Core Assumptions

1570 words 7 pages
What are the core assumptions and key features of the biological and psychoanalytic perspectives in psychology? In what ways are they similar and how do they differ?
When comparing the biological and psychoanalytic approach to psychology, you are able to see that they are different from one another. For example, the biological approach assumes that the mind and behaviour originate from the functioning of the body and that behaviour is driven by biological instincts. Whereas the psychoanalytic approach claims behaviour is driven by instincts such as the unconscious processes as well as the conflict between unconscious desires (pleasure and reality principle). Additionally, both approaches have a common feature of being reductionist,
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Furthermore, there is also the problem of lack of information. Some of the main evidence that support this theory involves correlations amongst childhood experiences and adult personality. Conversely, the correlations do not prove the causes and therefore are unable to show that childhood experiences are the cause of certain types of adult personality (Eysenck, 2000).
Both perspectives try to explain behaviour and therefore have some similarities and differences. A similarity between the two perspectives is determinism. An example of this in the biological perspective is the claim that individuals with low serotonin levels develop depression when actually many develop no symptoms of depression at all. Just like the biological perspective, the psychoanalytic proposes that traumatic experiences in early childhood will lead to problems in later life when this is also not the case as some individuals may have experiences traumatic events but didn’t develop any problems such as phobias
Another similarity it that both approaches sit on the fence in terms of the nature versus nurture debate. The biological approach claims that certain traits and behaviours are determined by an individual’s genetic make-up and is governed by biology but also that the environment is needed in order to trigger of things that need to be used such as certain


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