1. What is biological psychology?
Biological psychology refers to the field of psychology in which the study of organism’s actions or behaviors along with inner processes such as; emotions, learning, perceptions, memory, and motivation is geared towards a biological standpoint. Biological psychology or biopsychology focuses on the scientific approaches of study on behavior (Pinel, 2009). When biopsychologists study behavior from the biological perspective, they look at aspects such as the nervous system; specifically the brain, along with genetics, physiology, and comparative method (McLeod, 2007). Biopsychologists are also referred to as neuroscientists for their contribution to research on behavior and the relation to the nervous system (Pinel, 2009).
2. What is the historical development of biological psychology?
The historical development of biological psychology can be traced backed to ancient Greeks, but thought to be rebirthed during Renaissance. Credit of the scientific knowledge being resolved is giving to a French philosopher, Rene Descartes. He proposed that although the body and brain are separate units; the human mind influences and controls thought and behavior, as an explanation to actions of how and why humans behave (Pinel, 2009). Later in history; more specifically the 19th century modern biology was born when Charles Darwin provided supporting evidence and an explanation for the evolutionary theory. Darwin’s argument held that evolution takes place through natural selection (Pinel, 2009). The most recent history is the start of biopsychology in the 20th Century with credit of its emerge given to D.O. Hebb. His complete and profound accomplishment theory was the first to be developed. His theory examined how emotions, thoughts, perceptions, and memories may be influenced from brain activity. Although its history is considered an infant, it has since developed into a major and efficient contributing neuroscientific discipline (Pinel, 2009).
3. Name one to three important theorists associated with biological psychology.
All three theorists above mentioned; Rene Descartes, Charles Darwin, and D.O. Hebb can be denoted as important and influential theorists associated with biological psychology. Because of Descartes’ contribution dated back to Renaissance, many still today are able to hold the assumption that human behaviors somehow does go beyond the human brain, and not just physical (Pinel, 2009). Charles Darwin’s contribution goes beyond just suggested notions and is a monumental theorist. His evolutionary theory and natural selection revelation has been truly ground breaking for the field of psychology in a biological approach. Not only did he suggest the theory; he was the first to produce evidence that species evolve, while also being the first in proposing how evolution happens as a result of natural selection (Pinel, 2009). Finally as mentioned, the brilliant and well-known theorist D.O. Hebb’s massive and extensive method to biopsychology has become a trademark to research (Pinel, 2009).
4. Describe the relationship between biological psychology and other fields in psychology and neuroscience.
Biological psychology can be credited for its contributions not just to its own field of psychology, but also to other fields of psychology and neuroscience as well (Pinel, 2009). Some other fields of psychology that biological psychology is associated to and shares a connection to is comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology. The biological foundations of psychology study the factors of genetics, evolution, and the nervous system (Pinel, 2009). Biological psychology and neuroscience intertwine and in a way form a field of psychology known as biopsychology. Biopsychology is the association between psychological phenomenas and brain activity. Biopsychologists work to combine data and information from the other neuroscientific disciplines and then use it to the study of behavior (Pinel, 2009).
5. Describe the major underlying assumptions of a biopsychological approach.
Major underlying assumptions of biopsychological approach focus on the relationship and connection of psychological phenomenas and brain activity. Assumptions of the approach include; how behavior is influenced by the nervous system, specifically the brain, genetics play a role in behavior, and that evolution may also be a factor (Pinel, 2009).