Biological Approach

This section explores biological explanations in psychology, known as the biological approach. We'll look at the structure and functions of the brain, how biological approaches explain illnesses and more...

Did you know?

The idea that we only use 10% of our brains is a myth: it originated from either an advertisement or misleading interpretation of neurological research in the late 19th or early 20th century. We actually use our entire brains, but the myth was perpetuated by 'psychics' who claimed that we could tap in to the other functions of the brain in order to enjoy abilities such as Extra-Sensory Perception.

Key Facts:

  • The adult human brain usually weighs about 1 - 1.5 kg in an average volume of 1,600 cm³.
  • It consumes about 20% of the energy used by the body. (In infants, it consumes about 60%). This generates a lot of heat, which must be removed to prevent damage.
  • At birth, the human skull is rather soft, and it deforms somewhat during its passage through the birth canal, then recovers its shape. This allows it to expand to make room for the brain, which continues to grow, at the same rate as that of an unborn fetus, for an additional year. In all other animals, the growth rate of the brain slows significantly at birth. Source


The Biological Approach

Read an outline and evaluation of the biological approach in psychology: Introduction to Biological Approach


Explaining behavior, the biological way:
Brain ExplorerBrain Explorer

Discover what each part of your brain does and how it functions with the new interactive Brain Explorer on Psychologist World. Try it here

Debating the Biological Approach

Can 'brain chemistry' explain our behavior?


Treating Disorders with the Biological Approach:
Neurological Disorders


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