Biological Psychology Essay Sample

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1. What is biological psychology?

Biological psychology is the study of the effects of brain function-neurotransmitters, etc.-on cognitive processes and behavior. If there are abnormalities in the brain, thoughts, behavior, learning, memory, and other mental and emotional functions are effected. A small chemical imbalance in the brain can be responsible for any type of psychological abnormality. Biology is the study of physical processes of brain function. Within the brain are more than 100 billion nerve cells-neurons-and thousands of billions of support cells-glia. The brain consists of regions and within each of these are a set of particular functions. When there is any discrepancy there is also irregular pattern of thought and behavior. With research into how the brain works and its many chemicals and neurotransmitters, there is help for those who suffer from illness. With therapy and medication, certain disorders can be alleviated.

The Brain Waves Center. (2010). Retrieved from

2. What is the historical development of biological psychology?

It began in the Renaissance period with Rene Descartes. He refused to follow the church completely and offered the idea that the mind controls the body and the body and brain are of two separate entities. He gave realization that humans behave in a particular way because the mind dictates thought and behavior (Pinel, 2009). In 1859 Charles Darwin proposed the theory that we, as humans and other species, evolve from another form of life. He discussed “natural selection” and that the strongest, most capable species will survive and reproduce and ultimately remain in existence (Pinel, 2009). Pinel (2009) stated that Darwin referred to fitness as “the ability of an organism to survive and contribute its genes to the next generation” (Pg 25).

3. Name one to three important theorists associated with biological psychology.

4. Describe the relationship between biological psychology and other fields in psychology and neuroscience.

5. Describe the major underlying assumptions of a biopsychological approach.

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