Explain how principles that define the biological level of analysis may be demonstrated in research. (8)

Explain (8) – Detailed account including reasons or causes.

Principle 1 – Behaviour can be innate because it is genetically based.

Evolution theory

Money – Sex Change Case Study (Genetics)
[A] Prove that nurture determined gender identity, not nature.
  • Longitudinal study on David Reimer.
  • David Reimer was a boy who lost his penis while a circumcision accident.
  • Money suggested David’s parents to give him a sex change.
  • He did not reveal his true motive was to prove that nurture determines gender identity, not nature.
  • When David grew up, he displayed masculine behaviour.
  • Causing problems in school with his peers.
  • Proves the psychosexual development is determined by chromosomes and hormones.
  • Ethical guidelines: Unethical
  • A lot of deception and uninformed consent.
  • No protection from physical and mental harm.
  • No rights of withdrawal.
  • Milton Diamond was not convinced, he examined the role of hormones on the developing fetus.
  • Suggesting that psychosexual development is not determined by genitalia or upbringing, but rather chromosomes and hormones.

Principle 2 – Animal research can provide insight into human behaviour.

Seligman – Learned Helplessness Dog Study (Depression)
[A] Prove that Learned Helplessness can lead to depression.
  • A dog was trapped in an enclosed area where the floor was lined with electrodes.
  • The experimenter would activate the electrode once in a while.
  • The dog would jump over a low wall to the other side of the enclosed area where no electrodes were on the floor.
  • The experimenter raised the wall slowly until it was too high for the dog to jump over.
  • Then after a few trials, the experimenter lowered the wall again.
  • The dog gave the high wall a few attempts.
  • But after knowing that it is impossible to jump across, the dog gave up and let itself get electrocuted.
  • When the walls were lowered again, the dog did not attempt to jump across.
  • The dog learnt that he is incapable of jumping across.
  • Learn that its are helpless therefore lowering its self esteem.
  • Low in ecological validity, lab experiment.
  • Controlled, no confounding variable.
  • Animal experiment can provide insight into human behaviour.
  • Unethical, participants did not have rights to withdraw.
  • Induced fear and depression into participants.

Principle 3 – There is a biological correlation to behaviour.

Kasamatsu & Hirai – Monk Serotonin Study (Serotonin)
[A] Investigate how sensory deprivation affects the brain.
  • Studied a group of Monks on a 72 hour pilgrimage to a mountain.
  • The Monks were not allowed to speak, eat or drink.
  • They were exposed to cold late autumn weather.
  • After 48 hours, the Monks started seeing hallucinations of ancestors and feeling their presence.
  • Researchers took blood samples before and after their pilgrimage.
  • The found increased level of serotonin in the Monks’ brain.
  • Especially in the Hypothalamus and Frontal Cortex.
  • Resulting in hallucination.
  • Sensory deprivation triggered the release of Serotonin.
  • Serotonin – responsible for Sleep, Arousal level, and Emotions.