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Lecture 6

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PSYC 2600
Elizabeth Nisbet

Lecture 6 Genes & Genetic Diversity - Half of our genetic code comes from each parent – they each give us half of their genetic code – but we get a random selection - Thus, our genetic code will be different (based on random selection) from the genetic code of our siblings. On average, we share 50% of our genetic material with our siblings. Goals of Behavioral Genetics - Determine the percentage of individual differences in a trait that can be attributed to genetic differences and the percentage that can be attributed to environmental differences - Determine the ways in which genes and environment interact and correlate with each other to produce individual differences What Is Heritability? - Proportion of observed variance in group of individuals that can be explained or accounted for by genetic variance - Environmentality = proportion of observed variance in group of individuals attributable to environmental variance - Finding that a personality trait has a genetic component does not mean the environment is powerless to modify trait Behavioral Genetics Methods - Selective Breeding - Studies of Humans’Best Friend - Family Studies - Twin Studies - Adoption Studies Selective Breeding - Studies of Humans’Best Friend - Can only occur if a desired trait is heritable - Selective breeding studies of dogs - Cannot be ethically conducted with humans Behavioral Genetics Methods - Family Studies – more related family members should be more alike - Adoption Studies – adoptive children and adoptive parents vs. genetic parents (environmental vs. genetic influence) - Twin Studies Twin Studies - Estimate heritability by gauging if identical (monozygotic /MZ) twins (who share 100% of genes) are more similar than fraternal (dizygotic/ DZ) twins (who share 50% of genes) - If MZ twins are more similar than DZ twins, this provides evidence of heritability Behavioral Genetics - The closer the genetic relationship between individuals the stronger the correlation between their personality traits and their level of sensation seeking - Identical twins are more alike than fraternal twins in the big-five personality traits and in sensation seeking even when identical twins are reared apart Genes and Environment - Genotype-environment interaction: how a person reacts to a situation depends on the amount of a personality trait he/she possesses (e.g., chocolate covered bugs) - Genotype-environment correlation: the situation or activity a person selects depends on the amount of personality trait he/she possesses (remote travel) - Or another way to say it... Genes and Environment - Genotype-Environment Interaction: When plac
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