Psychological Subheadings and Their Relationship


Psychology is a crucial subject that studies how people think, feel, and behave. The discipline entails all dimensions of human experience, ranging from brain functioning to rational acts and from infant growth to elderly care. Moreover, it is a comprehensive discipline encompassing all aspects of the human experience. In this regard, psychology has four main sub-disciplines social, cognitive, biological, and developmental hence; they attempt to answer different psychological questions. In reality, the broad link between the primary psychological sub-disciplines can have its strengths and weaknesses in addressing the daily questions regarding the discrepancies in human behavior.

Social psychology refers to the link between personal psychological activities and the social and cultural environments in which they occur. However, cognitive is a branch of psychology that delves into the mental processes that allow humans to observe, think, and figure out the world (Dixon et al., 2015). Biology and neurology’s roles in human psychological functioning and behavior are discussed from a biological perspective. Finally, developmental psychology refers to the psychological variations throughout the lifetime, from birth to old age. Consequently, these subjects have their strengths and weaknesses in addressing psychological questions.

From Biological to Social

The psychological question of why people sometimes help or cooperate with others and why they sometimes dislike or mistreat them in the social domain is fundamental. As addressed by social psychology, the concept of friendship may be an imprecise and hazy notion in the sub-discipline of social psychology. It can signify relationships with different individuals at various points in their lives. A voluntary dependency between two people occurs over time, but that interdependence might vary greatly from one individual to the next (Dixon et al., 2015). The theory has its strengths in emphasizing its application to the real world. For example, cooperation arises when the kind of personal connections one seeks does not match the ones they have in their life. Loneliness has been shown to cause increased despair, stress, poor subjective well-being, high blood pressure, and reduced immunity hence determining how people behave (Ibbotson, 2015). Those lonely are roughly twice as likely to die young as those with satisfying relationships. Similarly, the understanding of social cooperation with others is weak in attempting to please others; hence social psychology tests are highly susceptible to demand features that produce anomalous behavior.

From Cognitive to Biological

The idea of emotion is concerned with the biology of emotion, and it aims to answer the question: ‘Why do people feel differently.’ The mentioned biopsychosocial framework of mood and conduct investigates the hormonal and cerebral bases of emotional reactions. (Dixon et al., 2015). For example, Dixon et al. (2015) emphasize the importance of human mood in studying cognitive and biological relationships. The word “mood” refers to a brain and cognitive state that makes certain activities and thoughts more likely than others. Typically, moods change over hours, days, or weeks. Various emotions are linked to different brain activity patterns in this scenario Toates (2015). In biological terms, the sensory neurons control the body’s temperature, which may, in turn, affect an individual’s mood.

Moreover, the cognitive approach has its strength; for example, the cognitive method has several practical applications as one of its strengths. In particular, Ibbotson (2015) proved that autism is characterized by a deficiency in the theory of mind and affects one’s decision-making. The examination might then be used to diagnose autism, while the understanding that persons with autism or Asperger’s syndrome lack theory of mind can help individuals better grasp what autism entails and how to adapt to it in school and workplace settings.

At the same time, the process has its weakness; for example, the primary problem of the cognitive method is that it relies on intangible cognitive processes, which mainly depend on inference. Further, it has been criticized for the lack of authenticity of the reconstructive memory theory, arguing that people cannot be certain that remembrance has transformed because scientists could not notice memories. Hence, the cognitive method may lack scientific rigor due to its subjective interpretation of the data. Believing that conclusions result from unseen processes is biased and may lead to concerns about self-fulfilling prophecies and internal consistency.

From Biological to Developmental

The cognitive inquiry of “how do individuals comprehend what is good and wrong?” deals with the development of toddlers’ moral thinking. From a sociological perspective, humans are a cooperative species in many aspects of their lives. As Dixon et al. (2015) insinuate, people work together to complete tasks. People did not receive enough food if they did not cooperate and work together. However, when they grouped, they could kill enormous animals and gather enough food to last them for many weeks. Cooperation was essential for existence; hence anyone who did not pitch in and help out did not deserve to have an equal part of the meal. That meant that individuals needed to track who was assisting and who was not. They also needed a method for compensating those who contributed their time and effort.

Precisely, when one accomplishes nice things, they feel good and possess a sense of developing mentally. Sharing and assisting others often elicit positive emotions. People feel sympathy for others, pleasure in a job well done, and a feeling of justice when they are in a good mood (Dixon et al., 2015). In the pupil experiment, they become dilated or wider when exposed to dim light. They may also dilate in a variety of different conditions. One of them is when individuals are worried about other people or desire to assist them somehow. As a result, scientists may use variations in pupil diameter to determine whether a person’s emotional state has changed or developed. For example, they employed pupil dilation in their research to determine whether or not young children felt awful after believing they were responsible for an accident.

The strengths and weaknesses that can be deduced from the biological approach entailed. The experiments employed in its study are significantly scientific in that they are quantifiable, objective, and can be repeated to assess consistency and dependability. In addition, it concentrates too much on the ‘nature’ side of the issue, which is regarded as a source of contention. It asserts that hormones, neurotransmitters, and heredity are responsible for human behavior. One idea holds that schizophrenia is a hereditary disorder; however, twin studies have shown that schizophrenia is not entirely a genetic disorder and that the environment has an impact.

Furthermore, the developmental approach’s strengths include enhancing one’s knowledge of individuals at various ages and stages of development. Thus, a robust strength because it helps people realize that persons of various ages have various features and are impacted in various ways, which is beneficial. Its shortcomings, on the other hand, include. There are validity issues when it comes to evaluating children’s ideas and behavior correctly. Hence, a drawback since the measurements were designed by adults, which means they may have a limited understanding of what it is like to be a kid.


In summary, psychology is how people think, feel, and act; the field encompasses all aspects of the human experience, from brain function to rational activities, newborn development, to senior care. In addition, it is a broad subject that embraces all facets of the human experience. Consequently, the four major sub-disciplines of psychology—social, cognitive, biological, and developmental—attempt to address various psychological concerns that affect the behavioral dynamics in people to act differently.

Reference List

Dixon, J., Capdevila, R., and Briggs, G. (2015). ‘Investigating psychology: An integrative Approach,’ in Capdevila, R., Dixon, J., Capdevila, R. and Briggs, G. (eds.) Investigating Psychology 2 – from Social to Cognitive. Plymouth: The Open University, pp. 1-35.

Ibbotson, P. (2015). ‘How do we know what is right and wrong? Theories of moral development,’ in: Capdevida, R, Dixon, J, and Briggs, G. (ed.) Investigating Psychology 2 – from Cognitive to Biological. Plymouth: The Open University, pp. 1-91.

Toates, F. (2015). ‘Why do I feel this way? Brain, behavior and mood,’ in: Capdevila, R., Dixon, J., and Briggs, G. (ed.) Investigating Psychology 2 – from Cognitive to Biological. Plymouth: The Open University, pp. 215-216.

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PsychologyWriting. "Psychological Subheadings and Their Relationship." April 17, 2023.