To what extent does the biological level of analysis explain behaviour?

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BIOLOGICAL LEVEL OF ANAYLSIS                                 

To what extent does the biological level of analysis explain behaviour?

The human species’ behaviour is a complex item of study. Researchers spend vast amounts of time and capital to find out more about what defines our own behaviour and us. The environment around us, some researchers claim, play an important role in explaining our own behaviour. Hormones, a chemical produced in our body, also play a factor in strongly influencing our own actions. And yet perhaps our “chemical messengers,” otherwise known as neurotransmitters, help us rationalize our own behaviour. All three definitely do affect us, but to what extent does it explain? Can we fully explain our own behaviour with knowledge in these three areas? I firmly think that the biological level of analysis explains behaviour to only a certain extent. Hormones, the environment, and interactions between cognition and physiology impact on how we humans behave in society; yet, there are many certain behaviors that modern research have yet to explain.

        One example of chemicals that affect our functioning is hormones. Hormones “are another class of chemicals that affect behaviour.” (Crane & Hannibal, 2009) They are produced by glands and enter directly into the bloodstream, a difference from neurotransmitters. An example of a hormone is Oxytocin, otherwise known as “the love drug.” Oxytocin which is produced by the hypothalamus, is according to Crane & Hannibal (2009) responsible got inducing lactation and labour contractions. It is released when people hug each other and more in general, specific touching which is pleasurable to the both parties. Yet, does the level of oxytocin in the body affect human behaviour at all? A recent study conducted by Dr. Feldman of Bar-Llan University in 2008 suggested that the amount of oxytocin in the body does affect human behaviour. In his study (2008), he found out that women who had higher levels of oxytocin bonded better with their newly-born babies rather then those who had lower levels of oxytocin. However, a weakness in the data is that his findings were qualitative, due to the nature of his study. Thus, it has his bias and his perception in the data. Yet, his evidence suggests that indeed a higher level of oxytocin does have an impact on love behaviour, which furthermore infers that hormones do have an impact on the human mind and its actions.

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        Another hormone that is extensively studied as to find the connections between biological processes and human behaviour is the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound that is found in many species on our Earth. The production of this hormone occurs with perceived darkness and yet is inhibited by the presence of light (Crane & Hannibal, 2009), and is most commonly associated with helping to regulate sleep cycles (Beck, 2010). Yet, according to researchers of hormones, it also has mixed properties; among some species increased levels of melatonin caused reduced aggression, while in others it increased aggression. An experiment ...

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