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Explain the effectiveness of the biological perspective in explaining one psychological or social problem.

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Introduction

Alejandra Pe´┐Żaloza Explain the effectiveness of the biological perspective in explaining one psychological or social problem. (8 marks) The biological perspective tries to explain aggression as an evolutionary function, which is necessary for survival. Most of these theories are based on non-human animal experiments, extending the findings to humans. Lorenz, an ethologist, who was very influenced by Darwin's theories, studied animal behaviour in natural settings. With these studies he came to believe that aggression was an inherited mechanism, which was also found in humans, creating a deterministic and reductionistic theory. ...read more.

Middle

This process to reduce aggression levels was called catharsis. Lorenz's theory was very useful to understand animal behaviour with the sign stimuli, which was considered a great contribution; yet his theory lack s on human evidence as his findings are supported basically on non-human animal studies. Also the fact that it has not been found the human sign stimuli to cause aggression may suggest that aggression control mechanisms might be different to other species. ...read more.

Conclusion

With this he stated that aggressive responses were not only reflexes but cognitively mediated as well putting aside a deterministic theory. This theory, as it was tested on humans, has more evidence, which supports itself. This shows that eventhough the theories have reliable evidence, they still lack of human evidence, which means they can only give us an idea of what may cause an aggressive behaviour yet it cannot give us a full picture of what are the causes in humans. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate demonstrates a good knowledge of the biological approach to psychology and it's assumptions with regards to explaining aggression. The candidate was given free choice here and has made a good decision to go with the topic of aggression, ...

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Response to the question

The candidate demonstrates a good knowledge of the biological approach to psychology and it's assumptions with regards to explaining aggression. The candidate was given free choice here and has made a good decision to go with the topic of aggression, as it is a very frequently studied type of human behaviour, so there choice is appropriate, naturally encouraging a relevant focus on the question. There is every indication of a candidate working at a strong B grade for GCSE, as the candidates remains consistently focused and demonstrates fair analytical skills (a bit more variation in the disadvantages of biological studies would be good, especially seeing as there are many human-based biological aggression studies).

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is good, but as before, a bit more range to show the examiner a greater knowledge of how to analyse psychology effectively wouldn't go amiss. I recommend varying because limiting to only one evaluative point throughout the answer may cause the candidate's score to be lowered due to the examiner not getting a proper feel of whether of not the candidate possesses abilities to evaluate more than simply the animal-human transition, especially seeing as the biological approach has plenty of human-only alternatives (Bandura, Zimbardo). Other than that, the evaluation feels nicely balanced and controlled and the citations of other studies are all relevant to what they candidate has to say.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 04/09/2012

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