sharonkaur1
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I'm having some trouble explaining functionalism within the biological approach and was wondering if I could get some help I can't seem to find any clear descriptions.
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iammichealjackson
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(Original post by sharonkaur1)
I'm having some trouble explaining functionalism within the biological approach and was wondering if I could get some help I can't seem to find any clear descriptions.

I have described functionalism as a holistic approach focusing on external factors as it focuses on the relationship between the organism and the environment, however if functionalism is an idea developed from Darwin who focused on genetics and natural selection would functionalism not also have aspects of an atomistic approach with internal factors?
I tried to look up what functionalism meant. I have a degree in psychology yet the wiki page didn't seem to make much sense to me sorry!

however:

Darwin didn't focus on genetics, mostly because genes were only discovered well after Darwin's death. Mendelian genetics, also, only came into prominance after darwin died, although Mendel did his work on inheritence at around the same time (or before?) Darwin was writing on evolution.
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sharonkaur1
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(Original post by iammichealjackson)
I tried to look up what functionalism meant. I have a degree in psychology yet the wiki page didn't seem to make much sense to me sorry!

however:

Darwin didn't focus on genetics, mostly because genes were only discovered well after Darwin's death. Mendelian genetics, also, only came into prominance after darwin died, although Mendel did his work on inheritence at around the same time (or before?) Darwin was writing on evolution.
So am I right in saying it's a holistic approach focusing on external factors and is on the nurture side of nature-nurture debate whereas structuralism is an atomistic approach focusing on internal factors on the nature side of debate?
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iammichealjackson
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(Original post by sharonkaur1)
So am I right in saying it's a holistic approach focusing on external factors and is on the nurture side of nature-nurture debate whereas structuralism is an atomistic approach focusing on internal factors on the nature side of debate?
not really. A holistic approach believes that explanations of a system need to take into account all of the component parts and how they interact. The opposite to holism is reductionism, not functionalism. An example of a holistic "nurture" approach in psychology might be a so-called "eclectic approach" to psychology, or the field of systems biology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_biology
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