Biological Perspective (A Comprehensive Guide)

In psychology, there are numerous ways and paths to studying human behaviors. Psychologists use a different perspective to evaluate human behavior such as how a person feels, thinks, and reacts.

Although there are very contradictions too few rely on one school of thought that will be discussed later in this article.

Most psychologists agree with the biological perspective. On the other hand, most psychologists focus on eclectic approaches to define behavior and mind.

They have their own point of view that will be discussed here too.

We cannot say that there is a single and better perspective that rules on all over the perspective. 

In this article, we will discuss the Biological Perspective

Major Perspectives in Modern Psychology

In the earlier times of psychology when there was arousal of different schools of thought.

If you were a student of psychology then you must have read the school of thoughts like structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and also humanism.

Each perspective has its own study on the evaluation of human behavior. Now psychology has expanded, due to succession in psychology, there are a lot of topics that have been investigating human behavior on the top hit list.

Since the 1960s was the year when psychology grew with different studies and at that, the psychologist gave their viewpoint on different dimensions according to their experience and study.

Today time the psychologist has determined the outlook that explains the school of thought

Different Approaches to the Same Topic

We can study in-depth every topic in psychology that has been investigated with accuracy and give the result too.

For instance, let’s suppose the subject of aggression, the biological perspective will throw light on the brain and neurological system while explaining the aggression.

While the other perspective will go according to their school of thought. The behaviorist perspective emphasized the environmental variables causes that reinforce the behavior.

A cross-cultural psychologist suggests how cultural and social influence the behavior/violent behavior/ aggression. 

Here are seven of the major perspectives in modern psychology.

1. The Psychodynamic Perspective

The well-known psychologist of old times, Sigmund Freud who originated psychoanalysis.

In this perspective, the focus is on the unconscious mind, early childhood experiences, and interpersonal relationships. These things are considering studying human behavior to deal with severe mental illness.

According to their perspective, the illness or fixation at any stage causes the debilitating illness due to some interpersonal conflicts and unconscious desires.

They also designed the psychosexual developmental stages to better understand the personality. 

The efforts of Freud take psychoanalysis to another level of success due to their incredible study that depicts human behavior in the very depth of their knowledge.

They set the three key elements that are:

  • Id: they explained that it is the piece of the psyche that is composed of primal and unconscious desires. 
  • Ego: The explained that ego is an aspect of the psyche that works in the real world, conscious part. 
  • Superego: it includes partial conscious and partial unconscious. 

So these key elements play a vital role in personality. 

We can see that psychodynamic is not very popular today. But it is proved as an effective psychotherapeutic tool. 

2. The Behavioral Perspective

This behavioral perspective is emphasized in learned behaviors.

This is a very interesting perspective because it not only depends on the internal styles but also focuses on observable behaviors.

This work is originated by Edward Thorndike and j. b Watson due to their extreme efforts to understanding the human psyche we can take advantage of their theory in today’s time.

It was a highly dominating school of thought of in the twentieth century.

But it gets the drop-down in the 1950s.

But in today’s time, the therapist takes advantage of this theory that is really effective, because it depicts that behaviors are learned and reinforced.

Clinical settings consider the behaviorism model to identify behaviors.

3. The Cognitive Perspective

At the beginning of the 1960s, the birth of a cognitive perspective takes place. It has rooted in those times with very success.

This perspective focuses on the understanding of behavior through the mental process, like memory, decision making, thinking, problem-solving and languages too.

This study originated with the work of Jean Piaget and well-known bobo doll experiment Albert bandura who studied cognitive theory in-depth and this theory was tremendous in past decades.

In this perspective the cognitive theorists often rely on the information processing model, relate and compare the human mind with a computer, fetching concepts, processed, stored, and utilized. 

4. The Humanistic Perspective

In the 1950s the human perspective has grown up that is aroused by great therapist Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.

They explained the role of motivation in becoming thoughts and behavior.

He gave concepts like self-actualization that are essential in their perspective.

Who studies the humanistic approach is focused on how human beings are driven to grow and they get stronger with human potential.

The positive psychologist explained the ways to make the person happier, healthier, and motivated.

5. The Evolutionary Perspective

According to the viewpoint of an evolutionary psychologist, they explained the evolutionary process of physiology.

