Biological Psychology Essay

2343 words - 9 pages

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Running Header: BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGYBiological Psychology PaperSandra LattinUniversity of PhoenixBiological PsychologyBiological psychology, as defined by the New World Encyclopedia, "is the application of the principles of biology to the study of mental processes and behavior". In other words, it is the study of psychology in terms of bodily mechanisms.(New World Encyclopedia). Most processes associated with psychology have some sort of correlation with biological/physiological processes. The field of Biological psychology is based on this assumption or view.Historical Overview and Key Players in its Early DevelopmentAvicenna (980-1037) is a Persian psychologist and recognized physiological psychology in the treatment of illnesses involving emotions. He recognized the importance of physiological psychology and applied it to treat various illnesses related to emotions. Gradually, he came up with a way where irregularities in the pulse rate could be associated with inner feelings. It later on paved way to the word association test which is used in the field of psychology even to this day. Apart from this, he also provided psychological explanations for various somatic illnesses. Thus, he was able to link the physical and psychological aspects of various illnesses.Rene Descartes (1596-1650) proposed models to explain animal and human behavior. He proposed theories linking the mind and body and explanations for motor behavior (reflexes). He was a pioneer in identifying the mind with consciousness and self-awareness. He was also able to differentiate it from the brain.Charles Darwin (1809-1882) described the nature of evolutionary theory. It describes the way in which our bodies and behaviors change across many generations of individuals. He proposed the theory of Natural Selection, the evolutionary principle describing a mechanism by which organisms have developed and changed, based on the principle of "the survival of the fittest". He demonstrated the idea that genetics and evolution play a role in influencing human behavior.Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) performed breeding experiments on common varieties of the garden pea plants. He proposed the theory of genetic inheritance and formulated the laws of inheritance.Relationship with other Fields in Psychology and NeuroscienceA large volume of data in psychology comes from subjects such as mice and monkeys. This means that biological psychology has a close relationship with other disciplines such as neurobiology, comparative psychology, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary studies and other fields of neuroscience such as neuropsychology. This area of research is focused on the behavior of humans and non-humans with certain nervous system dysfunctions.Underlying Assumptions of a Bio-Psychological ApproachThe early behaviorists held the empty slate view of human behavior (nurture side of the nature-nurture controversy). They were reacting to the introspective school of...

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