Contrasting The Factors Of The Biological And Behavioural Approach In Psychology

As with all subjects, psychology has experienced dramatic changes over the years and many improvements. Psychodynamics, which examines the mind and believes that unconscious thoughts are responsible for our behavior, is the basis of psychology. Many criticised Freud and other psychodynamic theorists and instead looked to behaviorist psychologists like Watson (1913). Watson encouraged observable behaviour, which was more scientific than psychodynamic theories about the unconscious or conscious mind. The Cognitive approach to psychology, which focused more on the thinking processes of the mind, was later introduced. This allowed psychologists access to knowledge and understanding through aspects like our thoughts, senses, experiences, and thought. The Biological approach, thanks to technological advances, allows us to reduce the complexity of the subject and make it more scientific. This essay will discuss the differences and similarities between the behavioural and biological approaches. It will also compare the various explanations for each approach. Psychologists can take every case and analyze it thoroughly by looking at the various explanations. Marshelle Thababen (2004) defines Phobia as an anxiety disorder in which there is extreme irrational fear or concern about an object. This can lead to life-altering consequences, such as agoraphobia. A fear of going into places that might cause panic or make it feel trapped. Mowrer (1947), combined operant conditioning with classical conditioning to explain phobia development. It is commonly called avoidance conditioning. This concept is based on behaviourist theory. The classical conditioning theory holds that fear is linked to panic and fear. Operational conditioning reduces fear by allowing the person to avoid the situation/object that causes panic. This is a form of negative reinforcement. The stimulus is not present to the individual’s mind and the person is not anxious. Watson and Rayner (1920), in a similar way, discovered that Albert’s fearful reaction to loud noises was associated with a white mouse. This is something that Albert had not been afraid of before. They tried to prove that the unconditioned response could be used to cause fear in children by using classical conditioning. It was shown that association can lead to phobia. In addition, the study found that phobias can also be generalised to objects with similar characteristics. Little Alberts fear of furry white objects was similar to that of a rat. The biological explanation of phobias has shown that genetics is the cause. Biomedical/genetic approaches to phobias ask questions like “Could it be that people are pre-programmed for fear of certain objects?” Ost (1992) discovered that 60% of blood-injured people had a similar phobia to them. Torgersen (1983), in The Heritability and Common Phobia Fear (2000), reported that there was a 31% concordance rate in monozygotic siblings, which is significantly higher than the rates for dizygotic. It was demonstrated that agoraphobics are more likely have their phobias from close relatives than the opposite. As we have already stated, the conclusions from biological and behavioural approaches to Phobia development are very different. Despite the differences between the approaches, there are some similarities. Both approaches can gather objective data and draw conclusions. The result is deterministic, but not reductionist. This is because the individual suffering cannot be identified as free will or considered other influences. Despite this reductionist outlook, the science-supported evidence can make clear predictions, which is a huge advantage over other approaches.


  • jamielane

    Jamie Lane is a 31-year-old blogger and traveler who loves to share his educational experiences with others. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has been traveling the world ever since. Jamie is always looking for new and interesting ways to learn, and he loves to share her findings with others.

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