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2.1 Outline principles that define the biological level of analysis
Terms in this set (10)
There are biological correlates of behavior.
Animal research can provide insight into human behavior.
Human behavior is, to some extent, genetically based.
Principle 1: There are biological correlates of behavior
There are physiological origins of behavior such as neurotransmitters, hormones, specialized brain areas, and genes. The biological level of analysis= based on reductionism: the attempt to explain complex behavior in terms of simple causes.
Principle 1 STUDY
Newcomer et al. (1999): experiment on the role of the stress hormone cortisol on verbal declaritive memory.
Group 1 (high dose cortisol) had tablets containing 160 mg for 4 days
Group 2 (low dose cortisol) had tablets with 40 mg for 4 days
Group 3 (control) had placebo tablets
Participants listened to a prose paragraph & had to recall it as a test of verbal declarative memory- this memory system is often negatively affected by increased level of cortisol under long term stress.
Results: group 1 showed worst performance- increase in cortisol over a period has a negative effect on memory
Principle 2: Animal research can provide insight into human behavior.
Researchers use animals to study physiological processes because it is assumed that most biological processes in non-human animals are the same as in humans. One important reason for using aninals is that there is a lot of research where humans can't be used for ethical reasons.
Principle 2 STUDY
Rozenzweig and Bennet (1972)- to study the rolee of environmental factors on brain plasticity using rats as participants.
Group 1- an enriched environment with lots of toys
Group 2- a deprived environment with no toys
The rats spent 30 or 60 days in their respective environments before being killed.
Results: brains of rats in group 1 showed a thicker layer of neurons in the cortex compared to the deprived group- the brain grows more neurons if stimulated.
Principle 3: Human behavior is, to some extent, genetically based.
Behavior can, to some extent, be explained by genetic inheritance, although it is rarely the full explanation since genetic inheritance should be seen as genetic predisposition which can be affected by environmental factors.
Principle 3- Research on twins
Often use twins so that they can compare one twin with the other on a variable such as intelligence, depression or anorexia nervosa
Identical twins (monozygotic) are 100% identical as they have developed from the same egg- therefore act as a control for each other
Fraternal twins (dizygotic) have developed from two different eggs & share around 50% of their genes so they're no more similar than siblings
Twin research never shows a 100% concordance rate so it's believed that genes are a predisposing factor rather than the cause of behavior; also important to consider what environmental factors could influence the expression of the genetic predisposition.
Principle 3 STUDY
Bouchard et al. (1990) performed the Minnesota twin study, a longitudinal study investigating the relative role of genes in IQ.
Participants were MZ reared apart (MZA) and MZ reared together (MZT).
Results: MZT had a concordance rate of IQ of 86% compared to MZA wth 76%- shows a link between genetic inheritance and intelligence but does not rule out the role of the environment.
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