Compare And Contrast The Biological Approach To Psychology

1492 Words 6 Pages
This essay will compare three different approaches within psychology, those being Biological, Behavioural and Humanistic. It will discuss the differences between methodology, strengths, weaknesses and treatments.
The oxford dictionary defines biology as 'relating to biology or living organisms '. Which is exactly what The Biological approach to psychology does. Its focuses on the biological side of human behaviour, claiming most psychological problems will be found in their genes or through chemical imbalances. Within The Biological approach there are 3 further set approaches being, The Nativist, who focus more on genes and the inheritance of behaviour, The Physiological, who focus on neurotransmitters and synapses and the body systems, and
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Strengths for The Behavioural and Biological would be that they’re both reductionist, scientifically valid and creditable, because they are able to produce scientific results from their controlled experiments. Benefits for The Biological is that it has shown to be useful to providing evidence of biological factors causing certain behaviours or illnesses. An example of this would be that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, thus creating a drug to even these levels out. Reductionism in the biological approach can also be a weakness. Not all behaviour can be explained completely by biological factors as other aspects should be taken into account, such as culture and social life. Depression could possibly be caused by non-biological factors such as death of a loved one. Benefits for The Behavioural would be the easily replicable results it produces. The Behaviourists were also successful in being able to show that certain behaviours can be changed through operant conditioning, the use of rewards and reinforcement. Along with strengths there are also weaknesses within behaviourism. Although they were successful in changing behaviour through conditioning it doesn’t necessarily mean you can change the internal knowledge that the participant already has. They may learn to adapt their behaviour to receive there rewards or avoid punishment. With most behaviourists only concentrating on external behaviour it …show more content…
An example of this would be if a patient is diagnosed with depression. A humanist would explain the cause of depression from anything that could have affected the patient’s thoughts and feelings. They would then treat this by using client centred therapy and encouraging the patient to become aware of, and utilise the theory that they are able to heal themselves. In contrast to The Humanist’s explanations and treatments The Biological approach would put the causes down to a chemical imbalance within the brain. It explains this as a neurotransmitter (serotonin) has shown to have progressively low levels within a patient suffering from depression. This has enabled them to be able to produce a drug to increase these levels with the hope of eradicating the depression all together. Although they believe the chemical imbalance is the cause, patients may also be prescribed with some form of counselling or therapy alongside the prescribed drugs. A Behaviourist theory on the cause of depression would be that the patient may have not received enough positive enforcement throughout their childhood or adult life. But to achieve an explanation it would focus on observant therapy to assess the patient and discover the problem. Once being diagnosed with depression The Behaviourist would teach the patient new behaviours that will focus on more positive outcomes with the hopes of leaving depression behind. All

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