Key Features Of The Biological And Psychoanalytic Approach In Psychology

1123 Words5 Pages
What are the core assumptions and key features of the biological and psychoanalytic perspectives in psychology? In what ways are they similar and how do they differ? The biological approach focuses on the physiological causes of behaviour based on genetics, brain physiology and biochemistry. This approach also adopts the view that biology is adapted based on the environment an organism is in and therefore most behaviours serve an evolutionary purpose. Research is gained through a nomothetic approach that uses scientific methods. The psychoanalytical approach focuses on instincts, childhood experiences and the unconscious mind as motivators for behaviour. An idiographic approach is adopted from the case studies Freud used to develop his theory, however, Freud also attempted to apply general laws of behaviour using a nomothetic approach. There are several similarities within the two approaches: they both draw on nature and nature, are deterministic, materialistic and internal approaches. Additionally, both have practical applications in modern life. However, some differences between the two are that the biological approach accounts for external forces as well as internal whilst psychodynamic does not. The psychodynamic approach places greater emphasis on unobservable forces unlike the biological approach that primarily looks at observable structures – although often in animals rather than humans. The biological approach studies behaviour using a nomothetic method. Of all
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