Discuss the contribution of the biological approach to our understanding of human behaviour (12 marks)
The biological approach focusses on physical aspects of the body such as how genes guide people’s behaviour but doesn’t involve how nurture, the environment people are surrounded in, that could have an effect on human behaviour.
There is evidence of the biological approach used to explain people’s behaviour as being correct from Book and Goode experiment in 1996 discovering if aggression is a learnt emotion or is an innate tendency. This was discovered using mice that had been reared alone but once put in a group they showed aggressiveness towards others. Due to the act these mice had never been amongst other mice it is clear the aggression is innate –in the genes – of mice.
Another study was conducted with twins to find out whether homosexuality is innate or due to a person’s nurture or surroundings. This study is Kallman which was conducted in 1952 for male twins under the age of twenty and found the concordance rate for homosexuality in identical twins was 100% and in non-identical twins was 12%. Identical twins or monozygotic twins have the same DNA meaning that homosexuality is innate as dizygotic twins with different genes has a lower concordance rate.
The biological approach also includes how the central nervous system is influential on behaviour as is people’s body chemistry including the neurotransmitters and hormones that alter behaviour. An example of this is the fight or flight process the body goes through at the release of adrenaline. The hypothalamus detects a threat so sends a message from the brain to the adrenaline glands so they realise adrenaline for fight or flight. The adrenaline causes eyes to dilate to take in as much light as possible and heart rate increases so more blood is pumped around the body so oxygen reaches muscles. This fight or flight response is not learnt behaviour, it is the chemical reactions in the body which...