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The Biological Level of Analysis Study Guide

For each of the following learning objectives, include two studies that you could use to answer the question, and then take any notes on what
would be key things that you would address in writing your response. For questions in red, they may only be asked as SAQs on the exam.
Learning Objective
(8) Outline principles that define the biological
level of analysis
(8) Explain how principles that define the
biological level of analysis may be demonstrated
in research

Studies and strategies


1.
2.
3.
1.
2.
3.

There are biological correlates of behaviour


Animal research can provide insight into human behaviour
Human behaviour is, to some extent, genetically based
There are biological correlates of behaviour Kasamatsu & Hirai (1999)
Animal research can provide insight into human behaviour Rosenzweig and Bennet (1972)
Human behaviour is, to some extent, genetically based Bouchard et al. (1990)

The Biological Level of Analysis Study Guide


Learning Objective
(22) Discuss how and why particular research
methods are used at the biological level of
analysis

Studies and strategies

Experiments
Case Studies
Surveys/Questionnaires
Correlational Studies
Observational Studies
Interviews

ECOISC Emil Called So Come Over Immediately


Mention bias in research (researcher and observer) and triangulation
Common aim of obtaining info on MPs used to acquire, store, retrieve and apply knowledge
Strengths of Experiments
Can be repeated, results tend to be more reliable
Controlled environment, removes confounding variable
Lab/Quasi (uncontrollable IV) /Field experiments
Isolation of IV and DV give a clear cause and effect relationship
Can always be generalised to a certain extent
Data easily measured
Weaknesses of Experiments
Lab environment, low in ecological validity
Lower generalizing potential
Rosenzweig and Bennet (1972)
Strengths of Case Studies
Unique studies that would otherwise be unethical to do
Combination of RMs
Less likelihood to break ethical guidelines
Insight into certain areas of psychology that would otherwise be difficult to study
Weaknesses of Case Studies
Low potential to generalise
Since it cannot be repeated, results might be unreliable
Milner and Scoville - H.M. (1957)

The Biological Level of Analysis Study Guide


Learning Objective

Studies and strategies

(22) Discuss ethical considerations related to


research studies at the biological level of
analysis

Protection of participants
Deception
Consent (informed)
Withdraw (right to)
Debriefing
Confidentiality
Please Dust & Clean With Due Caution

(8) Explain one study related to localization of


function in the brain

Milner H.M. (1957)

Milner H.M. (1957) + Rosenzweig and Bennet (1972)

(8) Using one or more examples, explain the


effects of neurotransmission on human
behaviour

Neurotransmitter:
Chemical messenger that allows communication between nerve cells.
Receptor sites that can only take in specific electrochemical.
Travels from the Pre-Synaptic neuron through the Synapses to the Post-Synaptic neuron.
Serotonin
Produced in Pineal Gland.
Responsible for Emotion, Sleep, Mental wellbeing (Happiness)/ Depression
Kasamatsu & Hirai (1999)
Acetylcholine
Plays a role in memory formation

(8) Using one or more examples, explain


functions of two hormones in human behaviour

Martinez and Kesner (1991)


Melatonin: Produced in the Pineal Gland.
Regulates sleep-wake cycle, pubertal development and seasonal adaption.
More Melatonin is released when there is no sun, causing drowsiness
Light received by the optical nerve sends a signal to the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN).
SCN sends information to parts of the body including Pineal Gland, modulating hormone levels
Rosenthal Melatonin study
Testosterone: Produced in male Testes Gland and female Ovary Gland.
10 times more Testosterone produced in adult male than female.
Development and emotion in puberty.
Voice deepening, sperm and muscle development.
Increase in aggression, dominance and sexual behaviour.
Dabbs et al Testosterone and Aggression Correlation study

The Biological Level of Analysis Study Guide


Learning Objective

Studies and strategies

(22) Discuss two effects of the environment on


physiological processes

Effect 1 - Environmental effects on brain plasticity


Rosenzweig and Bennet (1972)
Effect 2 Environmental stressors and hippocampal damage in PTSD patients
Bremner et al. (2003)
This essay will attempt to uncover the assumptions and interrelationships of the interaction between
cognition and physiology in terms of amnesia.

