Aqa psychology paper 2 - approaches. Watch
The biological approach believes us to be as a consequence of our genetics and physiology.
Psychologists believe that chemical processes in the brain can be an important influence on behaviour. The brain relies on a large number of chemicals called neurotransmitters to send signals between neurons. Too much or too little of any of these chemicals can result in over- or under-activity in various parts of the brain, which results in changes to thinking, feeling and behaviour. For example, serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which means it calms the brain and balances mood, too little levels of this can cause aggression as found by Crockett.
The Biological Approach also emphasises the influence of a person’s genes on their behaviour, therefore research focuses on twin, family and adoption studies. For example, if Mz twins share more behaviours in common than Dz, we can argue this is due to genetics as the environment in controlled. Furthermore, we can compare adopted people with their biological parents and adopted parents, if they share more in common with their biological parents we can claim genetics are the cause of behaviours.
1. One strength of the Biological Approach is the practical application of drug therapies that aim to increase or decrease levels of neurotransmitters in the brain to increase or decrease their activity.
An example of this is SSRIs which are the most commonly used drugs for OCD. They work by increasing levels of serotonin which regulates mood and anxiety.
This matters because SSRIs are an effective treatment for OCD and demonstrates the utility of the Biological Approach to improve the lives of people with OCD.
2. Another strength of the Biological Approach comes from research by Lewis in 1936.
Lewis studied patients with OCD and found that 37% of them had parents with OCD and 21% had siblings with it.
This matters because it would support that Biological Approaches theory that there is a link between genetics and behaviour.
3.However, one criticism is that it doesn't take other factors into account, for example learning.
The Biological Approach ignores the role of learning and suggests that behaviour can only be explained scientifically, such as genetics or neurochemistry.However, Learning psychologists believe that the environment influences behaviour.
This matters because the Biological Approach doesn’t provide a complete explanation of human behaviour, so it’s limited in its application.
Also, could somebody help me with biological structures as I really don't understand what I would write about them?