Psychology: Chapter 4 Claire Watson
Chapter 4: Nature, Nurture & Human Diversity:
I. Introduction: What makes you, you? Nature or nurture
Nature: genes, DNA, heredity
Nurture: anything and everything other than genes, DNA, heredity (learning, experience,
Today, researchers believe we are who we are because of a result of both nature and nurture.
Interaction of each other.
The Nature Component
Genes: Our Biological Blueprint. In every cell we have chromosomes (46, or 23 pairs). Carriers
of genetic info. Carry info in forms of DNA molecules. Gene is a segment of DNA. Basic unit of
heredity. Provide instructions for structure. Gene complex: group of genes responsible for a trait
-Consist of nucleotides (biochemical bases) there are four: A (adenine), G (guanine), T
(thymine), C (cytosine). Come in pairs: A-T, G-C. “alphabet of life” because of sequence that
determines what gene does and does not do.
-Chromosomes: book. Genes: words. Nucleotides: letters.
Human genome: 30,000 genes? 99.99% genetically similar to every other human on earth.
-repartition of the 0.01% difference:
5% differences among “races”
95% differences within a “race”
-race is a biologically meaningless concept.
-us and other organisms: chimps: 95-98% shared; mouse: 90%; banana: 50%; fruit fly: 44%;
B. Evolutionary Psychology
B.1: What is EP?: Newest/youngest perspective of psych. Based on theory of evolution. Main
goal of any organism is to survive and transmission of genes into the future. Natural selection,
“survival of the fittest”. any behaviour that helps our ancestors survive, are behaviours we are
going to see the majority of humans display. ->common fears, help survive. explain behaviours
that are universal/common. adaptation: greatest behaviour that helps survive. greatest
characteristic: ability to solve problems. B.2: Application->Sexuality: men have different attitudes which leads to different behaviours.
they are not more sexual. according to EP: both men and women have the same goals,
however they follow different strategies. men-recreational sex, women-one partner. best chance
of women recreating is to have multiple partners
B.3: Critique of EP: Earn a Point (read the textbook)
C. Behaviour Genetics
C.1. Introduction: what is it? focus on individual differences. as individuals, we differ from each
other. BGs address nature/nurture question. extent of different due to genetics. (difference
between individuals, population, group, amongst individuals =all mean the same thing). how do
they find differences? twin, adoption, family, temperament studies (see below!)
monozygotic (identical) vs dizygotic (fraternal twins): 1 sperm, 1 egg. egg divides, produces two
babies always the same gender. 100% genetically similar to another. fraternal: 2 sperm, 2 eggs.
2 babies either same or opposite gender. they are 50% genetically similar to another.
rationale: if a trait has genetic component then 100% genetically similar twins, should be more
similar on the trait than fraternal twins who are only 50% similar.
Alzheimer's: identical: 60% chance the other twin will have it. fraternal: 30% chance other will
have it. therefore, genetic trait. only 60% because nurture plays a role in alzheimer’s disease.
Divorce: identical: 5.5% other twin will divorce. fraternal: 1.6% other twin. this is because of
personality (genetic component)
Extraversion/Neuroticism: strong genetic component.
criticism: how do you know it’s genes and not environment?
solution: studied twins reared apart. results supported earlier studies. identical twins reared
apart are more similar to each other than fraternal twins reared apart.
Bouchard et al.: did a lot of twin studies. criticism: researchers say that although reared apart,
they shared same womb, and family adopted are good families. since they look alike, they will
receive same treatment.
researchers say that if you take strangers, and put them together and compare lives, you will
find similarities between. biggest mistake was not to include strangers in studies. conclusion: while identical twins reared apart are less similar to each other than identical raised
together they are still more similar to each other than fraternal twins reared apart. indicating that
genetic components of those traits are strong.
C.3. Adoption Studies: rationale: why? because when you have an adoptive child, you have two
sets of parents, biological (share genes), and adoptive parents (share environment). if a trait
has a genetic component than adoptive children will be more similar to biological parents than
adoptive parents. adoptive children are more similar to their biological parents than their
adoptive parents. =nature.
biological parents influence:
adoptive parents influence:
C.4. Family Studies: rationale: family members are more similar than stranger (in terms of
genetics) therefore, trait has a genetic component than it runs in the family. within family we
have different genetic
regular siblings; 50% similar
parents & children: 50% similar
grandparents &grandchildren: 25%
1 cousins: 12.5%
if trait has genetic component, family members who are more similar will be more similar to
C.5. Temperament Studies: definition: component of personality. the typical way you emotionally
react to life and its events. typical intensity you react to life. genetic component..? babies come
to the world equipped with a temperament.
4 categories of temperament:
easy babies: (40%)
slow-to-warm babies: (15%)
difficult babies: (10%)
twin studies: identical twins are more similar in temperament. (thus being genetic component)
physiological studies: with difficult babies, nervous system is more hyper. bp is higher, etc.
temperament seems to endure…those followed for a long period of time. children who were shy,
grew up to be shy. those children who were emotionally shy, grew up unsure, shy etc. easy
babies grew up to be easy going, relaxed. while there is a genetic component, through nurture, you can reshape temperament of child.