(22) Examine one interaction between cognition


and physiology in terms of behavior. Evaluate
two relevant studies

State its physiological basis


Amnesia interacts directly with physiology because it is basically caused by damage in
the hippocampi region of the brain.
Therefore state its cognitive basis
Therefore, the physiological effects of amnesia are what influences or affects cognition,
particularly the mental process of memory.
Introduce Studies
Studies demonstrating damage in the brain causing memory impairment illustrating the
interaction between the two factors will be examined, including evaluation of some of the
major cases.

Milner and Scoville - HM (1957)


Sacks Clive Wearing (2007)
http://ibguides.com/psychology/notes/examine-one-interaction-between-cognition-and-physiology-interms-of-behaviour
(22) Discuss the use of brain imaging
technologies in investigating the relationship
between biological factors and behavior

PET: Positron Emission Topography


MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
fMRI: functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
EEG: Electroencephalogram
CAT: Computerised Axial Tomography

In the following essay, the brain imaging technologies that will be discussed are MRI & PET, which will
be investigated in terms of their role in investigating the relationships between bio factors and behavior.
MRI +/- http://ibguides.com/img/notes/ib_guides_notes_510e8ff4d5ca7.png
HM Case: MRI by Corkin et al. (1997)
PET+/- http://ibguides.com/img/notes/ib_guides_notes_510e91faa4ada.png
Mosconi Alzheimer longitudinal study

The Biological Level of Analysis Study Guide


Learning Objective

Studies and strategies

(22) With reference to relevant research studies,


to what extent does genetic inheritance influence
behavior?

This essay will attempt to consider the merits or otherwise of the influence of genetic inheritance on
behaviour.
Outline the overarching principle
Describe genetics and the importance of research into genetics
Type of studies used in genetic research (twin, adoption, family)
Examples of studies into the influence of genetics on behaviour are...

(22) Examine one evolutionary explanation of


behavior

Bouchard et al. (1990)


Bouchard and McGue (1981)
This response will attempt to uncover the assumptions and interrelationships of the evolutionary
explanation for emotion, in particular, disgust.
Define evolution (Evolution is the changing in the inherited traits of a species over time.)
Define Theory of Evolution (Darwin, survival, natural selection, etc)
Explain the principles of evolution with behaviour; make a link to the question
If behaviour exists in humans today, then it has in the past helped in survival/ reproduction.

(22) Discuss ethical considerations in research


into genetic influences on behavior

Fessler et al. (2005) Disgust in pregnant women


Curtis et al. (2004) Tested whether there were patterns in disgust responses via an online survey
Ethical considerations in research into genetic influences on behaviour include:

revelations of carrying genes for genetic conditions


informed consent for genetic research
confidentiality of participants
stigmatization of individuals on basis of knowledge of genetic conditions

fuck this I have no studies for this fuck this shit I give up

The Biological Level of Analysis Study Guide


Command terms
The following command terms are the only ones that may be used for Paper I SAQ questions: Define, Describe, Outline, State, Analyse,
Distinguish, Explain
Essay questions will use the following command terms: Analyse, Distinguish, Explain, Compare and contrast, Discuss, Evaluate, Examine, To
what extent?
Definitions of command terms:
Analyse: Indicate the relevant inter-relationships between key variables and any relevant principles upon which the theory/research is based.
Discuss: A considered review or balanced discussion of a particular topic.
Distinguish: Asks candidates to demonstrate a clear understanding of similar terms.
Evaluate: Candidates should weigh the nature of the evidence available, and identify and discuss the convincing aspects of the argument, as
well as its limitations and implications.
Examine: Asks candidates to investigate an argument or concept and present their own analysis. Candidates should approach the question in a
critical and detailed way that uncovers the assumptions and interrelationships of the issue.
Explain: Asks candidates to describe clearly, make intelligible and give reasons for a concept, process, relationship or development.
Outline: Give a brief account or summary.
To what extent?: Asks candidates to evaluate the success or otherwise of one argument or concept over another. Candidates should present a
conclusion, supported by arguments.