Why Do Psychologists Study Biology?

Biology is important to psychologists in several ways: Comparative methods learned in biology compare different species and help to understand human behavior. Physiology studies the nervous system and the functioning of the brain and helps to determine how these systems affect behavior. Study of inheritance helps in predicting human behavior.

Biology is the study of life, while psychology is an academic and applied discipline that includes the scientific study of mental activities and behaviors of humans.

Psychology is a scientific field that deals particularly with the mind. It attempts to determine why people think and behave the way they do. For a psychologist to effectively study human behavior, they require considerable background in biology. A comparative psychologist requires knowledge in biology to understand animal cognition. Comparative psychology investigates how and why each animal species developed particular cognitive skills. Findings from this study are applied in understanding human evolution.

Knowledge of the biology of the brain helps psychologists to evaluate the impact of different stimuli on an individual’s brain. Human behavior, which is the primary concern of psychologists, is largely understood in terms of biological processes such as genes and hormones. Human genes have evolved over time to adapt behavior to the environment. Consequently, most behavior may be adaptive or evolutionary. Similarly, mechanisms of inheritance (genetics) studied in biology helps to understand whether high intelligence is passed on from one generation to the next.