C.6. Heritability: the percentage of variation within a given population that is due to heredity.
...or: the degree to which differences between us as individuals are due to genetics.
h^2= variance of genes / variance of genes + variance of environment
h^2 varies between 0 and 1
if =0-> no genetic influence
if =1-> all variance due to genetics
if =0.4-> 40% genes (60% environment)
if =0.6-> 60% genes, (40% environment)
when environment is similar, h^2 will be high. --like a tribe...dress similar, parenting similar,
when environment is different, h^2 will be low. --dif ethnicities, backgrounds, schools, towns,
-just because individual difference are heritable, it does not mean that differences between
races, gender, generations are heritable.
C.7. Nature and Nurture Interaction: genes are not destiny…genes may need environment to
‘turn them on’.
genes are self-regulating: the same gene will do different things in different environment.
D. Molecular Genetics: study DNA. want to identify genes linked with specific trait/behaviour.
How? they identify families with history of trait/disease. take samples, and compare DNA.
Relevance to psych? mental health. try to identify factors to mental health/illness. genes that go
along with. want to find out what genes are identified to depression, schizophrenia, etc.
Promises and dangers: discriminated against because of DNA. some parents could abort
babies because of genes. gender makes a difference in some cultures… Psychology: Chapter 4 Claire Watson
III. The Nurture Component
A. Prenatal Development
-nurture begins at the moment of conception
-baby is well protected, but not 100%...vulnerable…factors affecting baby: cigarettes, radiation,
alcohol. (see chapter 5 for more details)
-even though the same womb with twins, not necessarily same environment, nurture. It’s
possible that one twin will get better blood supply, oxygenation, nutrition, protection in womb.
-identical twins that share placenta are more similar to each other.
-marked for life-> major determinant of health in adulthood depends on what happened while in
the womb. could be born with diseases already developing.
-your health in adulthood is based on DNA, lifestyle in adulthood
B. Experience and Brain Development
B.1 Experience Facilitates Brain Development
-brain won’t develop without experience, stimulation, and proper nurture.
-look @ examples in book
B.2 Experience Changes the Brain
-human brain is plastic-changes from experience
C. How much credit of blame do parents deserve
-see textbook! will discuss in class. Psychology: Chapter 4 Claire Watson
D. Peer Influence
-peers are individuals who are the same age or maturity levels. importance of peers: starts as
infancy…good predictor of peer relationships later on. infants have positive influences with
peers will be better later on. growing interaction=growing influence. influence the way you dress,
talk, what’s cool, music, games, etc. most influential from peers is risk taking behaviours, like
smoking, sexual behaviours, etc. based on belief, will do what they think is going on.
-is it selection effect? those who are interested in risk taking behaviour, do we choose people
who are into that?
-do parents lose influence on us? no…parents will always influence us
parent-child relationship will influence peer-child relationship (3 ways)
-through lifestyle choices (they decided which neighbourhood, country, schools)
advice they give about peer relationships
quality of parent-child relationship will effect quality of peer-child relationships
bullies tend to have parents who are aggressive, rejecting, and controlling.
children who are bullied, tend to have parents who are overly protective
children who have parents who treat them with respect and dignity and responsive to children’s
needs, are much less likely to use aggression. do not bully & do not get bullied. use
assertiveness to handle themselves in the real world
parents & peers do influence us growing up, and it is distinct and complementary
*create table from text with parents influence | peer influence
Earn a Point: p 153-158 (will be questionS on midterm)
IV. Nature and Nurture of Gender
-gender similarities and differences. *not included on first midterm, but a must for final*
similarities | differences: man this, woman this...put in table! throughout all the chapters
-sex chromosomes 2/46 are sex chromosomes Psychology: Chapter 4 Claire Watson
-they determine whether we are genetically male or female.
-1920s was first confirmed.
-two major types: X & Y
every healthy human being has two sex chromosomes (mom, dad) from mom we get X, dad
can contribute X or Y. XX=female XY=male
first few weeks of life in womb. 6-7 weeks. around week 7 that is only found on Y...called
sry...will kick in and trigger formation of testes. release testosterone, and create formation of the
-hormones also influence and effect behaviours.
rooster; if you casterate it, it will stop crowing, will become docile & lose interest in sex.
-baby girls in womb when exposed to high levels of testosterone, their genitalia looks more
masculine...grow up more masculine. will be more feminine if exposed to higher levels of
-role of culture and society---boys are more masculine, girls are more fragile etc
-gender identity: sense of maleness/femaleness.
-gender roles: patterns of behaviours that are appropriate for men & women. from different
societies to another.
