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Psychological Approaches - A Comparison

4. The Biological Approach

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In this lecture, we think about the biological approach, focusing in particular on: (i) the non-specific origins of the approach, rooted in Willis and Gall’s research associating physical brain structures with behaviour; (ii) the nature-nurture interaction and the resultant root of all behaviour being in biology; (iii) the approach’s strengths, including its keen interaction with modern medicine; (iv) the weaknesses of the approach, including the expansive knowledge gap between our understanding of individual neuron function and the workings of large neural networks, as well as the potential lack of usability of this knowledge in psychology, when compared to models of thinking that are more relevant to therapeutic interventions.


In this course, Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya (University of Birmingham) explores the five main psychological approaches. In the first lecture, we think about the psychodynamic approach and its famous founder, Sigmund Freud. In the second lecture, we consider the behavioural approach and its overt focus on observable phenomena. In the third lecture, we think about the cognitive approach and its views of human consciousness as abstract. Next, we consider the biological approach and its tight integration with modern medicine. In the fifth lecture, we think about the humanistic approach and its ubiquitous presence in modern therapeutic interventions throughout the Western world. In the sixth and final lecture, we consider how these approaches interact and overlap.


Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Dr Bouguettaya’s research interests are in social psychology and how knowledge from that field can be applied to others, particularly health, including how we can apply social identity theory to societal problems, as well as investigating the different perspectives one might take on those issues. Some of Dr Bouguettaya’s recent publications include 'The relationship between gambling advertising and gambling attitudes, intentions and behaviours: a critical and meta-analytic review' (2020) and 'The Effect of a Food Addiction Explanation Model for Weight Control and Obesity on Weight Stigma' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bouguettaya, A. (2022, March 07). Psychological Approaches - A Comparison - The Biological Approach [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bouguettaya, A. "Psychological Approaches - A Comparison – The Biological Approach." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Mar 2022,

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