Different psychologists and researchers worked on their basic concept of evolution that is including natural selection, these all selection then applied to the entire psychological phenomenon. 

They stated that the mental process exists that causes give aid in survival and reproduction. 5. 

6-The Cross-Cultural Perspective

According to a cross-cultural perspective that is new in the school of thought has gained so much appreciation around the past twenty years ago.

In this study, the psychologist and researchers look into different cultures to study human behaviors.

After looking at each and distinctive cultures they came to a result that each culture has its own effects on the mind and human behavior.

Researchers show in his study that how individualistic and collectivistic are differ in social behavior on the basis of their cultures. 

Individualistic cultures like the U.S show low interest when they are in a group of individuals.

This is known as social loafing. In individualistic cultures, such as the U.S., people tend to exert less effort when they are part of a group, a phenomenon known as social loafing. 

Collectivists work harder when they are in a group such as China. 

7. The Biological Perspective

The biological perspective is the main perspective and hence very effective that speaks with scientific knowledge all study experiments with the brain and neurological process.

The biological perspective played a vital role in the beginning as it gives the new step in the study of human behavior and mental processes very today’s time, the biological Perspective is known as biological psychology that has its own value.

Biological perspective is also referred to as biopsychology and physiological psychology.

Researches also study how genes influence our behaviors and personality.

They also try to understand how damage to the brain can cause severe illness.

They also studied things like the nervous system, genetics, brain, and immune system and endocrine system  With the passage of time and with great research introduces the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and PET scan that helps the researcher to look at the brain and its part to figure out the deficit.

They can look into the effects of the disease too. 

The researcher who follows the biological perspective is working in the physiological, biological, and genetic domains.

This is an attempt to combine biology with psychology and behaviors. 

As we know that all the behaviors are being controlled by the central nervous system, the biologist and psychologist try to understand its functioning relating to a mental process.

The key areas are sensation and perception.

  • Motivated behavior (hunger thirst and sex)
  • Control of movement
  • Learning and memory
  • Sleep and biological rhythm 
  • Emotions

It takes the advancement in research methods, then the more advanced and well-researched topic has been introduced like reasoning, decision making, and consciousness.

The biological perspective has grown from structuralism and functionalism.

Structuralism believes that the study of conscious thoughts is the way of understanding human behavior.

Actually, this theory is based on the systematic and rigorous observation of behaviors.

In the research work the Wundt and Titchener studies and expanded topics like attention, time, vision, emotions, perception, and all areas. 

Reductionist: now the biological perspective is also known as reductionist. Reductionism means simple is the source of the complex.

In simple words, he explained the complex phenomenon like human behaviors as compared to others like gestalt that are the focus, on the whole, is greater than the sum of its parts. Gave the theory of whole. 

 In biological psychology, behaviorism is also studied in a systematic way, also cognitive and biological too.

This theory depicts the complex behavior into a simple set of variables that can be identified for cause and effects. Such as the biological approach suggesting the psychological illness must be treated as a disease.

This theory also suggests that mental disorders can also be treated with drugs. 

On the other hand, the cognitive psychologist focuses on the functionalism that relies on the effects of our emotions and environmental events that results in perceptions.

The biological perspective studies human behavior with brain mechanisms to understand the mental process with various parts of the brain and their complex relationships. 

Advantages of the Biological Perspective 

This is a very scientific study. The experiments are based on accuracy measures, it can be tested too.

It is highly deterministic; it helps in treating mental illness and delivers the causes of behaviors and effects too. 

Disadvantages of the Biological Perspective 

It is more centered toward the nature/nurture debate.  They debated the causes of behavior are hormonal, neurotransmitters, and also genetics.

It has criticism in their own studies like if they said that schizophrenia has genetic effects, on the other hand, they said that the environment has a part to play.

FAQ about Biological Perspective 

What is an example of a biological perspective?

Biological factors such as chromosomes, hormones, and the brain all have a significant influence on human behavior, for example, gender. The biological approach believes that most behavior is inherited and has an adaptive (or evolutionary) function.

Who is associated with the biological perspective?

Charles Darwin first proposed the idea that genetics and evolution both contribute to many human qualities including personality

Who is the father of psychology?

Wilhelm Wundt is the father of psychology


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