The biological approach

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  • The Biological Approach
    • influence of genes
      • genes are part of chromosomes of an organism that carry info in form of DNA (23 pairs = 46 chromosomes) determines physical/ psychological characteristics
    • genetic basis
      • twin studies to determine genetic basis of traits (concordance rates of MZ/DZ twins)
        • MZ twins suggested variation in individual intelligence could be 60-80% due to genes
    • biological structures
      • brain/nervous system thought to be responsible for behaviours i.e. frontal lobe
    • neurochemistry
      • chemical/ neural processes associated w/ nervous system
      • levels of neurotransmitters in brain can affect behaviour
        • excitatory: trigger the neuron to send an impulse (dopamine)
        • inhibitory: inhibit nerve impulses to calm brain/stable mood (serotonin)
    • evolution
      • Charles Darwin overtime adapting to environment through biological evolution (trait increasing survival passed on - survival of the fittest)
      • natural selection - traits increase reproductive success & passed to next generation/ trait more widespread
    • strengths: scientific methods/ objective measures i.e. brain scanning; real world application treatment of depression w/ drugs
      • weaknesses:twins/ family members exposed to same environment (nature/nurture debate);
    • phenotype = way genes are expressed
      • genotype = genetic makeup (cannot be determined from observing phenotype)
  • phenotype = way genes are expressed
    • genotype = genetic makeup (cannot be determined from observing phenotype)

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