The Importance of Biology to Psychology
While it is true that the field of psychology is centered on the understanding the behavior and way of thinking of a particular individual, psychologists do not merely rely on the knowledge acquired from this branch of science in order to grasp the full understanding of the human psyche. In fact, psychologists would need to delve into understanding other branches or fields of science for this to be possible. One particular field of science that psychologists would need to pay particular close attention to is the field of biology.
This paper would look into the importance of the understanding of biology to the study of psychology. The paper would present the scope of biology and psychology as well as the relevance between these two fields of sciences.
Importance of Biology to the Study of Psychology
Biology has been defined as the field or branch of science that deals with the study of living organisms, including human beings (Haldane 1931). On the other hand, the field of psychology looks into the study of the workings of the human brain and how it affects the behavioral patterns of individuals towards a particular situation and within a particular society (Henley & Johnson 1990).
One of the primary reasons for the interest of psychologist into the branch of biology is that the field of biology was primarily due to the fact that certain behaviors and attitudes may be passed on from one individual to another through genetics. In fact, in a critical review conducted by Freese, Li and Wade (2003) on two studies previously conducted, it had been determined by the authors that the principles and concepts dealt by biology is central to these articles which aimed to comprehend and understand the behavior and attitudes of certain individuals, which in turn, are the primary concerns dealt in the study of psychology. Based on their analysis, they have determined that while various forms of behavior and attitudes may vary among individuals, there remains to be core similarities. The differences in how these certain behaviors and attitudes are expressed and when they are expressed is primarily due to the evolution process which occurs from one generation to another generation. These fundamentals of the evolution process were closely based on Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is one of the foundational theories in the study of biology.
Another reason why psychologists view the study of biology, and even physics, important in relation to the study of psychology is that biology and physics are branches of science that utilize system frameworks in order to provide objective results and conclusions in the various studies conducted. Most, if not all of the frameworks utilized in the study of psychology have been viewed by scientists to be partial, unclear and prone to subjectivity and biases. Since the study of biology is closely related to the study of psychology in that these two sciences look into the study of living organisms, the system frameworks utilized in the field of biology have been found to be applicable for the studies and researches conducted by psychologists in order to provide more objective and factual results in the various studies conducted (Mayer 1998).
The study of biology and psychology are both branches of science that study living organisms. Psychologists have recognized the importance of biology to the field of psychology not only by providing concepts and principles which could provide a sense of understanding to the different kinds of behavior and attitudes exhibited by individuals within a particular setting. Since biology is considered a life science and utilize a number of various frameworks in order to provide objective, factual and unbiased studies, psychologists are able to utilize these frameworks to achieve the same results. This is to minimize the events for subjective data to be collated which have caused many scientists to view psychology not really as a definitive branch of science.
Freese, J., Li, J. C. A. & Wade, L. D. (2003). The potential relevance of biology to social inquiry. Annual review of sociology, 29, 233.
Haldane, J. S. (1931). The philosophical basis of biology: Donnellan Lectures, University of Dublin, 1930. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Henley, T. B. & Johnson, M. G. (1990). Reflections on the principles of psychology: William James after a century. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Mayer, J. D. (1998). A systems framework for the field of psychology. Psychological inquiry, 9(2), 118-45.