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1.1 Explain the key differences between biological psychology and other psychological perspectives.


Unit code: CBA930

This workbook is designed to help you meet the assessment requirements for this Unit. This workbook contains a number of ways of assessing your knowledge about biological psychology including case studies and diagrams of different parts of the central nervous system. Please complete the entire workbook . You can download the electronic version of this workbook on Moodle and type your answers into the spaces provided.

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Unit Content

By the end of this Unit you should be able to:- Learning outcomes

1.1 Explain the key differences between biological psychology and other psychological perspectives.

2.1 Explain the structure and functions of the central nervous system including the autonomic division and localisation of functions from a psychological perspective.

3.1 Explain with examples, the relationship between biology and human behaviour eg stress or pain or emotion.

(Please refer to your assignment brief for more information about the assessment criteria)

How to complete this workbook

This workbook contains a series of diagrams, case study question(s) and examples of research into brain function and

behaviour. Please answer all questions (within the workbook where possible) as each response counts towards your final assessment. Please clearly label any supplementary sheets of paper that you use to write your answers to the questions.

ection One

Task One (AC 1.1)

Biological Psychology

Case Study

John finds it difficult to remember the names of the people that he meets but has a good memory for faces. The only time that he can remember both the names and faces of the people he meets is when he is in a relaxed social situation.

a.  Explain how a biological psychologist would explain John’s behaviour, making specific reference to the assumptions made in biological psychology? (100 words) (AC 1.1)

b.  Provide and explain three alternative reasons for John’s behavior. (100 words) (AC 1.1)

Write your answers about function here 

Task Two (AC 2.1)

The Central Nervous System

a.  Label the different sections of the brain and briefly describe the function of each section (AC 2.1)

Write your answers about function here

b.  Select one region of the brain and describe how someone’s behaviour might change if that part of the brain was damaged. Support your answer with reference to relevant research (350 words) (AC 2.1)

Write your answer here

c.  Below is a diagram of the brain and the spinal column. Please label the major subdivisions of the brain and the spinal cord and explain which function each section is responsible for (100 words) (AC 2.1)

Write your answers about function here 

d.  Below is a diagram of a nerve cell. Explain how a nerve cell communicates with other nerve cells in the Central

Nervous System (150 words) (AC 2.1)

Write your answers here

e.  Below is a diagram of the Central Nervous System including the somatic and autonomic divisions.  Explain how the

central nervous system regulates our experience of pain and other sensations. For example, you could consider how the Central Nervous System recognises that we have experienced pain from a fall.  (250 words) (AC 2.1, 3.1)

Write your answers to question 2(e) here

Task Three (AC 3.1)

Evaluation of Research Studies in Biological Psychology

Select one well known study in biological psychology and, using the grid below, describe the aim, hypothesis, procedure and the results of this research. (500 words) (AC 3.1)

Name of Study

Biological Psychology





What was the aim of this study? (AC 3.1)

The aim of this study it to prove that the brain controls specific Neurons functions also is the study the effect of hemisphere disconnection.

And to investigate the reaction of a severed brain. His findings also proved that when corpus callosum is damaged it can lead to epilepsy also the aim Was to test the role of Corpus Callosum communication between the two Hemisphere and to illustrate how the hemisphere functions differently with its own conscious awareness and memory.

What was the hypothesis of this study (AC 3.1)

The hypothesis in this study proves that when corpus callosum splits the two Hemisphere will disconnect resulting to a solution or can cure epilepsy. The corpus callosum connects to many fibers connected to the two halves of the brain and when damaged it can lead to epilepsy also it explains what the experiments attempting to achieve.

What was the Independent Variable & Dependent Variable (if any)? (AC 3.1)

The independent variable-He uses participant that had disconnected hemisphere before the research and to study the functions of the two sides of the brain.

Dependent variable-is the study of the participants and the responds or performance to the task.; Examples the participants with severed corpus callosum can only remember words they saw they saw with their right eyes using visual and tactile method.

What research method was used? (AC 3.1)

The method used was quasi experiment the split-brain patients do not have not undergone operation for the purpose of this experiment so these participants has already had the surgery because of their epilepsy.

Describe the sample and how it was gathered (AC 2.1; 3.1)

It was carried on 11 participants who had undergone surgery because of advanced epilepsy that couldn’t be controlled with medication.

 The first patients were a male who had his surgery over 5 years before the experiment was carried out. The second patients were a housewife in her 30s who had her surgery 4 years before the surgery

with epileptic who has already undergone surgery which is the cutting of the corpus callosum. The experiment was done on both male and female participant also not equal amount oof male and female. the other 9 patients had their surgery varying times but not long before the experiment he also took  advantage of the patients that were available to be studied.

