The biological approach

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  • The biological Approach - Key assumptions
    • the biological approach in psychology is concerned with how our physical structures
      • this approach therefore tries to explain behaviour on the basis of anatomy, physiology and inheritance by studying both humans and animals
    • 1) Mind and the brain are the same. understanding the brain will show us how the mind works. all behav. has a biological basis.
    • Thoughts, feelings and behaviour all have a biological cause.
      • Human behaviour and psychological differences between people are strongly influenced by our genetic inheritance. (Genetic Makeup)
      • all humans have 46 chromosomes. each of these is made up of DNA which carries units called genes. many humans psychological characteristics are thought to be influenced by genes. eg: intelligence ,depression, gender etc
      • Twin studies and concordance rates are used to provide evidence of the influence of genes.
    • Biological structures such as the brain and nervous system influence behaviour. it is necessary to understand them to explain human thought and behav.
      • Eg: fight or flight- nervous system
        • brain helps in decision making
    • Biochemicals influence behaviour,. mood of cognition, psychology should therefore investigate the brain chemicals and the endocrine system.
      • Hormone: adernaline - rush of energy
      • eg: endorphine affects the mood
    • Biological approach uses scientific methods such as correlation (twin & adoption studies) & objective scanning techniques
    • Humans have evolved biologically, through darwinian evolution by means of natural selection.
      • Have much common genetically with other animals close to us in the evolutionary tree eg: chimpanzee. Makes sense to study animals species & make generalisation
    • Definition of evolution - any chance in the heritable traits within a population across generation.
      • Some of our characteristic are programmed into us by the genes we inherit.
      • Genetically determined behaviour that enhances an individual's survival and reproduction (required for propagation of species.) will continue in future i.e naturally selected.
        • these genes are adaptive and give the offspring who possess them an advantage.
      • If the individual survives, but doesn't reproduce, then the traits do not remain in the gene pool.
        • eg : turn taking in babies is present at birth ( turn their head towards anything that touches their cheek or mouth.) and aids survival though breast feeding.
        • eg: parent child relationships -propagation of species


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