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For example, cortisol and adrenaline are key hormones that facilitate the fight or flight response, a key evolutionary survival mechanism whereby the body primes itself for imminent danger (e.g.increasing heart rate, initiating sweating to cool down, dilation of pupils, sharpened sense of hearing).
Strengths - Scanning research techniques are useful for investigating the functions of the brain: an organ with obvious involvement in our behaviour that would otherwise be unobservable.
- The approach presents the strong nature viewpoint of the nature-nurture debate.
Neurochemical imbalances in the brain are often associated with abnormal behaviour – for instance, evidence suggests that imbalances of dopamine (a neurochemical linked with the brain’s natural ‘pleasure’ system) are associated with mood disorders such as depression.
The endocrine system is a slower-acting communication system that regulates the circulation of hormones, released by glands into the bloodstream.
Electrical impulses enable an important means of internal communication that directs our behaviour, travelling around the brain and to/from the body via the nervous system.
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Impulses are transmitted between neurons (nerves) at synapses, junctions where neurotransmitters are released that inhibit or excite other neurons to achieve different responses.Twin/family studies are useful for investigating the heritability of behaviour.For instance, research can investigate the likelihood that both of two twins develop a characteristic, known as a concordance rate.Weaknesses - The approach is considered reductionist; complex behaviour, thoughts and emotions are all equally explained by low-level biological mechanisms such as biochemicals and nerve impulses.- Biology alone has been unable to explain the phenomenon of consciousness.The genotype describes the genetic configuration of an individual, whereas phenotype describes the effects of genetic makeup and surrounding environment on behaviour.The nature-nurture debate highlights a key argument in psychology, over the relative influence of biology and environment on the characteristics of an individual; an extreme biological approach assumes that these are determined solely by nature.- An extreme biological approach does not account for the wide base of evidence that points to the influence of our environment (e.g. Join 1000s of fellow Psychology teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Psychology team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.You can also follow @tutor2u Psych on Twitter, subscribe to our You Tube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.Drug therapy – behaviour can be manipulated by altering an individual’s biochemistry, a research method that can ultimately lead to developing drug applications to improve health and wellbeing.Initial phases of research are usually conducted on non-humans.