Evaluating the biological approach
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 9

Evaluating the Biological Approach PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Evaluating the Biological Approach. Compare and Contrast Strengths and Weaknesses. Strengths of the Biological Approach-Scientific. Scientific Aspect- Assumptions of the biological approach involve variables, like the activity of neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain (biological systems).

Download Presentation

Evaluating the Biological Approach

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Evaluating the biological approach

Evaluating the Biological Approach

Compare and Contrast Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths of the biological approach scientific

Strengths of the Biological Approach-Scientific

  • Scientific Aspect- Assumptions of the biological approach involve variables, like the activity of neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain (biological systems).

  • This means that biological explanations have clear variables that can be measured, tracked and examined.

  • Psychologists can conduct scientific research by studying these variables.

Strengths scientific continued

Strengths-Scientific (continued)

  • Psychosurgery involves functionally removing those parts of the brain that are linked with aggressive/depressive behaviours.

  • This approach is scientific because it enables to conduct objective, well-controlled studies and to ideally demonstrate causal relationships.

Strengths determinist approach

Strengths-Determinist Approach

  • As well as being Scientific, the biological approach is also Determinist, i.e., if we know what ‘predetermines’ our behaviour, we are more likely capable of helping people with abnormal behaviour.

  • For example, psychologists seek to understand the functioning of neurotransmitters on normal and abnormal behaviours, e.g. Schizophrenia.

Strengths determinist continued

Strengths-Determinist (continued)

  • In Psychosurgery, the use of brain scans have shown that certain areas of the brain are more active than other with OCD patients. Cingulotomy is the treatment for this.

  • What this means is if mental illness is caused by biological factors , then we can treat it with biological methods.

  • So the biological approach is determinist and provides explanations about the causes of behaviour.

Strengths successful applications

Strengths - Successful Applications

  • Selye’s research had a major impact on our understanding of the link between stress and illness.

  • It led to a large amount of research demonstrating people recover less quickly from physical wounds, if they are stressed.

  • Use Chemotherapy or Psychosurgery as other examples

Weaknesses of the biological approach reductionism

Weaknesses of the Biological Approach-Reductionism

  • Biological explanations reduce complex behaviours to a set of simple explanations, e.g. stress is caused by the adrenaline hormone.

  • Reductionism is a part of understanding how systems work, but we may lose a real understanding of what we are trying to investigating.

  • Psychiatrist, R.D Laing (1965) claimed that such an approach ignores the experience of distress which happens with any other mental illness.

  • It is over-simplified, preventing us to reach a true understanding of the target behaviour.

Weaknesses nature rather than nurture

Weaknesses-Nature rather than Nurture

  • The biological approach focuses just on biology, i.e. Nature, tending to ignore life experiences (Nurture) and psychological factors, e.g. our thoughts and feelings.

  • In terms of treatment, the biological approach is concerned with adjusting the abnormal biological systems instead of talking to patients about their thoughts and feelings.

Weaknesses generalisation


  • The biological approach is nomothetic- i.e. looking to make generalisations about people by finding similarities and ignoring differences.

  • Some people produce higher levels of adrenaline than others when they are stressed, but research based on the biological approach uses few individuals and assumes that everyone’s biological systems behave in the same way as those who were experimented with.

  • Login