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Psychology is the scientific study and understanding of the soul, human mind and behaviour. How people think, feel and act.
The main purpose of psychology is to describe, explain, predict, improve and control the behaviour and mental processes of others.
There are different types of approaches in how we study psychology.
Biological perspective explains and focuses on the genetic, hormonal and neurochemical explanation of behaviour.
Nature or Nurture. Nature is what you are born with, while Nurture is what you learn, all this determines behaviour.
It is deterministic because it increases the chances of treating people with abnormal behaviour, such as people with epilepsy could get help by finding the parts of their brain that are not functioning well & correcting them. It is reductionist because it doesn’t account for environmental factors that could influence behaviour. Example someone could be depressed due to family life or work.
It does not take into account that people are different, but instead make a generalisation about people and find similarities between them.
Behaviourist perspective is a theory that explains that behaviour is acquired true leaning. Basically, we are born as a blank slate and what we become is shaped by experience and environment.
Is a scientific method of research, as the experiments are objective, measurable and observable. An example is the bandura’s bobo doll study of aggression. It suggests that all behaviour are acquired through learning, whereas cognitive and biological element also has been proving to affect behaviour, focuses too much on nature, ignoring the effect nature can have on behaviour as it disregards genetics explanation of behaviour.
Psychodynamic perspectives emphasizes the unconscious mind, originated with Sigmund Freud. He believed that causes of behaviour lie within the unconscious mind.
The part of the mind that is normally closed off to us but is extremely active.
Concentrated on the effects that childhood experiences have on the developing personality. Which is nurture. While id, ego and super-ego focused on nature, this happens from birth or develop during childhood.
It is unfalsifiable because the idea /assumptions cannot be scientifically measured or verified incorrect.
The BPS recognises its obligation in setting the highest standards of professionalism and to promote ethical behaviour, attitudes and judgment on the part of a psychologist.
Psychology is built on classic experiment an example is the case of Little Albert Experiment, demonstrated that classical conditioning, the association of a particular stimulus or behaviour with an unrelated stimulus or behaviour works in human beings. In this experiment, a previously unafraid baby was conditioned to become afraid of the rat. Albert responded with fear to other furry animals and fuzzy objects.
According to today’s ethical standards, the nature of the study itself is unethical, as it did not protect Albert from psychological harm, because its purpose was to induce a state of fear.
1. Charlotte, C. (2013). Strengths and Weaknesses of Biological Approach. Getrevising.co.uk. Available at:
2. Francis, R.D (1999). Ethics for psychology. Leicester: British Psychology Society.
3. McLeod, S. A. (2013). Psychology perspectives. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/persp
[Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].
4. Study Moose. (2016). Advantages and Disadvantages of the Behaviourist Approach. [Online]. Available at: https://studymoose.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-the-behaviourist-approach-essay[Accessed: 4 Dec. 2019]
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