Biological Psychology

What are the core assumptions of the biopsychological approach?

Biopsychology or biological psychology is a branch of psychology that considers the influence of the central nervous system and the neurotransmitters on behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of individuals. Biopsychology then assumes that every behavior, thought, or feeling expressed by an individual follows some physical events that have occurred in the brain (Crider, 1989). The assumption is that the health and general well-being of an individual is determined by the interaction between biological, psychological, and social factors surrounding the individual.

What historical disciplines converge to create biological psychology?

Biological psychology is synonymous with other terms like psychobiology, physiological psychology, and behavioral neuroscience (Kalat, 2008, p.2). All these terms suggest the disciplines from which this field of study is derived. It incorporates biology into the study of psychology. Subfields of biology, like human anatomy and physiology, are of particular significance here. Moreover, social factors surrounding an individual also affect behavior, and as such, the discipline has roots in sociology. While neuroscience concentrates on the study of the brain and the nervous system, it draws from anatomy and Chemistry – another historical discipline.

What are some of the earliest examples of a biological approach to studying behavior?

Scientists have been concerned with the study of not only human behavior but the behavior of other organisms as well. One of the early biological approaches to human behavior is evolutionary biology attributed to Charles Darwin (1859) (McLeod, 2007). Darwin was the first to put forth the idea that genetics and evolution affected human behavior through the principles of natural selection.

According to this approach, most of the human behaviors have evolutionary functions passed on to new generations (McLeod 2007). The other earlier approach is cognitive psychology, though the term has been adopted in the contemporary scholarly world. This is traced to the late 19th century when scientists began to assess the relationship between memory, sensation, and physiological processes of the brain (McLeod, 2007).

What are some examples of modern careers that have resulted from studying biological psychology? Include an overview of the careers

Biopsychology resulted in more disciplines in medicine and psychology. It has led to advances in the ability of scientists to explore and have a thorough knowledge of the human brain. One of the modern careers is psychopharmacology, which studies how drugs affect brain chemistry and the mental processes in an individual (Anonymous, 2011, p.1). Another example is cognitive neuroscience. This involves an application of research and modern brain imaging tools, like fMRI scans and PET scans, to examine the brain under different conditions in order to have a better insight into these mental processes (Anonymous, 2011, p.2). Scientists are now capable of examining the brain through techniques and procedures that were not available before.

How is biological psychology viewed by other professionals in psychology today?

Biological psychology is gaining its popularity among professionals in all corners of psychology. Biopsychology is based on the fundamental fact that human beings are animals and have undergone an evolution, just like other organisms (Rivers, 2011).

Now, this is the same foundation for other subfields like evolutionary psychology and eco-psychology. The professionals in such fields have acknowledged the fact that the human ‘psyche’ has biological roots, and other factors encountered after birth are less inferior ( Rivers, 2011). It is generally accepted that biopsychology is appropriate in examining and explaining how human beings are similar to animals and how they differ despite having similar origins (Rivers, 2011).


Anonymous. (2011). Areas of Study within Biopsychology and Some Related Disciplines. Web.

Crider, A. (1989). Psychology. Third edition. PA: Pennsylvania State University.

Kalat, J. (2008). Biological Psychology. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.

McLeod, S. (2007). Psychology perspectives. Simply Psychology. Web.

Rivers, C. (2011). Understanding the biological view of modern psychology. Web.