exam questions with model answers (psychodynamic and biological)

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Preview of exam questions with model answers (psychodynamic and biological)

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1. Describe how the biological approach would explain behaviour (3 Marks)
The biological approach combines biology and psychology and uses scientific methods for research
e.g. brain scans
The biological approach says that our behaviour is determined by genes which are present from
The biological approach also says that our behaviour can be influenced by our hormones e.g.
In males, a higher level of this hormone makes them typically more aggressive than females with a
higher libido (sex drive)
2. Describe how information passes across a synapse (4 Marks)
Electrical activity called an action potential in the terminal button of the pre-synaptic neuron causes
the vesicles to release their neurotransmitter into the synaptic gap.
These chemicals travel across the gap, attaching to the protein receptors on the dendrite of the
post-synaptic neuron.
This attachment or binding causes the receptors to change their shape which results in other changes
in the dendrite which cause changes in the electrical activity, allowing the information to continue.
Any unused neurotransmitters are taken back to the pre-synaptic neuron which is the process
3. What evidence is there to suggest that behaviour has a biological basis? (4 Marks)
Different species have different behaviours which can be due to their genetic make-up and hence,
different biology e.g. humans and rats where humans can vomit and rats can't
Within species, different breeds can have different behaviours which is due to genetic variation for
example, Labradors are naturally suited to fetching things like sticks whereas Border Collies are
naturally excellent at herding sheep
If we change biology, we can change behaviour and a way of doing this is using drugs for example, if
you change your brain chemistry with cocaine, your behaviour changes as you're more willing to take
risks etc.
Related species have shared behaviours e.g. humans and chimps share 98% of genes which means
their behaviour is very similar.
4. Describe the Central Nervous System? (1 Mark)
The Central Nervous System is made up of the brain and spinal cord.

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Describe the role of the ego according to Freud (3 Marks)
This is the reality principle which develops shortly after birth when we realise that all our needs are
not immediately gratified.
It also balances the demands of the id and the superego and is linked to the conscious thoughts and it
uses defence mechanisms to protect itself.
6.…read more


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