-gender typed: adoption of a feminine/masculine role for a woman/men
-learning about gender
social learning theory: we learn about gender through observation, rewards, punishment,
gender schema theory: children are not only observing, but interacting & actively taking
info and organizing it into gender roles. actively forming schemes.
schema=mental model of something
V. Reflections Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
Chapter 5: Developing Through the Life Span
Developmental psychology-study human development from moment of conception to the
moment of death. how we change emotionally, psychically, morally, behaviorally, physically…
-development: patterns of change-moment of conception and continue throughout the lifespan.
involved decay and decaying--as in death and dying
nature and nurture-study as it pertains to development
is development continuity or is it in stages...bit by bit or bursts of change, followed by
plateau, then another burst of transformation.
stability and change…what happens to the traits we have in childhood?hwill they show
up in your future
critical periods…age range where certain experiences must take place in order for
development--growing up, must be exposed to shapes
the impact of early experience…what happens in childhood effects us later on
II. Prenatal Development and the Newborn
-women are born with all the eggs we need in a lifetime (this info may change in the future)
-men start producing sperm at puberty and will continue producing throughout their lifetime. will
slow down as they age
-conception--sperm will go to the egg, lots of drama..only a few hundred will get to the egg,
millions are released. egg has coating, sperm release digestive enzyme, and as soon as one
makes it, the egg releases chemical to make it impossible for other sperm to make it in it. tail of
sperm breaks off so it doesn’t damage egg. within half a day, will fuse together and end up with
1 cell with 46 chromosomes in it.
-1/5000 eggs will mature. less than half will make it past the first two weeks of pregnancy.
B. Prenatal Development Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
B.1. The 3 Stages of Prenatal Development
-gestation period-the duration of the pregnancy
divided into 3 stages:
the germinal stage: cell will divide into many parts. technical name for baby is zygote. lasts 10-
14 days. fertilized egg will multiply. once we have 100 cells, the cells will differentiate in function
and structure. the zygote will travel from fallopian tubes to uterus, and will try to attach itself to
the wall of the uterus. once attached, germinal stage is over and second stage will begin.
the embryonic stage: during this stage technical name for baby is embryo. will last from week 3
to week 8 inclusive. during this stage, the placenta will form (this provides baby will bloody
supply, nutrition, protection from viruses, and elimination of baby’s waste), nervous system will
begin to form and develop, as well as all major organs will begin to form and develop at this
stage. the limbs will form. heart will beat and organs will work at end of this stage
the fetal stage: technical name for baby is fetus. longest stage in gestation period. from week 9-
birth. further development and maturation will take place. bones will begin to solidify, and
muscles will get stronger and baby begins to move. explosive growth of the brain. the brain is
going to make 250 million neurons per minute. fetus can learn in the womb.
B.2. Environmental Influences
-baby is well protected, but not 100%. factors can influence the growth in the womb.
-teratology: field of research studying causes of birth defects.
-teratogens: anything that can cause a birth defect.
-effects depend on:
dose (higher exposure, higher risk), time of exposure (when was it exposed), genetic
susceptibility (some babies are more vulnerable, male babies are more susceptible to
teratogens than girls. more baby boys born with birth defects. more boys are linked with learning
prescription and non-prescription drugs: any kind of drugs, even aspirin can effect babies.
psychoactive drugs: alcohol, cocaine, etc. Alcohol…higher risk of baby being born with FAS.
facial deformities, legs don’t work very well, serious mental retardation. even if doesn’t show
right away, will show later on in life.
infections, diseases: (HIV, herpes, HPV) baby can be infected by HIV in three ways: while in
womb, during delivery when in contact with blood, or when mom breastfeeds baby. if mom has
herpes, ⅓ die, and ¼ have brain damage. best way to deliver is through C-section so there is
no contact of the virus. Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
nutrition: very important to baby.
emotional states and stress: when mom is stressed out, out blood vessels constrict and less
blood will get to the baby. increased risk of miscarriage. more likely to give birth prematurely.
age: older mom is, higher probability of downs syndrome. under 18, risk for DS is higher too.
environmental hazards: (radiation, pollution, diet)
paternal factors: vitamin C (dads with low levels is linked with birth defects and childhood
cancer), smoking (damages DNA), exposure to radiation & pesticides (damage DNA of sperm,
higher risk of miscarriage, cancers, defects), father’s age makes a difference, 40 +, higher risk
for miscarriage and DS, defects, other syndromes)
C. The Competent Newborn
-quickly learn to form association with objects. form expectations, if violated they will et upset.
they also learn to control things.
-how do you study babies? -methods of study:
brain waves: electrodes on skull, and will pick up electrical activity of brain. will expose to stimuli
and then watch brain waves.
sucking response: baby wears headphones, and rig the pacifier. if the baby sucks fast, or slow,
he hears a different type of music. baby will adjust rates of sucking to hear what they want.
babies prefer to hear stories they heard in the womb rather than stories they haven’t heard
before. they also prefer moms voice over a stranger.
orienting reflex: our tendency to pay attention to a new stimulus rather than something we are
already familiar with.
habituation: our tendency to stop paying attention, or give less attention to something that has
been exposed to us time and time again.
