The emergence of psychology as a logical progression has attempted to use science to answer some questions about human nature. Before the current approaches were adopted in understanding psychology, various schools existed all, which attempted to provide their own views relating to this phenomenon. Some of the early 19th century schools of thought in psychology include structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism and psychoanalysis. However, the schools have been modified to suit the current approaches, which are used in the understanding of psychology. These approaches include the biologi9cal approach behaviorist, cognitive, psychodynamic, and humanistic approach among others. This discussion will dwell much on biological approach by providing its strengths and weaknesses and how its use can relates to the other approaches (Eysenck, 2004).
As an important perspective in psychology, biological approach focuses much on the physical and biological development of an individual and the effect on human behavior. This approach is characteristically linked with neurology and genetics, which have been to play a part in shaping human conduct and behavior. The basis of this approach rests on the fact that human behavior is physiologically determined. Further to this, the approach takes into account the fact that various patterns of human behavior are based solely on genetics. The supportive evidence of this tenet is the fact that human beings have evolved over a long time, and they tend to show behavior that is affected by the environment (Bernstein, 2010). Proper utilization of this approach involves the study of the nervous system, the brain and humoral systems, neurology and genetics. The most fascinating thing about this approach is the fact that other mammals can be used to study human behavior.
Any approach that is used in psychology has merits and demerits while it is being utilized in the study of human behavior. Some of the advantages of biological approach in the study of psychology are the use of strict scientific methodology. This results in the collection of reliable results compared to those obtained from other approaches. Further to this, the approach has proven to be useful especially in the utilization of practical interventions when dealing with psychological problems (Sargent et al 2009). Some of the interventions include the use of drugs and other surgical procedures for drugs that affect the brain. Other strengths of this approach include the fact that most empirical studies are used to support this approach. This shows that it can be proven to be workable. This approach has also enhanced the development of comparative psychology, a field that tries to compare various behaviors as exhibited by various individuals (Eysenck, 2004).
This approach however, has a number of weaknesses. Most of the experiments that are carried out while using this approach have been shown to have little relevance when compared to the ecology being administered. This approach is too humanistic when it tries to conclude everything with the use of experiments. It is therefore, rigid and restrictive. This approach is also for its inability to recognize cognitive processes that occur within an individual being studied. The theory is also reductionist in the sense that it oversimplifies and underrates the systems that are usually complex in nature. This is best illustrated when conclusions are made in the sense that considers a single hormone to be responsible for a certain behavior. This however, may not be the case because the behavior in question may occur as a result of an interplay of many hormones (Bernstein, 2010).
This approach has widened the scope of my understanding of behavior. This is because of the fact that I have come to realize that the behavior that I show or people see in me is biologically determined. The role of genetics is a clear indication that I may have inherited some behavioral traits form my parents or from the environment. Additionally, the approach has enabled me to understand the fact that hormones play a role in the determination of behavior of an individual.
Bernstein, D. (2010). Essentials of Psychology. Cengage Learning
Eysenck, M. (2004). Psychology: An International Perspective. Taylor & Francis
Sargent, G., Bormanis, M., Campara, J. & Niklaus, K. (2009). Uncovering psychology:
Workbook. Cambridge University Press