Biological Perspective

The Bridge of Biological Perspective Joining Your Mind and Body

Biological perspective is a very interesting study, which analyzes the reason behind human behavior based on biological and physiological findings.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Biological perspective analyzes the psychological aspect of human behavior based on evidences available from genetics and neurology. It is also known as physiological psychology. The foundation of this belief is that there is a physiological function or alteration that affects an individual's behavior. Another basic line of thought is that genetics governs human behavior. Evolution and adaption to the external environment has gradually brought about changes at a genetic level in human beings which determines their behavior. The best definition of this term would be 'The study of psychology by evaluating the physical attributes of animal or human nature.' There are various theories that are put forth keeping this thing in mind.


There are various historical evidences along with biological ones that have led to the development of this theory. It basically states that a person is born with innate qualities and a native personality that may or may not be affected by experience. This, however, may not always hold true. Biologists believe that every act of humans or animals is determined by the functioning of the brain, that is behavior or behavior disorders are purely the result of a physical alteration or change in order to adapt to a situation. The various theories put forth that led to the development of this perspective are as follows.

Dualism - This theory was put forth by Descartes who stated that the body and the mind are distinct, but these interact with each other via the pineal gland in the brain. However, this theory was disregarded by many psychologists.

Materialism - This theory is based on the concept that all behavior has a physical aspect to it. The assumptions are based on animal or human genetics wherein genes have evolved over a period of time.

Heredity -The transfer of genes and therefore certain characteristics from one generation to the other, leads to a particular trait in behavior.

Natural Selection - It is a part of the theory of evolution put forth by Darwin, where random variations lead to success in reproduction thereby enhancing the traits of these species.

These theories made the need for development of a new school of thought that could explain the connection between psychology and physiology. Biological perspective tries to explain almost every mood or reaction that is seen in humans by analyzing its physiological aspect. Here are a few perspectives of certain behavioral traits observed in humans.

Of Personality

An individual is genetically predisposed to a particular personality trait. Personality development experts strongly believe that an environment cannot have a very big influence on the development of an individuals personality, unless the environment that an individual has experienced was drastically altered in his or her growing years. A person's temperament strongly depends on heredity. As temperament is one of the key features of a personality, there is enough evidence to believe that genetics has a major role to play in development of an individuals personality.

Of Depression

More often than not, a person suffers or undergoes depression when he or she experiences a traumatic situation. However, this leads to alterations in the physiology of an individual mainly related to the functioning of the nervous system. Secretion and inhibition of secretion of certain neurotransmitters when in depression also affects your mental state. This is the reason why depression is just not a state of mind, but is now recognized as a physical illness as well.

Of Happiness

This perspective is explained very well by Bjorn Grinde in his book, Darwinian Happiness. In this book, he states that based on evolutionary psychology happiness is the quality of experience our nervous system offers us. Ultimately, it is dependent on the persons personality, on how he perceives this experience and utilizes this to either enhance his quality of life or just not make anything of it.

Thus, biological perspective is still a topic that is being explored. The scope of this study or school of thought is widely dependent on the perspectives it has to offer us.