Biological Approach Essay

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Biological Approach | PY1 PY1 | Model answers for biological approach | Sumi Prasobh AS Level | 1a) Outline two assumptions of the biological approach (4 marks) One assumption of the biological approach is that our personalities and behaviors are biologically determined. Lab research found that we’re a product of our brain structure. The balance of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and adrenaline has directly been found to affect our mood, thoughts and personalities. For example Hans Selye found that both humans and animals are biologically determined to react in the same predictable way to the threat of a stressor for aiding survival. Another assumption is that certain regions of the brain determine certain behaviors. The cerebral cortex has been found to affect our thinking and the prefrontal cortex is associated with mood and emotions. It has been supported by PET scans and MRI scans which have been used to objectively measure the changes in neuronal activity of the brain before and after psychosurgery. 1b) Describe Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (8 marks) Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) explains the body’s ability to cope with a particular stressor. ‘Stress’ refers to the psychological and physiological responses which occur when we perceive a threat and don’t have the resources to cope with it. These threats are known as ‘stressors’. There are three stages: the alarm reaction stage, the resistance stage and the exhaustion stage. The alarm reaction stage is where the autonomic nervous system is activated, triggering the ‘fight or flight’ response. Dilated pupils, saliva inhibition and faster heartbeat are examples of what happens to the body during this stage to enable us to prepare for action, whether it be to fight or to run away from the threat. The adrenal glands secrete adrenaline, keeping the body alert for a longer period

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