Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Biological Psychology Worksheet
1. What is biological psychology?
Biological psychology, commonly referred to as biopsychology and also referred to as psychobiology, behavioral neuroscience, or behavioral biology is the scientific study of the biology of behavior (Pinel, 2009). Biopsychology or biological psychology is a branch of psychology, which analyzes how neurotransmitters and the brain influence individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
2. What is the historical development of biological psychology?
During the 20th century, biopsychology developed into a major neuroscientific discipline after D. O. Hebb published The Organization of Behavior in 1949, which played a key role in its emergence (Pinel, 2009). Through this book, the first comprehensive theory of how complex psychological phenomena was developed by Hebb, such as emotions, perceptions, memories, and thoughts might be produced by brain activity (Pinel, 2009). Pinel (2009), “Hebb’s theory did much to discredit the view that psychological functioning is too complex to have its roots in the physiology and chemistry of the brain” (p. 4). Hebb’s theory was developed from insightful observations of daily life, and is based on experiments that involved laboratory animals and humans, on logical arguments and on clinical case studies (Pinel, 2009). The approach that Hebb took is a trademark of biopsychological inquiry. As of today, tools such as PET and MRI scans are used by scientists to look at how brain damage, disease, and drugs impact cognitive functioning and behavior.
3. Name one to three important theorists associated with biological psychology.
Donald O. Hebb, Rene Descartes, and Charles Darwin are three important theorist associated with biological psychology. Biopsychology developed into a major neuroscientific discipline after D. O. Hebb published The Organization of Behavior in 1949, which played a key role in its emergence (Pinel, 2009). Descartes’ beliefs were that the mind and the body were two entirely different things. He thought of the mind or soul being as non-physical and independent of the material world, and that the body was composed of physical matter (Chavez, 2009). Darwin was one of the earliest scientists who made the connection between psychology and biology. Darwin referred to the connection he made between psychology and biology as biological psychology instinct for survival (Tyrer, 2009).
4. Describe the relationship between biological psychology and other fields in psychology and neuroscience.
The relationship between biopsychology and other neuroscientific disciplines further defines biopsychology (Pinel, 2009). Biopsychology, fields of psychology and neuroscience all search for an understanding of the functions of the brain and how it reacts to behaviors. Biopsychologists are members of the team effort of neuroscience, and are neuroscientists, who provide the knowledge of behavior and of the methods of behavioral research to their research (Pinel, 2009). The behavioral orientation and expertise of biopsychologists make their contributions unique to neuroscience (Pinel, 2009). The contributions of neuroscience are significant in providing information through its research and the discoveries of the neural and biological processes are important to biopsychology for applications in diagnoses and treatments (Wickens, 2005). Biopsychology and neuroscience use their combined research and data received from the research in studying the nervous system to understand behavior and the factors that contribute to the behaviors expressed.
5. Describe the major underlying assumptions of a biopsychological approach.
The major underlying assumptions of the biopsychological approach are that biological events cause mental consequences and that mental events cause biological consequences (Wickens, 2005). Biopsychologists believe that the mental and biological processes are linked to each other and cannot be separated. The inextricable connection between the two is defined by these assumptions (Wickens, 2005).
Chavez, C.H. (2009). Helium. Retrieved from http://www.helium.com/items/1415090-psychology-what-is-biological-psychology
Tyrer, M. (2009). Helium. Retrieved from http://www.helium.com/items/1691696-psychology-what-is-biological-psychology
Wickens, A. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall.