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PSYB4 - Approaches

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Social Learning Theory





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Biological - Assumptions

All behaviour has a biological basis.

The causal level of analysis focuses on
physiological explanations.

The functional level of analysis focuses on
evolutionary and genetic explanations.

Genes can explain inherited
characteristics, such as aggression.

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Biological ­ Causal level of analysis

The human body consists of millions of
cells that communicate via electrical and
chemical signals.

Behaviour is controlled by the nervous

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Biological ­ Causal level of analysis
Nervous system

Central Nervous System Peripheral Nervous System

Brain Spinal cord Autonomic NS Somatic NS
The peripheral nervous system consists of nerves that radiate from the central
nervous system.
Furthermore, the PNS consists of the autonomic nervous system and the
somatic nervous system. The…

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Biological ­ Causal level of analysis

The central nervous system consists of
cells called neurons, which communicate
with each other via neurotransmitters which
pass between synapses.

Hormones and other similar chemicals act
throughout the bloodstream.

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Biological ­ Functional level

Natural selection.

This is the idea that those animals within a
species that will survive have particular
traits that give them an advantage
compared with the others.

These behaviours are adapted and is
suited to the environment. These animals
will be the ones that survive and…

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Biological ­ Functional level

Dowling (1994) ­ natural selection
depends on three key principles:

Principle of diversity

Principle of interaction

Principle of differential amplification

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Biological ­ Functional level

Sexual selection.

Males can have as many offspring as

Females are restricted, and so are choosy
when it comes to picking a male mate.

Dawkins (1997) ­ suggested it is the
survival of the genes that matter, rather
than the survival of the individual.

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Biological - Genes

Small mutations in DNA can lead to
changes in the next generation.

DNA is made by combinations of the
bases adenine, guanine, cytosine and

Chromosomes decide one's biological sex
­ XX or XY (XXY or XO lead to differing

Chromosomes are made through the


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