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The Biological
Approach…read more

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Assumptions of the approach
· Understanding and explaining behaviour must
come from biology
· Physiological explanations e.g.
brain structure, chemicals, nervous
· Heritability: genes, evolution
· Human beings are no different from other animals
because we share the same basic biology
· NOT subjective experience and individual
· Scientific…read more

Slide 3

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Causal level of analysis.
1. Causal level of analysis: physiological processes
underlying behaviour
Causal: physiological factors CAUSE behaviours e.g.
Hormones/brain structure.
It is controlled by the nervous system. The CNS is the brain
and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system.
Main Divisions
of the Nervous Nervous system
CNS Peripheral Nervous System
Automatic Somatic Nervous
Brain Spinal Cord Nervous System System…read more

Slide 4

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Key Functions of the ANS
· Heart Rate
· Blood Pressure
· Respiration
· Body Temperature
· Fight or Flight syndrome.
Examples of chemical messengers in the body.
Main Neurotransmitters Key Hormones
Acetylcholine Adrenalin
Adrenalin Noradrenalin
Noradrenaline Corticosteroids
Dopamine Thyroxin
Serotonin Oestrogen
Progesterone…read more

Slide 5

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Functional level of analysis
Natural Selection the idea that within a species, those
animals that will survive have particular traits that gave them an
advantage compared with the others. Behaviour is `adapted' and
is well suited to the environment in which they live. These `fit'
animals will survive and leave more offspring. Spreading the
`adaptive traits'
Three principles that natural selection depends on.
1. Principle of diversity: There are a large number of variant forms of the same
species(known as members of the population)
2. Principle of interaction: These variant forms interact with the environment to
see which `fit'
3. Principle of differential amplification: The variants that `fit' will spread
at the expense of those who don't fit. (i.e. ­ will have more offspring)…read more

Slide 6

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Sexual Selection
Sexual selection and strategies for males and female
Offspring Strategy
Males 10 fathered: can afford some not to Find may female mates i.e.
survive. indiscriminate ; little concern for
post-natal care.
Females Each female has one offspring and Female invests time and effort in
thus survival is important. survival but must exercise
choosiness about male.
Darwin's ideas about evolution are based upon the survival of the individual. He
suggests later that it is the survival of the genes that matter. The idea has led to
the focus on `inclusive fitness' (the survival of the individual and their biological
Within the biological approach, sociologists and evolutionary psychologists have
argued that all human behaviour can be explained by evolution. Behaviour exists
because there is an evolutionary advantage now or there was one when humans
first appeared, (Leland and Brown)…read more

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