This accessible introductory text addresses the core knowledge domain of biological psychology, with focused coverage of the central concepts, research and debates in this key area. Biological Psychology outlines the importance and purpose of the biological approach and contextualises it with other perspectives in psychology, emphasizing the interaction between biology and the environment. Learning features including case studies, review questions and assignments are provided to aid students' understanding and promote a critical approach. Extended critical thinking and skill-builder activities develop the reader's higher-level academic skills.



Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you should:

  • understand two theories of emotion;
  • be able to discuss the adaptive benefits of key emotions;
  • recognise sex differences and individual variation in emotional responses;
  • be able to identify the brain regions and hormones associated with specific emotions;
  • understand the biological mechanisms associated with the recognition and processing of emotional expressions;
  • have developed the ability to process and evaluate written information.


In our own species we often refer to emotions when discussing subjective feelings. It is the physiological and behavioural responses to these subjective feelings, however, that are most important. Emotions can be conceptualised as adaptive response patterns shaped by natural selection. These responses increase the likelihood of survival by facilitating adaptation to new situations and enhance reproductive success through the effective ...

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