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Lecture 6

PSY 1102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Biological Target, Heritability, Cierva C.4

Course Code
PSY 1102
Najwa Haddad

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Chapter 4- Nature, Nurture & Human DIversity
“What makes you, you?”
Nature: genes, DNA, genetic heritage
Nurture: all other factors that are not genetics
The Nature Component (who we are)
Research indicates we have 20,000-25,000 genes
This is found in DNA molecules
Which are found in chromosomes
This is a basic unit of heredity
Active & expressed = producing effect
Inactive & unexpressed = nothing
Single genes can produce different effects
Gene Complexes- number of genes working together to produce an effect
Nucleotides- biochemical bases
A-T Always pairs
Alphabet of Life - determines what genes do or don’t. If 1 letter changes, so does gene
Chromosomes = books
Genes =words
Nucleotides =letters
Humans are 99.99% genetically similar to each other
Repartition of the 0.01% = 5% differences among race
= 95% differences within race
B.Evolutionary Psychology (EP)
What is EP?
One of the newer perspectives in psychology inspired by theory of evalution
developed by Darwin
Main goal = survival + transmission of genes
Natural Selection: only fittest will survive
Adaption: if environment changes, organisms must
C. Behaviour Genetics
Individual differences
As individuals we vary from each other.
Heritability: the degree to which differences between us are due to genetics
(twin, adoption, temperament studies)
C.2. Twin Studies
Monozy vs Dizygotic

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Monozygotic (Identical): same sex- 100% genetically similar
Dizygotic (Fraternal): 50% genetically similar
if something has a genetic component to it then identical twins should be more
similar than fraternal
Results: ex: if 1 twin has alzheimers, 60% chance other mono twin can get it (genetic
component) 30% for dizy
Study twins apart (adoption)= different environment
Study done by Bouchard
Results done by Bouchard were similar
Twins apart or together are more similar to eachother than fraternal twins are
Identical twins reared together= similar
reared apart = opposite
C.3. Adoption Studies
Rationale= adoptive child has 2 sets of parents (biological, adoptive)
Results= more similar to biological than adoptive
Genetic component to personality
C.4. Temperament Studies
Part of personality, emotional way we react to life and problems
Genetic Component
Easy babies: 40%
Slow to warm(shy): 15%
Difficult babies: 10%
Combination: 35%
Twins(identical) have similar temperaments
Children who are impulsive/aggressive grow up to be the same
Genetic component to it
Nurture can modify temperament
C.5. Heritability
The degree to which differences between us are due to genetics
The percentage of variation within a given population that is due to heritability
h2= _____________________variance(genes)______________
variance(genes) + variance(environment)
h2 varies between 0 and 1
h2 = 0.0 - no genetic influence
h2 = 1.0 - all variance due to genetic influence
h2 = 0.4- 40% genes (60% environment) vice versa

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Heritability does not apply to everyone, only applies to differences within people
C.6. Nature & Nurture Interaction
Genes are self regulating
Same genes act different with circumstances
All genetic instructions in organism
To active it needs an epigenome
Epigenome: affect gene expression (activating/deactivating)
Methyl Groups
Chemical switches when presents- deactivates or decreases
Environment/ nurture controls
Acetyl Groups
Chemical switches when active
Environment leads the factor
Scientific study that influence and affect gene expression without affecting sequence of
D. Molecular Genetics
Interested in identifying genes linked with behaviour, illness, etc
Study DNA
Identifying factors that affect psychological factors
The Nature Component
A.Prenatal Development
Baby is vulnerable in womb
Exposure to radiation, smoking (ch. 5) - birth defects
Twins don’t have same nurture levels in womb
1 twin could get better nutrition, oxygen, etc.
B. Experience and Brain Development
Nurture is essential for proper development of brain
Neuroscientists discovered brain is plastic/flexible
D. Peer Influence
Same age/maturity level
Importance traced back to infancy
How babies interact will show how they’ll be in childhood
Growing interaction= growing influence
Our interests gravitate us to people who share the same
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