The biological approach focuses on both the physiological and evolutionary aspects which explain human behaviour.
The causal level of analysis incorporates physiological explanations, such as the effect of nerves and hormones on behaviour. According to biological psychologists, behaviour is controlled by the nervous system, which consists of the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (the surrounding nerves), which itself includes the autonomic nervous system that controls automatic processes such as heart rate and the fight or flight syndrome. Within the central nervous system, …show more content…
A more famous example is the HM case study, in which an operation on his brain, in order to treat severe epilepsy, resulted in anterograde amnesia. The removal of HM’s hippocampus was therefore linked to his amnesia upon recovery, where he could not form new memories.
Chromosomes are made up of genes which produce a phenotype, dominant or recessive. Abnormalities in chromosomes have been found through biological research. For example, Kleinfelter’s syndrome and Turner’s syndrome both comprise an atypical chromosomal pattern which, in turn, produces abnormal behaviour. Male individuals with Kleinfelter’s syndrome have the XXY chromosomal pattern, in which they possess an extra X chromosome; symptoms include broader hips and reduced fertility rates. Turner’s syndrome involves the absence of an X chromosome in females, resulting in webbed necks and memory deficits. Furthermore, criminal research has found an incidence rate of 0.1% XYY pattern in the general population, with 1.5% XYY in the prison population, suggesting that atypical chromosomal patterns cause criminal behaviour. Yet, further studies have failed to confirm this link; Wilkin et al (1976) found that only 12 men in a large sample of 4500 males had the extra Y chromosome, with none being an offender. This theory was consequently refuted. The biological approach as provided a lot of evidence for the biological basis of behaviour, yet it tends to be deterministic, seeing free will as