Psychology - Biological approach - Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Created by: jkav
  • Created on: 20-02-15 12:37

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths of the biological approach

1. Scientific approach

In the assumptions of the biological approach whcih were that behaviour can be explained in terms of the brain, neurotransmitters and hormones. This means that biological explanations have clear variables that can be measured, tracked and examined. This enables psychologists to conduct scientific research studying these variables.

For example, psychosurgery involves functionally removing parts of the brain. Such procedures are based on earlier research that has linked areas of the brain to certain behaviours such as aggression.

All of these examples of reasearch are scientific insofar as they fulfil the aims of scientific research - to conduct objective, well controlled studies and, ideally, to demonstrate causual relationships. Thus a strength of the biological approach is that it leads itself to scientific research that can be used to support biological explanations.

2. Determinist approach

As well as being scientific, the biological approach is also determinist. One strength of being determinist is that if we know what 'predetermines' our behaviour we are more likely to be able to treat people with abnormal behaviour. Psychologists seek, for example, to understand the functioning of neurotransmitters on normal and abnormal behaviour.

For instance, the neurotransmitter dopamine has been linked with mental disorders of schizophrenia. The evidence comes form a number of sources. For example, the drug amphetamine is known to increase levels of dopamine and the alrge doses of the drug can cause some of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, which reduce some of the…


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