Biological vs Psychodynamic

  • Created by: axx10
  • Created on: 21-04-21 13:56

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  • (+) successful real life applications; strength as it benefits society
  • (-) therapies do not empower the client and so alternative therapies like CBT may be a better choice for a distressed patient as it provides short term solutions to a specific problem
  • (-) determinist approach; This is a weakness as it might make the individual feel powerless and it diminishes the role of our personal responsibility.


  • (-) psychodynamic is unfalsifiable;  This is weakness because you can’t test its theories in an objective way to explain behaviour, unlike the biological approach where behaviour is studied using a scientific method: objective data, PET scans etc.
  • (+) psychodynamic focuses on nurture and nature; This is a strength because it provides a fuller explanation. An example of this is that Freud's assumption of childhood experiences focused on nurture whereas the ID, focuses on nature.
  • (-) bio focuses on nature; weakness as it can take away the importance of a person's environment in dealing with or explaining the development of a behaviour E.g. James Falloon
  • (+) psychodynamic recognises animal instincts, unconscious mind and childhood experiences; strength as it has led to the psychoanalysis therapy which has been used with some success.

Overall comparison

In conclusion, the biological approach appears to be more useful than the psychodynamic as it is highly scientific, allowing psychologists to establish cause and effect link and therefore explain abnormal behaviour, whereas with the psychodynamic approach, unconscious desires or repressed memories cannot be proven wrong and so you can’t test its theories in an objective way to explain behaviour.


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