Psychology Assumptions

Topics: Psychology, Brain, Cognitive psychology Pages: 14 (5302 words) Published: December 6, 2012
PY1: Approaches to psychology Revision
Biological approach
Outline two assumption of the biological approach. [4]
One assumption of the biological approach is that the behaviour can be explained in terms of different areas of the brain. This is because many different areas of the human brain have been identified as certain functions. The cerebral cortex is divided into four lobes. The most important is the frontal cortex/lobe, as this is responsible for fine motor movement and thinking. Another lobe is the occipital lobe which is responsible for processing sensory information. For example, if someone was about to be poked in the eye, the occipital lobe will sense and send the information to the brain through the central nervous system(CNS) telling it to react by closing your eyes immediately. Another assumption is that behaviour can be explained in terms of the neurotransmitters. They are different types of nerves (neurone) in our system which carries information throughout our body and brain. They do so through synapses, this is where the message is relayed by chemical messages. For example, when you take painkillers the morphine will follow the bodies’ normal pain relievers. The nerve cell communicates with each other from across the synapse using the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters). The serotonin (NT) will then take effect which will change our mood and feeling. Describe Selye’s GAS model. [8]

Hans Selye research, such as the study of ‘the facing page’ led him to conclude that when animals are exposed to stressful situation, they display a universal response to all stressor. He called this general adaptation syndrome (GAS). To prove his theory, Selye’s came up with three stages that’s leads to illness, thus leading stress to illness- stress can result in a decrease of physiological resource, which lowers the organism’s resistant to infection. First stage Selye’s proposed, was the alarm reaction. This is when the stressor recognised and response is made to the alarm. The hypothalamus in the brain triggers the production of adrenaline from the adrenal glands. This causes ‘adrenaline rush’ this leads to readiness for ‘flight or fight’. Stage two is the Resistance. This is when the body starts to adapt to the environment, but at the same time resources are gradually depleting. The body seems as if it’s coping, but in physiologically things are deteriorating. And stage three is the Exhaustion stage. This is when the body system can no longer maintain it regular functions. And the stressor is unable to continue to deal with the stress, and this exhaustion can result in death if the stress continues. Hans concluded that these stages show how psychological problems can lead to biological illnesses.

Describe how the biological approach is applied to either psychosurgery or chemotherapy. [12] Chemotherapy: the biological approach believes all behaviour is psychological in nature. One of the main assumptions of the biological approach is that our behaviour can be explained by chemical messengers in the brain, known as neurotransmitters. Chemotherapy is a therapy based on this approach, and, based on this assumption aim altering neurotransmitter activity. Chemotherapy is the term used to describe the use of psychoactive drugs to treat mental disorders. Antidepressant drug for example, work on the neurotransmitter serotonin, as it is believed that depression is due to insufficient amount of this. These drugs generally work by reducing the rate at which certain neurotransmitters are re-absorbed into the nerve ending. For example, SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work by blocking the mechanism that re-absorbs the serotonin into the synapse. The result of this is that more serotonin is left in the synapse, alleviating the feeling of depression (hopefully). Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat disorders such as schizophrenia. Chlorpromazine for example, is used to combat the positive symptoms of...
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