-competencies: come equipped with what they need to survive, including reflexes.
rooting: if you touch the babies cheek, they will move towards it
stepping: as soon as you stand them up, they will start to step
grasping: they will hold on to anything, strongly
sights and sound: newborn are tuned into anything human.
smell: within days after birth newborns can recognize mothers smell and can differentiate from
III. Infancy and Childhood Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
A. Physical Development
-maturation: a genetically driven process. genes will determine the timing and exact sequence
-brain development: after birth brain will continue to grow. by the time a child is 2 years old, it
will be 75% the size of the adult brain. by 6, brain will be 9/10 size of adult brain. during
childhood will have pruning (any pathways that are not used, brain will get rid of them)
maturation and memory:
childhood amnesia: grownups or older children have a hard time remembering the first few
years of life. most will have little to no memory of first 4 years of life. researchers believe that
memory system responsible has not matured yet, which is why we cannot remember much of
that time. evidence of memory after 3 or 4 years.
B. Cognitive Development
Cognition: higher order mental processes. use to understand the world and adapt to it.
-Jean Piaget: biggest name. revolutionized thinking about cognitive development. not a
psychologist-biologist. before him, people believed that children were like little people. believed
the minds worked the same, but knew less. he said that children had their own logic. people
also believed that children were like sponges. Jean said that children are active learners, they
are innately motivated that drives them to understand the world. and organize knowledge into
-assimilation: use our existing schema to interpret/explain new experience.
-accommodation: new experience that does not fit into new schema, modify or change new
scheme in order to explain new experience.
-cognitive development occurs in 4 stages (universal, sequence is the same for everybody,
cannot skip a stage, from one to the next, there is a significant shift in the quality of thinking)
1. sensorimotor stage (0-2 yrs): children are going to use senses and motor skills in order to
learn and understand the world. during this stage, children are not capable of any abstract
thoughts. they think of what they’re doing. during this stage, there is one major achievement:
formation of object permanence (object continues to exist even though we cannot see, hear, or
touch it) when we do not have object permanence, if we cannot see, hear, or touch it, it does not
exist. was Piaget correct? -object permanence: it occurs earlier than he thought would. they DO
have abstract thoughts. Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
2. pre-operational stage (2-7 yrs): animism (children believe that inanimate objects are alive;
they have thoughts, feelings, goals, motivations), egocentrism (they have only one perspective-
their own), literal thinking (they just understand the words literally. no subtleties), symbolism
(use symbols to represent the world). major limitations of the stage: they’re unable to perform
mental operations (reversible action that plays out in your brain), centration (we centre our
attention on only one aspect in the situation, and disregard other aspects), don’t understand
conservation (understand that an object remains the same even though some of it’s superficial
qualities may change). theory of mind, autism -earn a point!
3. concrete operational stage (7-11 yrs): they can perform complete mental operation. less likely
to fall prey to centration. will understand conservation
4. formal operational stage (12+): during this stage the thinking will become more complex,
abstract and sophisticated. thinking is theoretical, hypothetical, logical. Piaget overestimated
what level we thought we’d be able to think. many will never reach this stage…
-reflections of Piaget’s theory---textbook. make table: Piaget was correct/wrong.
C. Social Development
-the formation of very powerful emotional bonds-form in infancy with caregivers, goes until the
day we die. we are born with the ability & need to do so.
-they motivate actions. infants form attachment to their caregivers.
-stranger anxiety: babies are not comfortable with strangers
-separation anxiety: indication that they have formed bonds with caregivers
-attachment bonds exist independently of food.
-attachment has survival value--helping parents when they are sick, feeding, etc
-factors that effect attachment:
body contact: Harlow’s experiment: monkeys being attached to fake mothers, distressed, sad
monkeys. the purpose of attachment figure to be a safe haven, and secure base.
familiarity: have to be enough contact to form an attachment. Warning: they form an attachment
to those who are comfortable and familiar. difference is in quality of contact. SEE BELOW v
responsiveness: how responsive is the caregiver to the child’s needs. if they are loving and
responsive, attachment will be secure. if neglectful or abusive, attachment will form, but will be
insecure. Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
secure vs insecure attachment: secure is linked with positive responsiveness, insecure
is linked with negative responsiveness. if secure, child will learnt hat world is safe, reliable,
predictable. they can get their needs met and they learn that they are important. if insecure,
child will learn that world is unsafe, unreliable, unpredictable, they cannot get needs met and
that they don’t matter, aren’t worth loving, and are not important.
parenting or temperament? Van Den Boom: 100 difficult babies-one group, some parents sent
to parenting classes, others sent to do it by themselves. 68% had secure attachment vs 28%
had a secure attachment.
correlates of attachment: secure-positive attachments. insecure-negative. securely
attached children are more: curious, exploratory, playful, creative, attentive in school, better
grades, cooperative, social skills, more positive emotions, can take feedback without negative
-earn a point: p193-194
-sense of self, who we are, value, worth
-self awareness: at what point does a child recognize that they exist, have self-awareness
-when a child recognize themselves in a mirror, they have self awareness. 15-18 months.
