Biopsychology-The Biological Approach

  • Created by: Anca.a
  • Created on: 04-04-18 12:38
What does the biological approach suggest?
It suggests that everything psychological is at first biological. Therefore, to fully understand human behaviour, we must look to biological structures, and processes within the body, such as genes, neurochemistry and the nervous system.
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Therefore, all thoughts and feelings have....
a physical basis.
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What do behaviour geneticists study?
Study whether behavioural characteristics eg. intelligence, personality, mental disorders etc. are inherited in the same way as physical characteristics.
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How is this done?
Twin studies are used to determine the likelihood that certain traits have a genetic basis by comparing the concordance rates between twins (the extent to which both twins share the same characteristics)
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Why do identical monozygotic twins have a higher concordance rate than dizygotic twins?
MZ twins share 100% of each others genes, whilst DZ twins share about 50%.
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What are phenotypes influenced by?
Genotype and the unique circumstances in which you have lived your life (nature/nurture debate)
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An example of nature/nurture debate to do with phenotypes and genotypes (PKU):
PKU is a rare genetic disorder that can be identified in babies using a heel ***** test(genotype). If left unchecked, PKU causes severe learning difficulties. But, if detected early enough, the child can be placed on a restricted diet and will be ok.
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Study of depression using twin concordance rates:
Researcher investigated the genetic basis of depression, one way was to compare the concordance rates between MZ twins and DZ twins who grew up in the same environment.
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MZ - 49%, DZ 17% and ordinary siblings - 9%
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What do concordance rates express?
the likelihood that a trait present in one twin is also found in the other.
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Charles Darwin - Evolution
Natural selection-main principle is that any genetically determined behaviour that enhances an individual's survival and reproduction will continue in future generations. The traits give the possessor certain advantages.
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AO3 positive equipment evaluation:
Approach uses precise and highly scientific research methods, including scanning techniques like fMRI's and EEG's and with these advances in technology, biological and neuro processes can be measured accurately.
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AO3 positive real life application evaluation:
Increased understanding of biochemical processes in the brain has led to the development of psychoactive drugs to treat mental illnesses, like depression.
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Although these drugs are not effective for everyone...
they have revolutionised treatment for many and this is a strength because it means sufferers are able to manage their condition and live normal lives.
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AO3 negative deterministic evaluation:
biological approach is heavily deterministic as it sees human behaviour as governed by internal biological causes, over which we have no control.
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What implications does this have?
for the legal system and wider society, as offenders are seen as legally and morally responsible for their actions but the discovery of a criminal gene may complicate this principle.
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a man got cleared of murder and the death penalty because he had a variant of the warrior gene. This combined with his childhood meant the jury found him guilty of manslaughter instead.
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Evaluation nature/nurture:
MZ twins, DZ twins & members of the same family all have genetic similarities, so the bio approach argues that any similarities in the way they look or behave must be genetic. But they are all exposed to similar environmental conditions
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What does this confounding variable mean?
that findings could just as easily be interpreted as supporting nurture rather than nature.
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Therefore, all thoughts and feelings have....


a physical basis.

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What do behaviour geneticists study?


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How is this done?


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Card 5


Why do identical monozygotic twins have a higher concordance rate than dizygotic twins?


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