Unit 2 Psychology

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What is the biological approach?
The biological approach combines psychology and biology to provide physiological explanations for human behaviour. The biological approach has been influential since the 1950’s. It provides a basis of difference between males and females in respect of their memory, language and perception.

Central Nervous System - the central control for all body activities where information is received & passed to give actions & reactions, both conscious & unconscious. Its role is in decision making & coordination, understanding incoming information & initiating an appropriate reaction
Synapse - A synapse is a small gap at the end of aneuron that allows information to pass from one neuron to the next. Synapses are found where nerve cells connects with other nerve cells
3: Neurone - act as sensors for all types of stimuli and communicate the stimuli throughout the body.

4: Neurotransmitter - Neurotransmitters are chemicals like dopamine and noradrenaline which act as chemical messengers between the neurons in the brain, allowing it to process thoughts and memories.
5: Genes - are the biochemical units of heredity that form chromosomes. They are part of your DNA
6: Hormones -
are chemicals which change the functions of the body in some way
Brain Lateralization - is the extent which each hemisphere of the brain is involved in different activities.

How the biological approach explains gender roles:
GENETICS:The development of both male and female in the womb is during the first six weeks. One of the 23 pairs of chromosomes determines what sex you are:
FEMALE = XX - therefore females have an X chromosomes from both mother and father
MALE = XY - thus males have an X chromosome from their mother and a Y chromosome from their father.
IF no Y chromosome is present that means that you will develop female organs.
The Y chromosome makes the gonads develop into testicles which males possess.
Gonads = the organ which develops gametes (testis OR ovary)

HORMONES: this is a male only development after the first six weeks as the Y chromosome makes the gonads develop into testicles. This happens through the H-Y antigen hormone which encourages the development of testis whilst stopping the development of ovaries.
Then the male testes cause the system to develop a wolffian system and the male will fully develop sex organs. The anti-mullerian hormone will prevent female organs from developing.


LEFT SIDE - speech, analysis, time, sequences. Recognises - words, numbers & letters.

RIGHT SIDE - creativity, patterns, spatial, context. Recognises - faces, places and objects.
There is evidence to suggest that females show less brain lateralization for language than males do… Therefore, females are more likely to be bilateral in similar tasks than males meaning that females can access different hemispheres of the brain when involved in different activities

Evaluating biological influences on gender development:
Research: The case of David Reimer (Bruce) supports the argument that biological factors influence gender development significantly.


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