-self confidence influences actions. Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
-parenting styles (two dimensions)
warmth: extent to which parents are supportive, loving, kind, etc. vs rejecting, neglecting,
control: extent to which kids are supervised, monitored, regulated
Four parenting styles:
Authoritarian tend to be low on warmth but high on control. Strict rules. Expect kids to abide to
them. Like dictators. Rarely explain. Bully kids into listening.
Permissive tend to be high on warmth, but low on control. Little rules. Laisse-faire. Kids rule.
Uninvolved low on both dimensions. Little rules, little warmth.
Authoritative high on both dimensions. Loving, encouraging, strict rules but expect kids to
follow. Control is democratic-rules, but explained why. Consequences are fair. If kids think its not
fair, open relationship.
-correlation is not causation.
Yes, some studies are correlation in nature, but we cannot imply causation. But large number of
studies that indicate real cause/effect relationship between parenting styles and outcome of
-Begins with puberty. Ends when we assume full adult responsibilities.
Today it is now longer. WHY?
Taking longer to finish schooling
Emerging adulthood: “grey period” not a teen, but not assumed adult responsibility
-Timing of puberty:
body size (heavier=earlier) Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
hormones (in food supply)
all in the family (conflicting environment=earlier puberty. Biological father is gone=earlier
puberty. Mom has live in bf/stepdad=earlier puberty)
-time of strife or vitality? media lies.
B. Physical Development
-pubertyphysiological changes-sexual maturity.
-primary sexual characteristics will develop
will enlarge and function
-secondary sexual characteristics will develop
not directly involved.
boys: spermarche: 1 ejaculation (around age 14)
girls: menarche: 1 menstrual cycle(around age 11/12)
-early maturation: enter earlier than usual.
Payoffs: taller, more successful, popular, confident, parts step back, develop muscles
Dark side: are at higher risk of risk-taking behaviours
Dark side: more likely to attract older guys, be harassed, early sexual activity, pregnancy, social
relationships break, poorer body image, less informed about puberty, higher risk of later weight
gain, parents become more controlling.
-the adolescent brain:
work in progress: not finished until around age 25.
Last to mature: frontal lobes: seeds of higher mental functioning. Impulse control. Being civil to
Surge in dopamine activity: linked with pleasure, emotions. Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
Pruning: connections being cut off when not used much
C. Cognitive Development
C.1 Developing Reasoning Power
Piaget’s formal operational stage (see earlier)
Imaginary audience: thinking that everyone is watching/judging our every move. More likely to
give into pressure.
1. Feel that their experiences are unique, and only happens to them
2. Sense of being invincible/untouchabledo stupid things
Idealism: some teens become highly idealistic based on what is logically possiblestandards
become so high/demanding
C.2 Developing Morality
-3 aspects: thinking, feeling, acting
1. Moral thinking: Kohlberg: as thinking becomes more complex, moral thinking becomes more
How you explain why it is right or wrong. Developed model: 3 stages of moral development
(each stage has two levels)
1. Preconventional Stage: guides moral thinking is pure self-interest. Action that leads to
negative is morally wrong.
2. Conventional Stage: laws of landwhatever law says we abide to=morally good. Value of
authority figures we respect will guide.
3. Post-Conventional Stage: self-chosen moral values. Not every value have to be based on
universal ethical means.
Only 5% reach this stage
2. Moral Feeling: connection between moral feeling and thinking. John Haidtsocial intuitionist-
moral feelings take precedence over moral thinking
3. Moral Action: gap between attitude and action.
How can we promote moral action Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
Work on moral thinking, feeling & action.
D. Social Development
D.1 Forming an Identity
Erikson: major task of adolescence is development of identity (who am I? what do I stand for?
What are my values? Beliefs?)
Path to identity: for some, it’s easy. No questions asked. Take on family beliefs
For others, it takes searching.
Try on different, but end up blending together.
Some adopt negative. Reject values of family/society, and adopt values of group they want to be
Some it remains confused. Keep changing jobs/goals/relationships Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
-the effect of time on identity
-with time identity becomes more positive, your identity will be based on what you think, value,
Table 5.3 not included in first midterm. Must study for exam.
D.2. Separating from Parents?
-relationship between parents is stormy and stressful, the media portrays the relationship as a
-truth is majority of teens respect, value, appreciate presence in live. Most have from a decent
to great relationship with them
-real rebellion: will be conflicts, not war.
-the quality of relationship is going to influence a number of things in their lives: do better in
school, have better social relationships, be happier, healthier, less likely to engage in delinquent
-peers are also important. (see chapter 4)
A. Physical Development
-when do we reach our physical peak? In our mid-twenties. After that, we start declining.
However, the declines won’t show up for a while. But with a healthy diet, physical activity,
support, we can remain vibrant, healthy, successful until the end of time.
A.2 Middle Adulthood
-womenmenopause (end of menstrual cycle, end of reproductive capacity)
-the myth: the women during this stage in their lives are miserable, depressed, psychological
problems, think that they are less of a women.
-the reality: the majority of women in this stage report feeling better than they have felt in years.
Many report renewed energy, interest, vigor. 98% have felt no regret.
