Evidence Based Essay on Behavioural and Biological Paradigms (2500 words)

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Write an evidence-based essay comparing and contrasting the perspectives of the behavioural and biological paradigms in relation to understanding or treating a psychological phenomenon of interest to you. Be sure to critique both paradigms in the course of the assignment. Word count: 2,500. Please note, your chosen behaviour need not be a disorder, nor a disorder formally categorised in the DSM, nonetheless you should be able to find relevant research and/or theory, or be able to apply biological and behavioural principles to it. The assignment requires you to make several choices, search through relevant literature, and investigate in some depth an area of interest to you. You need something where both biological and behavioural psychology have been used, or can be applied. Some areas like depression, anxiety/phobias, obesity both are relatively well established in terms of both aetiology and treatment Others might tend towards more aetiology – addictions, sexual behaviour Some potential topics include – depression, anxiety disorders, human mate choice, sexual behaviours, behavioural addictions, substance use/abuse, eating behaviour, obesity, autism, ADHD, etc. The paradigms Big part of this assignment is showing you understand them, and being able to apply them For biological you can look at genetics, biochemistry, evolution etc – treatments might be surgery, drugs, endocrine etc For behavioural you are looking at operant (reinforcement, punishment, observational learning) or classical conditioning Steer clear of cognitive stuff, or be clear about a behavioural interpretation Briefly define the psychological phenomena of interest – including its diagnostic status in the DSM (if appropriate). Describe, using relevant research and theory, the aetiology (essentially the cause/explanation) OR treatment of your chosen phenomena in both biological and behavioural terms. In some cases there will be direct research/theory, in others you might need to borrow from related areas. Compare and contrast the two approaches – consider their relative advantages/disadvantages, and the personal and social issues/costs of the phenomena and the approaches to understanding/treating them. Consider any ethical issues (e.g., labelling, stigma, privacy, invasiveness of treatment, accountability etc) raised by the two approaches. LO 1 - Demonstrate knowledge of theoretical concepts associated with the behavioural and biological paradigms in psychology. Clearly discuss the concepts from the behavioural and biological paradigms that you invoke in explaining your chosen phenomenon i.e., outline basic learning principles (rft/pun/obs/cc – or all) required, or basics of evolutionary theory/neurotransmitter system etc… Use research findings to support your position, and demonstrate your ability to link theory and research. As earlier – some will be direct, some will be you drawing links from related areas LO 2 - Critically evaluate and compare the biological and behavioural paradigms in psychology. Discuss the limitations and strengths of each paradigm with respect to understanding/treating/changing the phenomenon you chose. Note their similarities and differences, and where they compliment, or are incongruent, with each other. NB. They are not mutually exclusive – different ‘levels’ of ‘explanation’ LO 3 - Examine the implications of theory for understanding personal and social experience. Examine how each approach can impact on understanding personal and social experience, including aspects of personal and social responsibility where appropriate. What are the key strengths, weaknesses and challenges associated with each? Consider the perspective of those experiencing the issue – how would you feel? LO 4 - Demonstrate awareness of ethical considerations in the research and practise of behavioural and biological psychology. Consider the ethical considerations and implications associated with adopting each approach in both research and practice. How good is the evidence? What are the implications of adopting each approach? LO 5 - Present work to the appropriate academic standard The standard is high – read articles. Use correct APA formatting and referencing throughout the essay. Ensure the work is yours – avoid plagiarism! Structure the essay carefully, ensure it is well organised. Use coherent and grammatical sentences and paragraphs to clearly develop your arguments Ensure your ideas and arguments are developed and flow logically. Explicitly link theory and research to provide strong and well-developed arguments. Don’t need separate sections for each learning outcome Concise introduction and conclusion – stress main points at end – don’t dilute by trying to cover everything Both depth and breadth are acceptable – simply outline why you have taken a narrower focus Both approaches have equal weight – can take a development and/or a treatment/change approach References Avoid websites – by all means look at Wikipedia, but do not reference it For any others you might use for opinions, be aware of their bias/position Avoid the likes of Robbins, Gray etc etc… This is a research literature review – researchers do not publish their research via websites, blogs, etc etc – they use ‘peer-reviewed’ academic journals Integrate and critically discuss the ‘research’ and form your own conclusions! Note: A few people in my lecture have been asking about CBT type treatments. If you cannot find an explicitly behavioural treatment, then with CBT type interventions you can explicitly focus on the elements there that target behaviours. Essentially that's what differentiates a CT from a BT cogntive treatments focus on cognitions and argue they're central (CBT focuses on both cognitions and behaviours but argues cognitions are central) whereas behavioural therapies focus on behaviours and argue they are central. The Jacobson papers (and many others you can find) argue on the basis of pretty good evidence that in many cases it remains that it's the behavioural components are are the important, or active ingredient if you like. Although the Jacobson work is about depression, it could be relevant in other areas.
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Explanation & Answer


Topic: Behavioral and Biological Paradigm in relation to Depression
Parts Covered;

Thesis statement: In this context, the analysis will mainly be oriented at analyzing the
behavioral and biological paradigms that are associated with the treatment, causes, and
limitations of the phenomenon.


The Biological Paradigm


The Behavioral Paradigm






Behavioral and Biological Paradigm in relation to Depression
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Date of Submission


Depression is highly spreading in the global context. It is approximated that 4% of the
entire world population suffer from depression. Half of the people diagnosed with depression
receive treatment while the rest do not. Less priority has been given to depression because it has
been linked to normality of the people who have stress. Depression is caused by social,
psychological and biological factors (Ströhle, 2009). Depression treatment can either be achieved
through the psychotherapy session, medication and physical exercises and healthy lifestyle
habits. Although it is possible to avoid depression to some extent, it is inevitable to prevent
especially when it is attributed to biological factors. In this context, the analysis will mainly be
oriented at analyzing the behavioral and biological paradigms that are associated with the
treatment, causes, and limitations of the phenomenon.
The Biological Paradigm
Depending on the causes of depression, psychologists may develop different strategies to
treat depression. According to the biological paradigm, the model suggests that biological
disruptions can lead to abnormal behavior (Azzone, 2012). The natural process can either take
the form of genetic heredity, imbalances of the brain chemistry and the disordered development
of the brain structure. In this context, the application of the biological paradigm is highly
practical in different capacities. The biological approach suggests that depression is attributed to
low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
In the analysis of the causes of depression, the elements under consideration are the
psychological, social and biological features. Biological factors under consideration are the
neurology disruption and the hereditary genetic process, emotional processing and neural


circuits, altered neuroplasticity, inflammation and oxidation stress, large-scale brain network and
brain regions (Mann, 2013).
Depression can further be associated with abnormalities in the circadian rhythm. For
people in intense levels of depression, it is common that they will experience rapid eye
movement also known as sleep at the stage dreaming occurs. The rapid eye movement is inclined
to the decreased numbers of serotonin in the brain stem (Mann, 2013). The fact that one under
depression may experience difficulty in sleeping, prolonged levels of being awake activates the
serotonergic neurons. Both light therapy and sleep deprivation both have a similar target of brain
neurotransmitters and are therefore under application in the treatment process of depression
(Azzone, 2012).
Research holds that general inflammation, and the oxidation process plays a key role in
influencing depression. In a meta-analysis, a research study conducted discovered that
interferons are a major source of depression. Some of the elements that lead to inflammation and
oxidation process include traumatic activities, lack of sleep, obesity smoking and heavy intake of
alcohol (Ströhle, 2009). Furthermore, under the biological causes of stress, altered
neuroplasticity plays a key role in depression. The three phenomena’s converge in this case

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