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.
In terms of biochemistry, chemical imbalances in the brain may be involved in certain mental illnesses. Neurotransmitters, for example, play a very important part in behaviour – one theory links depression to low levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline. However, the relationship between neurotransmitters and depression is very complex and therefore, more research is needed to discover the exact link between this and the disorder. People suffering from depression, also often have high levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is sometimes referred to as a ‘stress hormone’ because it is produced in times of stress.
Numerous theoretical models illustrate the importance of the treatment process for abnormal psychology. The psychosocial model relates to internal conflicts as between the conscious and unconscious mind as the individual responds to environmental stimuli. This aspect model focuses on relationships, social status, memories, and peer group environments (Hansell & Damour, 2008). Contributions of physical and biochemical functions relates to the biological or medical model and how the human body reacts and influences mental illness and dysfunctions. The focus of this model concerns the brain and functions and abnormal behaviors and unobservable deviant thought processes (Hansell & Damour, 2008).
This hormone was investigated by Dabbs et al, where testosterone levels in prisoners where compared to the level of crime committed. There was a significant link between the nature of the crime and the amount of testosterone found in the body (the higher the level of testosterone found the more aggressive the crime eg murder, rape). This supported the biological approach, however it was only a concordance rate and no direct affect can be established. This approach supports Darwins theory of evolution suggesting humans and animals have evolved biologically, meaning animals higher on the evolutionary tree are genetically similar to humans, eg monkeys and apes. The biological approach showed to be a strong explanation for many topic areas in psychology, one of which is gender
There are both internal and external causes to our actions. Internal causes are the genes contained within our DNA. External causes are the influences from the environment, being economical, political and religious. Genetics may have a powerful influence on how we respond. In 2002 scientists found evidence that a particular gene predisposed children towards bad behaviour and they concluded that children who were abused and had the gene were more likely to go on to abuse others.
By using surveys, we will be able to obtain information which cannot be observed directly, which will not translate into a conclusion. Additionally, observations will not be an adequate source of information as it could be misinterpreted based on the perspective of the observer. Biological and Psychological Depression Depression is a commonly recognized as a mental disorder. Reasons for biological depression vary greatly, which allows for a widespread approach to conducting research to uncover the true cause. This research has greatly benefited our understanding of brain functions.
Several perspectives have an explanation for the causes of abnormal behavior. These perspectives include medical perspectives, psychodynamic perspectives, behavioral perspectives, cognitive perspectives, and social-cultural perspectives. The medical perspectives focus on the biological and physiological factors. The psychodynamic perspective focuses on the idea that the causes of abnormal behaviors are a consequence of unresolved anxiety and unconscious conflicts. The behavioral perspective indicates that the reasoning for abnormal behavior is because there is inadequate learning and conditioning.
Phobias can be brought on by many stimuli (dentists, heights, flying) and when a phobia is come into contact with, it often induces some sort of anxiety response. Biologists believe that our phobias exist because of evolutionary development to avoid danger in order to aid survive and increase our chances of reproduction. Many evolutionists believe that some phobias are ‘inherently prepared’, our phobias relate to our ancestors and that through evolution, the people with this phobia
Nature vs. Nurture Nature vs. nurture is a debate that has been going on for a long time. One argument that falls under this debate is the cause of aggressive behavior. It may be safe to say that there is not one cause of aggressiveness but many that are put together that encourage this behavior. A person may be predisposition to aggressive behavior but studies lead us to believe that there must be an environmental factor that brings out the behavior. Nature refers to the biological factors that influence ones behavior.
Heredity and Hormones Influence on Human Behavior Debates on nature versus nurture are more likely to determine that genetics are the cause for human behavior. More and more researchers pay attention on genes and behavior, therefore, their tendency to follow a line of investigation on the influence of heredity on human behavior increases the belief that genetics is a major issue which influences physical behaviors. However, the only fact of connection between genetics and behavior seems to be too simple to describe the complex process of human behavior. The factor of hormones’ influence on behavior is also identified which debates the reality of it being controlled exclusively by genetics. The endocrine system is very active and is connected to most of the other main systems of the body.