Strengths & Weaknesses of BA

Strengths and weaknesses of biological approach 6 marks each, around 15 minutes

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Strength one- Scientific

Scientific- displays objectivity, control and cause&effect. researcher controls everything that happens including enviromental variables. Participants treated equal so any differences are due to factor changes. e.g Selye exposed rats to various noxious agents an observed effects on behaviour & physiological responses.

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Strength two- Determinism

The biological approach argues that our behaviour is determined by biological factors such as genes, neurotransmitters, hormones and brain activity etc. It means that if we can understand what determines behaviour we can treat abnormal behaviour. example: depression is linked to low levels of seretonin and treatment can attempt to increase levels and patient should feel better.

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Weakness one- Nature rather than nurture

The approach suggests that our behaviour is due entirely to nature related factors such as genes, hormones, neurotransmitters. Whereas conditioning, cultural factors and family influences are almost ignored. Example: chemotherapy treatment focuses on readjusting the internal biological systemss rather than talking to the patients about how they feel.

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Weakness two-reductionist

The biological approach over simplifies human behaviour to genetics and nothing else. Emotions and past experiences get ignored for example schizophrenia is known to be a complex physical chemical system that has gone wrong but the BA ingores the experiences of distress that goes along with any mental illness. A simplified explantion may prevent us from reaching a true understanding of a target behaviour.

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