The genotype describes the genetic configuration of an individual, whereas phenotype describes the effects of genetic makeup and surrounding environment on behaviour.
The nature-nurture debate highlights a key argument in psychology, over the relative influence of biology and environment on the characteristics of an individual; an extreme biological approach assumes that these are determined solely by nature.
Drug therapy – behaviour can be manipulated by altering an individual’s biochemistry, a research method that can ultimately lead to developing drug applications to improve health and wellbeing.
Initial phases of research are usually conducted on non-humans.
For example, cortisol and adrenaline are key hormones that facilitate the fight or flight response, a key evolutionary survival mechanism whereby the body primes itself for imminent danger (e.g.
increasing heart rate, initiating sweating to cool down, dilation of pupils, sharpened sense of hearing).
- An extreme biological approach does not account for the wide base of evidence that points to the influence of our environment (e.g. Join 1000s of fellow Psychology teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Psychology team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.
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Neurochemical imbalances in the brain are often associated with abnormal behaviour – for instance, evidence suggests that imbalances of dopamine (a neurochemical linked with the brain’s natural ‘pleasure’ system) are associated with mood disorders such as depression.
The endocrine system is a slower-acting communication system that regulates the circulation of hormones, released by glands into the bloodstream.