Biological approach

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  • Biological Approach
    • Assumptions
      • everything psychological is first biological
        • biological structure and processes (genes, neurochemistry)
      • Behaviour inherited like physical c. (5HT1-D gene or low serotonin = OCD)
      • mind and body the same = thoughts and feelings are physical
      • Twin Studies - genetic basis of behaviour
        • concordance rates - extent to which twins share characteristic
          • MZ - higher rates than DZ 68% of both MZ twins have OCD
      • genotype - genetic makeup
        • phenotype - expressed genes (environment)
          • human behaviour depends on interaction of nature and nurture
      • evolution theory
        • behaviour helping survival and reproduction passed on = adaptive genes
          • attachment behaviours
    • Evaluation
      • Strengths
        • scientific methods
          • scanning techniques and drug trials
            • not open to bias - based on reliable data
        • real-life application
          • Psychoactive drugs to treat mental illnesses
            • helped sufferers and revolutionise treatment
      • Limitations
        • Difficult to establish cause and effect with neurotransmitters
          • changing levels of neurotransmitters is assuming neurotransmitter is cause
            • claiming to discover causes with an association
        • very determinist = governed by biological processes we can't control
        • difficult to separate nature and nurture
          • family exposed to same environment - confounding variables


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