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Biological Psychology Worksheet

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Answer the following questions in short-essay format. Be prepared to discuss your answers.

1. What is biological psychology?
Biopsychology is the study of the biology of behavior. To make this more simply understood it is the psychology between the body and the brain. A good example of this is how the nervous system affects the way our body controls or reacts to certain things.

2. What is the historical development of biological psychology? The study of the biology of behavior has a long history, but biopsychology did not develop into a major neuroscientific discipline until the 20th century. Although it is not possible to specify the exact date of biopsychology’s birth, the publication of The Organization of Behavior in 1949 by D. O. Hebb played a key role in its emergence (Pinel, 2009).

3. Name one to three important theorists associated with biological psychology. Rene Descartes was a brilliant thinker, philosopher, scientist, physiologist, and early psychologist whose theory of mind-body connection has become an integral part of modern medicine (Goodwin, 2008). His dualist view, asserted the mind was ethereal and autonomous in relation to the physical and strictly material body, and to account for their interaction, he proposed the pineal gland was where the intersection of the two transpired (Goodwin, 2008). He theorized the mechanistic, reflexive nature of certain human behaviors, although his one caveat was that reasoning and thoughts were unique properties of the human soul (Wickens, 2005). Descartes’s work laid some of the fundamental parameters for modern thought in psychology, encouraged further research on the localization of brain function, and promoted further experimental research of the nervous system (Goodwin, 2008).

4. Describe the relationship between biological psychology and other fields in psychology and neuroscience. Because Biopsychology has to do with the body and the brain and how they react together it is only fair to say a biopsychologist would get his or her information from someone whose field is more in tune with certain parts of the body. Take for instance Neuroscience, Neuroscience deals with the nervous system and how the nerves control behavior. Biopsychology is part of that because it has to do with the relationship of the body and the brain. Biopsychologist take subject matter experts work and apply it to the psychology of the body and brain. That is not to say they do not do their own work. They just collaborate to get better information.

5. Describe the major underlying assumptions of a biopsychological approach. Mental events cause biological consequences, and biological events cause mental consequences (Wickens, 2005). Simply put, the things in our lives cause the brain to react to certain things that arise in our lives and mental events cause our bodies to react to those events. This can be cause from previous events or can develop new events based on the situation.


Goodwin, C.J. (2008). A History of Modern Psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Pinel, J. P. J. (2009). Biopsychology (7th ed.).

Wickens, A. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice- Hall.

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