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The Biological Approach
By Frances Thurston
13NH…read more

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Intro to the Biological approach...
Applies the principle of biology to psychology. This means
that the starting point for understanding and explaining
behaviour is the individuals biology.
Physiological explanations are know as the causal level of
analysis, and evolutionary explanations are the functional
Human beings are seen as no different to animals.…read more

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Causal levels of analysis...
As human beings we are embodied, i.e. We exist in physical form.
This physical form of the human body comprises millions of cells
that communicate by minute electrical and chemical signals. In
biological terms we are electrochemical machines.
Our behaviour is controlled by the nervous system. The CNS is
the brain and the spinal cord, and the PNS, which consists of all
nerves radiating from the CNS. The latter also includes the
autonomic nervous system ANS, which controls the automatic
processes in the body like the heart rate and blood pressure, and
the somatic nervous system, which controls muscles related to
movement.…read more

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Central Peripheral
nervous nervous
system system
Autonomic Somatic
Brain Spinal cord nervous nervous
system system…read more

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Nervous system...
Key functions of the ANS:
Heart rate
Blood pressure
Body temperature
`fight or flight syndrome'
In the CNS, specific cells called neurons communicate with each other
chemically at their junctions the synapse. The chemicals are known as
neurotransmitters. They tend to act between neurons, while hormones,
another chemical messenger, act throughout the body travelling in the
Main Neurotransmitter Key Hormones
Acetylcholine Adrenalin
Adrenaline Noradrenaline
Noradrenaline Corticosteroids
Dopamine Thyroxin
Serotonin Oestrogen
Progesterone…read more

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Functional level of analysis...
Biological also focuses upon the evolutionary and genetic
basis of behaviour. Originating from Charles Darwin,
evolutionary theory sees survival and the ability to
reproduce as key to behaviour in all species.
Darwin proposed two concepts central to evolution:
Natural Selection
Sexual Selection…read more

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