Approaches - Biological Assumptions

assumptions of the biological approach

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  • Created on: 17-06-12 14:35
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Biological Approach
All that is psychological is first physiological ­ that is, sine the mind appears to reside in the brain, all
thoughts, feeling and behaviours have an ultimately physical/biological cause
1. Physiological processes: these affect behaviour, mood and cognition
2. Genes: these can affect behaviour
3. Behavioural contiguity: studying animals can be of relevance in attempting to understand
human behaviour
4. Scientific methodology: e.g. experiments, brain scanning
The role of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
CNS ­ brain and spinal chord
Automatic Nervous System
Sympathetic nervous system (`fight or flight')
Parasympathetic nervous system (`rest and digest')
Extra details
Brain processes
All behaviour emerges from body-brain
Lesioning ­ damaging brain structure
Human ­ accidental
Phineas Cage ­ accident ­ his personality changes
Changes in brain chemistry affect behaviour
Behaviour determined at birth?
Born with a number of neurological pathways
Deterministic approach
Behaviour is also caused by the environment
The genetic basis of behaviour
Twin studies

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MZ desirable, however, they share very similar environments
o Useful to study MZ reared apart
Bouchard et al. (1990) found more concordance with intelligence for MZ
(compared to DZ)
Adoption studies
o Useful to compare a trait (e.g.…read more


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