Levels of Analysis ( LoA ). Biological Cognitive Sociocultural. Biological LoA. Focuses on physiology and genetics Gender differences via genetic makeup XY and XX chromosomes Gender differences from the impact of hormones testosterone and estrogen. Cognitive LoA.
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Taking a holistic approach to human behavior
Interactionist Approach: Both sides of nature (biology) vs. nurture (environment) argument.
Evolution..key role in behavior
Much research done with animals
Links between specific biological factors and specific behaviors
Micro-level research; breaking down complex human behavior into simple parts.
Criticized for being over simplistic but allows us to gain detailed knowledge of human behavior
Important because it allows understanding of several factors that influence one behavior
Tokyo University (Kasamatsu and Hirai, 1999)
Aim: How sensory deprivation affects the brain
Buddhist monks deprived of food, water, no communication, and exposure to cold weather
48 hours, hallucinations
Blood samples before and right after hallucinations (serotonin levels increased which activated the frontal cortex and hypothalamus)
Conclusion: Sensory deprivation released serotonin which altered monks experience.
Stimulate the production of neurotransmitters
Block receptor sites if too much is produced
The idea that specific parts of the brain are responsible for specific functions
When a behavior is localized in the brain, it is possible to trace the origin of the behavior to a specific part of the brain.
Does not explain ALL human behavior but is a major step forward in brain research
Robert Heath (1950s)
James Old (1950s)
Electrically stimulated parts o f the brain in depressed patients=experienced pleasure
One patient (B-19) electrically stimulated himself 1,500 times in 3 hours
Experienced euphoria and elation and was eventually disconnected against his will
Rats would receive electrical stimulation to the nucleus accumbens when a lever was pressed
Crossed over electrified grids and preferred pleasure lever over food and water
Biological / genetic predisposition
The diathesis-stress model
The model looks at the genetic/biologic vulnerability to a disorder/disease and the stress or traumatic environmental stimuli that may trigger a disorder (such as depression)
The diathesis-stress model uses the analogy of a "walking time bomb" to help explain why, for example, not 100% of identical twins both get depression. It also helps to explain why a large percent of people in traumatic situations (post 9/11, rape, etc.) never develop PTSD.
The model further talks about a balance -- the greater the diathesis or predisposition, the less the stress required for the disorder to "appear" and visa versa.
If you did, in your hours of free time, check these out on the wiki
Dizygotic (DZ)Twin Studies
Used as basis for hypotheses since they show the different degrees of genetic relationship. In twin studies the correlation found is known as concordance.
More representative of the general population
Different degree of relatedness is compared with behavior to determine the impact of genes.
Another principle of the biological LoA is that the environment presents obstacles & challenges for each individual.
In essence, those that adapt have a better chance of survival & having offspring which allows their genes to be passed down.
Tetsuro Matsuzawa (2007)
Looked at spatial memory in young chimps
Used 3 chimps that were taught to recognize the numbers 1-9 on a computer
Humans and chimps saw number flashed on a touch screen monitor and then the numbers were covered with blank squares and then were asked to touch the squares in sequential order.
Aboriginal people may object to genetic studies
Eugenics and other forms of discrimination is the cause.
Consent and speaking to community leaders are a must for many aboriginal and ethnic groups.
During the beginning of the 20th century, governments and schools became very interested in one’s intellectual potential and the role genetics play in IQ
Alfred Binet developed an intelligence test to help understand this concept better within the French educational system
Research has shown that poverty plays a major role in the development of a child’s intelligence
Book published in 1994 by Harvard professor Richard J. Herrnstein
The debate about the role of genes and environment have to do with ethnic difference in intelligence is not yet resolved
Media discussed the idea that there may be intergroup differences in intelligence, thus conferring the idea that the root of intelligence in debatable
Bouchard & McGue (1981) used 111 studies of IQ correlations between siblings from research around the world
Found that the closer the kinship the higher correlation of IQ
Meta-analysis: statistical synthesis of the data from a set of comparable studies of a problem that yields a quantitative summary of the pooled results
(Bouchard et al.) Longitudinal study, been going on since 1979
Most cross-cultural study to date (participants from across the world)
Compares MZAs (identical twins raised apart) to MZTs (identical twins raised together)
Mean age of MZAs was 41 (start of study), until this study most research was done with adolescents
Twins completed 50 hours of testing and interviews
70% of intelligence can be attributed to genetics inheritance, the other 30% is due to other factors
Much research has supported the MTS
The size and nature of the sample has made it one of the most impressive study ever conducted
Scarr & Weinberg (1977) and Horn et al. (1979)
Researched parents that raised adopted and natural children
Any significant differences in IQ between the adoptive and biological children would be attributed to genes
No significant difference in IQ correlations were found
Parents were wealthy, white, middle class and high IQs & adopted children were poor, lower-class backgrounds, and lower IQs