PSYB4 AQA Biological Approach

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  • Methods Used
    • Strengths & Limitations
      • Hard to generalise results from animals to humans
      • Animals Nervous System's are different to humans
      • Objective, Scientific & reliable Methods
      • More ethical to used animals than humans
      • Useful practicle applications
        • Crime is inherited
          • Neglect the role of the environment
            • Hard to untangle environmental influences and genetic influences between MZ twins as they share a similar environment
          • Christiansen (1977) found a concordance rate of 35% for MZ twins and 13% for DZ twins
            • Not 100% concordance for MZ twins, suggesting other influences
    • Brain Scans
      • EEG's, PET scans, GSR's
    • Animal Studies
    • Twin & Family Studies
    • Biological Approach
      • Assumptions
        • All behaviour and though processes have an innate biological cause
        • Behaviour is determined by genetic, physiological & neurobiological factors
        • There is an evoltionary and genetic basis of behaviour
      • Key Concepts
        • The Environment influences gene expression
          • Genotype + environment = phenotype
        • Autonomic nervous system
          • Sympathetic involved in fight or flight preparation
          • Para-sympathetic: restores body after fight or fight response
        • Cenytral nervous system
          • Co-ordinates behaviour
          • Brain Chemicals affect behaviour
      • Strengths
        • Appreciates the role of physiology and genes in behaviour
        • Scientific
        • Findings from physiological studies can be used to help people i.e. SSRI's for OCD
        • Provides a lot of good supporting evidence for the biological basis of behaviour and the nuturesside of N-N debate
      • Limitations
        • Deterministic
          • Biological determinism can mean that individuals could claim they aren't responsible for their actions
            • If it is applied to criminal behaviour, should offenders be punished if they cannot stop themselves as the behaviour is biologically determined
        • Reductionist
          • Reduces all human behaviour to biological processes
            • Nomothetic
              • However idiographic methods can complement this approach
        • Dehumanising
          • Everything is due to biology, therefore humanity is robbed of its uniqueness
          • See's humans no different from other animals


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