanist Approach is that there is evidence to criticise the humanistic approach. EXPLAIN/EXAMPLE: For example, many qualities considered desirable by the approach are more readily associated with an individualistic, rather than collectivist culture. ELABORATION: This is a weaknesses because the approach can be considered to be ethnocentric and culturally bias.

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    Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Pychodynamic Approach To Psychology

    Introduction:This assignment will look at the Psychodynamic approach to psychology, it will look at how psychology is the understanding of what is going on in an individuals conscious and unconscious mind and how it gives us insight into how people view relationships, behaviours and drives. It will also look at the Behaviourist approach to psychology and how there are three different types of conditioning involved in the behaviourist approach Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning and Social

    Approaches To Studying Personality In A Cultural Context

    1. Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology

    There are three approaches that can be used to study personality in a cultural context, the cultural-comparative approach the indigenous approach and the combined approach, which incorporates elements of both views. Since ideas about personality have a Western basis, the cultural-comparative approach seeks to test Western ideas about personality in other cultures to determine whether they can be generalized and if they have cultural validity . For example, recall from the previous section on the trait perspective that researchers used the cultural-comparative approach to test the universality of McCrae and Costas Five Factor Model. They found applicability in numerous cultures around the world, with the Big Five traits being stable in many cultures . The indigenous approach came about in reaction to the dominance of Western approaches to the study of personality in non-Western settings . Because Western-based personality assessments cannot fully capture the personality constructs of other cultures, the indigenous model has led to the development of personality assessment instruments that are based on constructs relevant to the culture being studied . The third approach to cross-cultural studies of personality is the combined approach, which serves as a bridge between Western and indigenous psychology as a way of understanding both universal and cultural variations in personality .

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    Connect The Concepts: Body Type And Temperament

    Is there an association between your body type and your temperament? The constitutional perspective, which examines the relationship between the structure of the human body and behavior, seeks to answer this question . The first comprehensive system of constitutional psychology was proposed by American psychologist William H. Sheldon . He believed that your body type can be linked to your personality. Sheldons lifes work was spent observing human bodies and temperaments. Based on his observations and interviews of hundreds of people, he proposed three body/personality types, which he called somatotypes.

    Figure 1. Sheldon proposed three somatotypes: endomorphs, mesomorphs, and ectomorphs. Do you think Sheldons ideas about somatotypes are generally accurate about most people?

    Sheldon also conducted further research into somatotypes and criminality. He measured the physical proportions of hundreds of juvenile delinquent boys in comparison to male college students, and found that problem youth were primarily mesomorphs. Why might this be? Perhaps its because they are quick to anger and dont have the restraint demonstrated by ectomorphs. Maybe its because a person with a mesomorphic body type reflects high levels of testosterone, which may lead to more aggressive behavior. Can you think of other explanations for Sheldons findings?

    The Evolutionary Or Ethological Perspective

    Ethologists and evolutionary psychologists argue that aggression must be understood in terms of its natural function. Animals, especially males, are thought to be biologically programmed to fight over resources. One of the classic ethological accounts was from Lorenz . His conclusions were based on observations of non-human animals in their natural environment. He felt that his view was equally applicable to humans because they are governed by the same laws of natural selection. He argued that aggression is a highly adaptive response because an individual who is aggressive controls food, territory, and mating, and thus is the one most likely to survive to reproduce.

    Evaluation of Biological Theories

    + Biological Theories have some practical usefulness, especially in the use of drug treatments to combat excessive aggression.

    + The ethological approach provides some evidence that aggression is an innate characteristic of all species

    + Biological theories lend strong support for the notion of instrumental aggression

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    Timeline Of The Biological Approach

    Timeline of the Biological Approach

  • The Voyage of the Beagle – Darwin formulated his theory of natural selection through observing animals while traveling the world.
  • Harlow : Phineas Gage brain injury case study provides neuroscience with significant information regarding the working of the brain.
  • Psychology should be seen as a science, to be studied in a scientific manner.Behavior can be largely explained in terms of biology .Human genes have evolved over millions of years to adapt behavior to the environment. Therefore, most behavior will have an adaptive / evolutionary purpose.Areas of ApplicationStrengths

    The biological approach provides clear predictions that can. This means that explanations can be scientifically tested and support with evidence.Real life applications Emphasizes objective measurementMany experiments to support theoriesHighly application to other areas: Biology + Cog = Evolutionary PsyLimitations


    Ignores mediational processes Bio psychological theories often over-simplify the huge complexity of physical systems and their interaction with the environment.Too deterministic Humanism â canât compare animals to humansReductionist

  • The Behavioral Perspective And The Biological Perspective

    The Approach To Anxiety

    Psychology is made up of many perspectives, such as, behavioural, biological, cognitive, social, humanistic and finally, psychodynamic. This essay will focus on the behavioural perspective and the biological perspective. According to J Walker the behavioural perspective is based on behaviourism and is the study of observing behaviour when in certain contexts and events. The biological perspective however, explains behaviour by focusing on the function of the nervous system, genes and the brain

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    The Role Of The Biological Perspective In Psychology

    There are many different ways of thinking about topics in psychology. The biological perspective is a way of looking at psychological issues by studying the physical basis for animal and human behavior. It is one of the major perspectives in psychology and involves such things as studying the brain, immune system, nervous system, and genetics.

    One of the major debates in psychology has long centered over the relative contributions of nature versus nurture. Those who take up the nurture side of the debate suggest that it is the environment that plays the greatest role in shaping behavior. The biological perspective tends to stress the importance of nature.

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