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Lecture 11

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Carleton University
PSYC 2600
Chris Motz

Lecture 11 Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - This set of material is the last bit of material for the midterm - Study everything including this week’s stuff - Finishing last week’s notes—Ch.8 (Biological Domain) - Sensation seeking—physiological differences that lead to differences in personality o a variety of different ways that we can connect the two o One of those characteristics is sensation seeking o Zuckerman: the lead researcher in this area o Early version tied sensation seeking to Hebb’s optimal level of arousal (we need a certain level of arousal that keeps us away but doesn’t overstimulate us) o Early thought in sensation seeking—looking to maximize this optimal level of arousal o High sensation seekers are less tolerant of sensory deprivation—his early studies involved putting participants in sensory deprivation chambers. There were differences in how long people could last—some enjoyed the lack of sensation, some were terrified after a few seconds. o **Correlation between extraversion and sensation seeking - Neurotransmitters o flood into synapse, convert nerve impulse to next cell o Monoamine Oxidase—neurotransmitter reuptake  breaks it down and reabsorbs it to presynaptic cell  This breaks down the neurotransmitter (enzyme) o Zuckerman—we differ in our levels of MAO—this relates to differences in personality (sensation seeking)  We don’t have enough MAO—too much neurotransmitter  Too much MAO—not enough neurotransmitter o MAO—the breaks on the system, slowing down neurotransmitter. With low levels of MAO, sensation seekers have less inhibition in their nervous system.  less control over their thoughts, emotions, behaviour o Sensation seeking behaviour is not due to seeking optimal level of arousal, but due to having too little of biochemical breaks in the system. - Neurotransmitters and personality **REVIEW SLIDE OF THE TEXT o Dopamine—pleasure—reward drug in the brain o Serotonin—depression and other mood disorders o Norepinephine—fight or flight o Cloninger’s tridimensional personality model  Connected 3 NTs with 3 different personality traits • Low levels of dopamine—novelty seeking • low levels of serotonin—harm avoidance • Low levels of norepinephrine—reward dependence - Morningness and eveningness o Circadian rhythm—our daily clock—we have individual differences in the length of the cycle (not exactly 24 hour cycle) o Vast majority: pretty close to 24 hours (average is about 25 hours)  imposed clock is not much of an issue o But some of us have as low as 16 hours and as high as 50 hours.  If you’re isolated from clocks, schedule, rising and setting of sun, let body do what it naturally does, the people would wake up and sleep in a cycle of 16 hours, repeat  Some would be awake and asleep in a 50 hour period o Morning or evening person—associated with stable characteristics o If your circadian rhythm is close (16 hours), body goes to peak sooner in the day and coasts down to being ready for bed by 8pm. o If you’re a morning person, ideal studying time is earlier in the day o Longer circadian rhythm—evening person—body peaks later (4pm), evening is better for doing heavy work—later on in the day you are still wide awake— fighting against the clock o Morning person—introversion and neuroticism o Evening person—difficulties at school (geared towards morning people), school failure rate, rebellious, non-conformist, scores on measures of creativity - Genetics and behaviour o D4DR (dopamine receptor gene, D4 gene codes for dopamine receptor) o On dendrites receiving neurotransmitter (dopamine) o We differ in our dopamine receptor gene (and dopamine receptors) o We have different alleles—either long repeat or short repeat allele (in segmented DNA, we have segment of longer/shorted repeated nucleotide molecules) o Tied to novelty seeking (a variation off of sensation seeking) o Long repeat—higher novelty seeking o Short repeat—lower novelty seeking o Long repeat version: dopamine receptors suck, not good at catching—dopamine might be doing its job but the postsynaptic cell isn’t doing its job, brain is less responsive to dopamine o Short repeat version: great dopamine receptors, good at catching o Novelty (risk, sensations) gives dopamine buzz—novelty seeking behaivours flood brain with dopamine o Those of us with long repeat (bad catchers) are perpetually not getting enough dopamine—when we get to do something risky/exciting and get dopamine buzz, the lousy catchers finally catch something and we get the dopamine that we need o Short repeat—we’re not starving for dopamine, don’t need to bother with risky sensations—the dopamine receptors get too much, overstimulation\ o Individual differences in our need for novelty - Evolutionary theory—existing differences (genotype and phenotype—physical and behavioural) have influence on our ability to survive and reproduce… - Evolutionary theory (Ch. 8) o The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins  Takes more difficult parts of evolutionary theory and breaks it down o What causes behaviour?  Proximate cause—things in immediate environment (social situation/personal history)  Ultimate cause—factors/sources that are rooted in our genetic makeup or larger cultural forces (in terms of menes—a mene is a unit of cultural information—gets transmitted from one mind to another—like how to build a fire, how to hunt successfully as part of a group, etc.)  *Most specifically, transmit ideas from generation to generation because they serve some pu
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