-does not increase risk for depression
-menno menopause in traditional aspect, it is a gradual decline.
-decline in sperm, testosterone, sexual stuff goes down
-midlife crisis? Majority of men age well and do not have midlife crisis. Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
-sex as we age? Both men and women will continue to have desires, and enjoy sex and seek
sexual activity until the end. Only reason why, because they’re ill, or they lost their partner. Or
culture says not to.
A.3. Old Age
-worldwide, we are living longer, but in the west, old people are the fastest growing segment of
the population. WHY? Young people have become lazy=low birth rate, our lifespan is longer
than ever before.
-inequality of the sexes: first year of life: more baby boys die than baby girls
-women outlive men by 5-8 years, gap is closing.
-by age 100, F:M ratio is 5:1
-sensory abilities: will decline.
-health: immune systemexperience (you are more likely to get a virus than your grandparents),
but weakened. Your grandparents are more vulnerable to dangerous diseases.
-nursing homes: 65+5%, 75+8% -to date, majority of elderly people will continue to live
active, independent, sufficient lives. Even during last years of their lives. They are in relatively
good health, mental activity
-the brain: as we age, will be some shrinkage. Speed will decline. For men this occurs earlier
and takes place faster. (yes there is decline, however remember the old rich rats and old poor
rats) frontal lobes are first to be affected by aging
-dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: significant changes in brain. Lead to changes in
behaviours, emotions, personalities, mental capacity. Changes are such that person cannot
carry out activities of daily life.
-Alzheimer’s is most common form of dementia
Disease of the brain.
Will kill and destroy neurons
Relentless and progressive
Begins deep in areas of brain, and spreads
By the time it is done, the person is nothing but a physical shell
No memories, sense of self, who they are, don’t remember family
-amongst the first neurons to be effected are acetylcholine (important for learning and memory)
-Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging
-prevalence: 64-753% , over 85may be 50%
tangles Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
genetics: for early Alzheimer’s (30-60) chromosome 21,14,1 seem to be linked with early onset.
For late onset, 65+, chromosome 19, 10 seem to be linked.
Cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol
Inflammation in body (chronic)
Free radicals (unstable molecules, missing electronsteal from other cells)
Diet (healthier it is, the lower your risk will be)
B. Cognitive Development
-will memory decline?
-recall (no cues given) or recognition (some info given, certain info is the correct answer) recall:
there will be decline. Recognition: no significant decline
-type of information: meaningless information there will be some decline. Meaningful info: no
-type of task: asking to locate object, asking to take meds at specific times (time based tasks
might have problems. Event based tasks there won’t be as many problems)
-not so fast elderly people anticipate more easily
-does it decline with age?
first studies: (cross-sectional studiesrecruit people of different ages, and give them IQ tests and
compare results) say it does decline with age
different set of studies: (longitudinal studiesstart with one group of people, and follow same
group of people for a long period of time) say no it does not decline with age
now: it depends.
-crystallized intelligence: your body of knowledge. What you acquired from learning, developing
skills, experiences this type of intelligence will increase with age
-fluid intelligence: doesn’t have any content. Not based on previous knowledge or skills. Type of
intelligence we use when processing info, solving problems, solving puzzles, making inferences,
identifying patterns. Will peak in young adulthood. Decrease slowly up to age 75. Decrease
sharply after 85.
-older is wiser! Psychology: Chapter 5 Claire Watson
-it is possible that the brain during old age, could be the smartest it has ever been in certain
C. Social Development
-earn a pointquestions on midterm +final exam
go through, and write in margins
VI. Reflections Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
I. What Is Intelligence?
A. Definition of Intelligence
-no definition because there is no agreement of what intelligence is by researcherseach have
their own definition
-agreement of some characteristics of what it is
ability to acquire knowledge
ability to act purposefully
ability to cope effectively and smartly with the environment
B. One or Several Intelligences?
B.1 The Factor-Analysis Approach
-is intelligence one single ability? –some researchers use factor analysis to answer the
question. sophisticated statistic technique used to identify the factors that may underlie
clusters of test items
EXAMPLE: identify the common factor
-Spearman: used FA to address question of one or multiple intelligences. Acknowledged that we
have diff abilities but not multiple intelligence. General intelligence will underlie all other abilities.
Sall other abilities
-Thurstone: question of intelligence. Refused notion of ‘g’. thought we have multiple
intelligences, and not just one. Proposed we have 8 intelligences that are separate and distinct
of each other.
B.2 Contemporary Approaches
1. Gardner: Multiple Intelligences
refuses notion of ‘g’. we have multiple intelligences that are distinct of each other.
Strongly believes that every intelligence has value, however different cultures will value different
types of intelligences. Must take culture in consideration.
Logic: uses 3 main arguments:
Brain damage: some abilities are affected, but some remain intact. Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
Savants: person who is extraordinary in some ways, but really below average in others. Prodigy:
person who is extraordinary in some ways, but average in others
Different developmental courses: different abilities have different courses for development.
