Physiological (Biological) Approach and Studies

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  • Physiological (Biological) Approach
    • Assumes that most of our behaviour can be explained by studying biological systems (brain, nervous system, neuro-chemicals and genes).
    • Strengths
      • Preferred research method is controlled lab experiment, highly scientific, shows cause and effect.
      • Useful, as it gives us greater understanding (structure of the brain) and practical applications in everyday life.
    • Weakness
      • Reductionist as it doesn't take into account other factors such as cognitive, social and emotional factors, so it doesn't give the whole picture when explaining behaviour.
      • As the preferred research method is controlled lab experiment, this means that it has low ecological V, so may not be able to apply results to real life settings.
    • Studies
      • Maguire
        • The physiological workings of the body and brain determine how an individual behaves. The study shows that experiences can cause changes in the brain (e.g. hippocampus).
      • Dement and Kleitman
        • The study shows that when an individual has been woken from physiologically controlled REM sleep, they reported that they had been dreaming and the content of the dream correlated with the  direction of their eyes.
      • Sperry
        • This showed a difference in the functioning of a person with a 'normal' functioning brain and a split brain patient.


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