This paper debates on the conflicts that arise between biology and psychology during pursuance of a career in psychology. Among many students who take psychology as a major, they surprisingly find out that they are obliged to study a great deal of biology in their first year in college. This paper then explores the importance of biology in psychology, and whether teaching biology in psychology makes the subject lose its meaning. Key words: psychology, biology PSYCHOLOGY AND BIOLOGY The Conflict between Psychology and Biology Psychology is the scientific study of humans or animal mental functions and behaviors (Malton, 2002).
It studies topics such as perceptions, cognitions, attention, emotion, emotion, motivation, brain functioning, behavior and interpersonal relationship (Leahey, 1987). In its literal meaning, psychology is the study of soul and mind. Biology on the other hand, is a natural science that studies life and living organisms including their structure, form, growth, origin, evolution, distribution and taxonomy (Weidman, 1999). Biology studies topics such as biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology and others in botany (Mises, 1956).
The two subjects are related in that biology deals with the physical body, and psychology deals with thoughts and feelings or what we could consider as imaginary body (Malton, 2002). Psychology is becoming more dependent on biology in order to help explain the processes and motivations that drive our behavior. In this scientific field, psychologists are responsible for understanding these biological mechanisms that intersects with our research and our clinical practices (Leahey, 1987). In humans when one among the two disciplines changes then it affects the other.
If we demonstrate this relationship using an example, taking a case where we have a typical girl whose obsession is to shed of some weight, since she thinks that losing weight would make her look and feel great. When this girl successfully loses 3 kilograms (her biology), she feels great and this would probably change her thinking (her psychology). On the same, if this girl thinks that she is fat and that makes her body figure not very pleasing (psychology), she might start doing some things that will harm her biology such as eating food and then throw up
PSYCHOLOGY AND BIOLOGY everything. This would make look unhealthy thus harming her biology. In psychobiology, the connection between biology and psychology cannot be overemphasized since some principles in psychology requires biological explanations especially in neurophysiology and clinical psychology (Weidman, 1999). On the contrary, the relationship between biology and psychology has passed through various developmental stages (Malton, 2002).
At the present time, its observed that the conflict between biologically explanations and explanations based on psychology and the absence of theoretical ties between biology and psychology jointly have increased the fragmentation of how we perceive the human being (Malton, 2006). Historically, the two topics were considered very distinct in that biology was meant to study life processes, and psychology was to study the state of mind and soul and how they bring about human satisfaction during interaction with all other external environment (Mises, 1956).
Biology should focus on medicine and research in biological field in areas such as biochemistry and molecular biology where there are still so my mysteries that requires to be unraveled by this research. Psychology on the other hand should be focusing on the wellbeing of the soul and mind while borrowing only necessary principles from biology that is important in maintaining this state of mind. The curriculum designed for psychology career should only incorporate biological aspect that is directly linked to psychology so that the overall meaning of psychology is maintained.
This is because as some students choose the subject of psychology, usually biology is not their priority and therefore they tend to lose meaning of their career of choice. The material of biology required in psychology should be designed in such a way the content easily links in psychology PSYCHOLOGY AND BIOLOGY So that the learners can appreciate it. Biology on the other hand should focus on examining the underlying issues that poses challeges in the field of medicine and also in botany where the study of plants is conducted.
If this is realized then the clear distinction between psychology and biology will be appreciated PSYCHOLOGY AND BIOLOGY References Leahey, H. T. (1987). A History of Psychology: Main Current in Psychological Thought. (2Ed. ). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Malton, A. M. (2002). Cambridge 2001: Proceeding Of the Of Fifteenth Congress for Analytical psychology. Einsiedeln: Daimon. Mises, V. R. (1956). Positivism: A Study in Human Understanding. Brasilia: G. Braziller. Weidman, M. N. (1999). Constructing Scientific Psychology: Karl Lasheley’s Mindbrain Debates. London: Cambridge University Press.