The intelligences: (9)
Linguistic smart with language
Musical write/sing/play an instrument
Bodily-Kinesthetic use their bodies to create art
Spatial smart about 3D space, relationships
Interpersonal people smart, detect emotions/goals
Intrapersonal self intelligence
Existential smart about major questions about life (philosophers)
2. Sternberg: Multiple intelligences (but uncomfortable with high number of them)
Analytical Intelligence: using basic analytical skills to identify a problem, define and solve it. Use
skills to judge, evaluate, and assess information. “book smart”. Problems with one solution
Creative Intelligence: thinking outside the box
Practical Intelligence: we do not learn in a book, internet, we learn on the streetseffectively
solve life problems (work, relationships). “life smarts” use when we look at a problem with
3. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Knowing your emotions:
Being very clear as to what you are feeling
Understanding your emotions:
Literate in emotions. Understand differences, and their own. Understand what triggers emotions,
what changes them
Managing your feelings:
Ability to manage them. Not hijacked by feelings. Regulate emotions in a healthy way. Don’t
suppress or deny emotions Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
Ability to motivate yourself even when you’re feeling otherwise
Delay of Gratification
Ability to say no to a very attractive short-term goal in favour of a valued long-term goal.
Remember to balance with having fun.
Recognizing Others’ Emotions
Can read their emotions
Managing Others’ Emotions
Being able to comfort others
Ability to get people to a better place without being sucked into the emotion
C. Intelligence and Creativity
-creativity: the ability to generate new and original ideas that are also useful and adaptive
-creativity and IQ: up to a certain point IQ is essential for creativity. The higher the IQ the higher
the creativity, however when we reach an IQ of 120 the relationship disappears
-components of creativity
Nonconformity highly creative people are not afraid to create things that challenge the existing
Curiosity open to new experiences & have lots of different interests
Persistence not afraid of obstacles, failure
Creative thinking: (need all 3 components)
Ideational fluency ability to generate a lot of ideas about a question in a short period of time
Flexibility of thought ability to generate different categories of ideas
Originality of thinking
Intrinsic motivation do because they love it, interested Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
Positive affect research shows that we are more creative when we are in a positive mood
The brain more creative people: when given a task, both hemispheres are equally engaged.
Less creative: only right hemisphere is active. As we get older, both are active.
II. Assessing Intelligence
A. Origins of Intelligence Testing
earn a point p 415-417
B. Modern Tests
earn a point p 418
C. Principles of Test Construction
-in order for a psychological test to be scientific (to be accepted, have value) certain criteria
must be met. Some criteria:
1. Means it must be given to a large sample of people. That sample must be representative of
population you are interested in. characteristics of people in sample must mirror population.
2. Everyone will take the test under uniform conditions.
3. Use the scores of your sample to establish norms and standards and you are going to use
those norms/standards to judge and interpret future scores.
It is reliable if it produces similar results when it is given to the same people at different times
Test-retestsame test at time one, and give it again to the same people at a different time.
Compare scores. More similar they are, the higher the reliability.
Spilt-Halfsame test, break it in half. Do the first half in time one, and second in time two.
Compare the results
Does it measure what it is supposed to be measuring?
Content validity: is it measuring the behaviour of interest? If so, it is content validity.
Predictive validity: use the test to predict future performances/behaviours? If so, predicted validity. Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
D. Is Intelligence Neurologically Measurable Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
D.1 Brain Size
-relationship between IQ and size of your head?
-relationship between IQ and size of brain?
Small correlation….r=0.33 as size of brain goes up, IQ goes up
-highly educated people tend to have more synapses in their brain
-Einstein’s brainstudy in the book…question on midterm
-evolution…human brain has shrunkkeep size in perspective
D.2 Brain Function
-there is a relationship between function and IQ
speed of info processing: people with high IQ process info faster
reaction time studies
perceptual speed: inspection time high IQ need less inspection time
Nerve conduction velocity (NCV): how fast the electrical impulse is transmitted (action potential)
high IQ have faster NCVs
Brain waves: high IQ brains produce faster and more complex waves when exposed to stimuli.
Even if stimulus is simplistic.
Frontal lobes: there is a connection, and also between FL and fluid intelligence…activate more
when doing fluid problems.
Glucose consumption: 25% of glucose goes to brain
Brain of high IQ person consumes less glucosemore efficient
Dopamine: when you have drugs that increase dopamine levels, it increases cognitive
III. The Dynamics of Intelligence Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
-Not included on 1 midterm, but must for the final exam
IV. Genetic and Environmental Influences (nature vs nurture)
A. Genetic Influences
-there is a genetic component related to genes
Twin studiesidentical twins are more closely related
Adopted childrenIQ is more similar to biological parents than adoptive
Genes? multiple genes responsible … on chromosome 6, and 1/3 of people with high IQ have
this gene & 1/6 of people with lower IQ
Heritabilitygenetic component to IQ (talking about extent to which differences (ie within a
group) are due to genetics [see chapter 4heritability])
B. Environmental Influences
impoverished vs. enriched: enriched tend to have higher IQs
nutrition: malnourished children/people have lower IQs
breast feeding: breast-fed babies for 6+ months have higher IQs
schooling effects: number of yrs in school higher years, higher IQ
IQ scores drop during summer months
Stereotype threat: negative threat about a group, is activated, we are likely to perform less than
Stereotype lift: when a positive stereotype activated, we’re likely to do better
Flynn effect: as IQ scores rise, our grandchildren will have higher IQ scores than us.