Outline the procedure (AC 3.1)

the procedure- was a combination of both visual and tactile procedures.

Visual procedure -The image will be shown to the participant for 1/10th of a second to either side of his eyes with the other eye covered. To ensure that that the information will not be processed by the two hemispheres. the image to the left eye could be described in speech and writing while the information shown to the right eye could not be describe in speech or writing, the participant mostly points.

Tactile procedure- A participant hands hidden behind the screen were asked to find the object seen on the screen. The objects were placed in their hand without the participant begin able to to see what they are holding and then asked to point to what they are given.

Working with both hands the participant work with both hands out of sight. The participant was given two different objects in each hand and the object are taken away, they will be asked to find and name the object by touch from the pile of objects. It is noticed that when hemisphere is separated the seizures could be contained in one half of the brain causing less damage to the patients. patients were given eye patches and images where flashed up for a brief time (seconds) making it impossible for the patients to use the other visual field.

List the different conditions (if any were used in this study) (AC 3.1)

The difference in age-they were not of the same age and the experiment was performed individually.

1)The experiment was carried out in a laboratory.

2)All participants were given a visual and tactile task.

3) All participants have undergone a surgery or had split brain.

What controls were used by the researcher? (AC 3.1)

The same images were used on all participants to ensure all images and words are the same, participants were given the same task in both visual and tactile task and they were given the same length of time.

The timing was the same. To ensure that all participant was given the same length of time to be processed

The same experimenter was used and were also giving and shown the same task, things were kept the same for the participants so the same images and words are shown to all participants, these words has the same level of difficulty to identify.

List the findings of this study (AC 3.1)

finding shows that the corpus callosum connects the two hemisphere and is responsible for communication and passes information’s between the two hemispheres,

one side of the body id begin controlled by the opposite hemisphere. The right hemisphere controls the left right hemisphere while the left hemisphere takes information from the right. vice versa.it also shows that the left hemisphere is dominant for verbal processing and so they can say what they saw .


What were the conclusions of this study? (AC 3.1)

The study gave an insight to the idea that the brain is consist of two independent hemispheres. Each hemisphere with its own separate visual images also it shows that the left hemisphere is contained the speech, writing, reasoning center.

Split brain patients seem to have two different hemisphere each with its own memories while the right. Hemisphere has to do with creative visual, examples- picture symbols music, Sperry proved that the disconnection or separating of corpus callosum can reduce seizure. The left visual hemisphere can recognize and articulate languages why the right hemisphere cannot.

Evaluate how the following issues apply to this study.

  • Ethics-

The participant has the right to withdraw from the research and it was done with their consent e.g. the participant volunteered for the research, furthermore there was no bias, all participants were given the same task and it was deception. The research was not manipulated and it was conducted naturally which benefits humanity however the research was expensive.

  • Ecological Validity-

It has low ecological validity task is not realistic as in real life thereby making to hard to be applied on our day to day task.

  • Quantitative vs. qualitative data

Quantitative data-

Allows statistical a collection of data that provides information in the form of numbers and frequency that can be easily analyzed information gathered was regarded fairly and reliable.

Qualitative data-

The information was argued because the case loses reliability in terms of validity.

  • Reliability.

Individual differences were not taken into account before the experiment were performed making it the experiment reductionist, it was found that were consistent and it was carried out in a controlled environment with standard procedure

The findings have been supported by researchers that the two-hemisphere act individually it can also be easily repeated.

What do the findings of this study tell us about human behavior from a biological perspective? In your answer you should consider the strengths and weakness of the study that you have reviewed and consider whether it helps support the assumptions of the biological approach (AC 1.1;3.1)

The biological perspectives of the study explain that parts of the brain are responsible or specific to their functions and that the brain controls specific neurons –

The corpus callosum is a large band that connects to two hemispheres of the brain. Biologically it explains or gives and insight how the two hemisphere functions when severed and how the brain processes information. The biological perspectives also explain how the brain and other neurological pathways influences behavior evolution and nature


The participants were epileptic and they did not represent the normal brains, there are no control group that had severed corpus callosum without epilepsy.

It was conducted with a small group thereby it is difficult to generalize the wider population, there’s no way of knowing how the procedure has affected them. We can also mention sex differences-women have less lateralized brain there it’s difficult to generalize. Not enough participants were used and the participants had the surgery before the experiment.


It has a similar response among the participants, the participants performed the same way thereby representing those with split-brain.

Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected which increase the validity when interpreting.

No surgery was performed during the experiment because all the participants has had surgery before the experiment. There was no side effect in the patient’s behavior or personality, the experiment was naturally conducted in a laboratory setting



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