It's Always Better When They're Together

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Most mental and behavioral phenomena have corresponding mechanistic explanations that can be categorized in different ways. Typically, research will either involve a biological level of analysis, a psychological level of analysis, or a combination of the two. A biological analysis contains a genetic, neural, or hormonal explanation, whereas a psychological analysis focuses on the cognitive, emotional, or behavioral processes associated with a specific phenomenon. Although the two have quite different focus points, a combination of both levels of analysis is needed in order to sufficiently report on a phenomenon. Additionally, certain phenomena may require more emphasis on one level over the other depending on the nature of the phenomenon. Without both levels the research is missing an important angle of analysis that may support or challenge evidence that is crucial in truly understanding the phenomena. To support how two levels of analysis should work together, the two phenomena that will be examined are false memories, and how motivation affects individuals earlier or later in life.
Analysis at both the psychological and biological levels has evidenced a phenomenon such that memory accuracy and retrieval is dependent upon factors during phases of memory consolidation. This phenomenon can be connected to false memories and how exactly they come about. Specifically, a mechanism used to explain this idea shows that by changing aspects of the reactivation phase, memories can be selectively enhanced or distorted through updating (St. Jacques, 2013, 541). The introduction of new information that is similar to previous information can either cause constructive or destructive interference in the formation of memories. This psychologica...

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...ysis has occurred. Depending on the phenomenon that is being researched, the biological and psychological mechanisms used to explain may be more heavily weighted in one direction or the other. Since the only levels of analysis covered here were biological and psychological it is important to point out that other levels of analysis may also be important, but it must always have a counterpart. This is because without multiple levels of analysis a single phenomenon cannot be described in its entirety. Though it seems like biological and psychological levels of analysis are only two separate pieces in understanding certain phenomenon, it is more likely that these two levels actually work off of each other to create the complete picture. This knowledge may help to further the field of psychology and to help study mental phenomenon in a more dynamic and comprehensive way.

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