Biologicallevel of analysisBiology is defined as the study of life (from the Greek bios meaning ‘life’ and logosmeaning ‘study’). Physiology and behavoiur Chapter 2.1 By Ms Lindstrom
Learning Outcomes General learning outcomes: • Outline principles that define the biological level of analysis (for example, patterns of behaviour can be inherited; animal research may inform our understanding of human behaviour; cognitions, emotions and behaviours are products of the anatomy and physiology of our nervous and endocrine systems). • Explain how principles that define the biological level of analysis may be demonstrated in research (that is, theories and/or studies). • Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the biological level of analysis (for example, experiments, observations, correlational studies). • Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the biological level of analysis.
Learning Outcomes Physiology and behaviour: • Explain one study related to localization of function in the brain (for example, Wernicke, Brocaand Sperry). • Using one or more examples, explain effects of neurotransmission on human behaviour(for example, the effect of noradrenaline on depression). • Using one or more examples, explain functions of two hormones in human behaviour. • Discuss two effects of the environment on physiological processes (for example, effects of jet lag on bodily rhythms, effects of environmental stressors on reproductive mechanisms). • Examine one interaction between cognition and physiology in terms of behaviour(for example amnesia). Evaluatetwo relevant studies. • Discuss the use of brain imaging technologies (for example, CAT, PET, fMRI) in investigating the relationship between biological factors and behaviour.
In the light of past and ongoing research on genetics, neuroscience, and behavior: • Who am I? Who are they? • Why do I behave the way I do? Why do they? • How did I/they get to be this way? • What can I/they/we do about it?
Two important principles are emerging from past and ongoing research in humans and other organisms: • Virtually all behavior is influenced by genes. • Virtually no behavior is determined by genes.
The interactionist approach • A more holistic picture of human behaviour: not soley either nature or nurture. (also the way IB psychology views it) • Biological researchers often adopt a reductionist approach to the study of human behaviour (micro-level research).
A biological perspective is relevant to the study of Psychology inthreeways: 1. Comparative method: different species of animal can be studied and compared. This can help in the search to understand human behaviour. 2. Physiology: how the nervous system and hormones work, how the brain functions, how changes in structure and/or function can affect behaviour. For example, we could ask how prescribed drugs to treat depression affect behaviour through their interaction with the nervous system. 3. Investigation of inheritance: what an animal inherits from its parents, mechanisms of inheritance (genetics). For example, we might want to know whether high intelligence is inherited from one generation to the next.
Principles of the biologicallevel of analysis • patterns of behaviour can be inherited (evolution) • animal research may inform our understanding of human behaviour (therefore a lot of animal research within this perspective) • cognitions, emotions and behaviours are products of the anatomy and physiology of our nervous and endocrine systems ( a link between a biological factor and a behaviour)