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The biological perspective.

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Q1. Explain to the extent to which free will and determinism are integral to the biological perspective: Determinism is the belief that our behaviour is due to external or internal factors acting upon an individual. Free will is any act that is free from any other impulses. The key assumptions of the biological perspective are that we have an innate disposition and that the environment influences our behaviour. This means both free will and determinism are integral to the biological perspective. Learning is very deterministic and this is explored in the biological perspective through neurology. The chemical processes that occur in our mind are thought cause our behaviour. Experience modifies behaviour be altering the underlying biological structures and processes (Zimbardo and Weber, 1994). Learning is the permanent change in the number of connections or the strength of connections between nerve cells. This means that what we learn and our behaviour due to experience is determined in a strong way through external influences. ...read more.


It implies that all behaviour is uncaused or random and this is unacceptable for the science of psychology, as science tries to find the route and cause behind everything. In physiology choices are not simply based on circumstance. There is also a part of the biological perspective that is not related to determinism. The physiological perspective tries to predict and learn how to control our behaviour to an extent. Determinism looks back to the causes of the present states and not forward to the consequences. There are ethical reasons why complete determinism is not integral to the physiology. If it were true we would have no choice over our behaviour or life. Where as with free will we still remain accountable and responsible for our actions. Determinism states that all events are caused. The physiological perspective tries to predict, explain and control behaviour. This means determinism is key to the perspective and its theories. However, determinism cannot be falsified as it is almost infallible meaning that free will cannot be proven or accredited deservedly. ...read more.


b) Scientific experiment has a number of benefits when studying behaviour. The results obtained are quantitative meaning that experiments can be repeated and compared to test their reliability and validity. As the study was carried out under controlled laboratory conditions using a number of different scans it is also reliable. Ethical standards can be observed and checked upon which is a good advantage. However, they do not observe the natural world the results obtained may not be generalisable as they could be different in real life. Quantitative data allows graphs to be drawn and this allows trends to be found. However, it does not explain what the figures man; what we deduce from the data we do not know to be true. The Raine et al study does not explain cause and affect; the chemical imbalance could be due to violent behaviour or it could be the other way around. The correlation between process and behaviour is not explained by the scientific experiment. The results found could also be due to a number of psychological illnesses which give similar readings of chemical imbalance in the brain so the trend could be coincidence. ...read more.

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