C. Group Differences in Intelligence Test Scores?
-men vs. women, “races”
-ethnic differences: studies show differences between scores of IQ between black and white
babies: no differences in IQ score between black and white babies
later differences are most likely due to environmental factors Psychology: Chapter 10 Claire Watson
racially mixed: no differences in IQ
poverty: children who are poor, doesn’t matter what race, but score lower on IQ tests
discrimination: any group discriminated against, tended to score lower on IQ tests
attitudes: if you believe you can, you will, etc.
the gap is closing between differences in IQ…if difference was genetics, it wouldn’t close this
10-15 pts difference between you and grandparents
-there is no race. It is a biologically meaningless concept.
-gender differences: differences in IQ between men and women
there are no significant differences in IQ
verbal: women/girls do better than men/boys
linked with frontal lobes
general math scores: not much differences
spatial abilities: men tend to do better than women
linked with testosterone and lower part of parietal lobes
nature or nurture? when estrogen levels go down, spatial abilities go up.
Emotion detection abilities: women are better than men
Bottom line: differences between groups are always smaller than differences within a group
D. The Question of Bias
-are IQ tests biased? Yes and no…
yes…biased in the sense that IQ tests reflect the culture, knowledge, values, education,
socioeconomic background, experiences, of the people who develop them. Create culture free
no…not biased in the sense that they are statistical. Used to make predictions, in terms of
predictive ability, they are the same Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
---not on first midterm---
I. Stress and Illness
-1900 we used to die from: tuberculosis, pneumonia, diarrhea
-today heart disease, cancer, stroke (strong lifestyle component)
-10 leading causes of death in North America
half of the mortality rate is due to behaviours
behaving our way into early death
-behavioural medicine: the scientific field that is combining medical knowledge and
psychological knowledge to deal with illnesses in health
health psychologypsychological component of behavioural medicine
study anything that is linked with health
listening to doctors
coping with illness
B. Stress and Stressors
-definition of stress: psychobiological process. Has psychological and physiological
components. Stress is talking about negative emotions that we experience when facing event
that we consider to be threatening to us, or we consider them to be challenging, taxing, and
beyond our abilities to cope.
-stressor: any event we perceive to be threatening or challenging or taxing to us
B.2 The Stress Response System
-Canonthe first to study stress scientifically. He concluded that both humans and animals when
faced with threatening situation the bodies undergo physiological changes. Such that the body
will release stress hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. Body will go into the
“fight or flight” response.
-SelyeCanadian. Coined the term “stress”. Based on observation and research. Proposed the
general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
When faced with a stressor, body will produce a general response to stress. Will go into GAS.
Sequence of physiological reaction. 3 phases: Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
Alarm reactionbody realizes there is a threat, will be activated, will mobilize resources in order
to fight or flight. If stressful situation continues, body will go into
Resistancedoes whatever it take to resist or cope with stress. If resistance continues,
exhaustion will happen
Exhaustionno longer has resources to cope. We become vulnerable to serious diseases, (rare
-adrenal glands: sit on top of kidneys. Release stress hormones in bloodstream. When faces
with stress, body will activate two response systems
Cortexhypothalamusspinal cord (SNS)adrenal medulla (inner part of adrenal gland)release
stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Cortexhypothalamuspituitary glands(controls other glands)adrenal cortex(outer part of
adrenal glands)release stress hormones, like cortisol into bloodstream.
-short term stress is good/adaptive/healthy response, long term is bad for us, our body and
brain. Chronic levels of cortisolit kills neurons
B.3 What Causes Stress
-stressful life events:
catastrophes: can be major stressor, have significant impact on health. Events that are
unpredictable and of massive proportion. Can be nature made.
significant life changes: breakups, moving
daily hassles: the little problems of everyday life that are annoying. The number of daily hassles
we experience is a better predicator of physical health than significant life events we
social and cultural: racism, poverty, discrimination. Lower socioeconomic status can have an
conflict: being faced with more than one choice
approach-approach: both choices are equally desirable
approach-avoidance: really valuable aspects, but components that are negative (extremely
avoidance-avoidance: choices that are both equally undesirable
-perceived control: feeling that you can handle it, have some control, can cope. Has to be
C. Stress and the Heart
C.1 Friedman and Rosenman
-1956men had higher risk for heart disease than women Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
-did three studies. Found that stress was making heart problems exist Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
interviewed 3000 men, put into categories
-type a: motivated, competitive, easily angered, hostile, cynical
-type b: easy going, laid back, relaxed, take it easy
-followed them later
257 had heart attacks
69% were type A
0% of type B had heart attacks
C.2 What it is about Type A?
-unhealthy behaviourssleep less, smoke more, eat high-fat diets
-temperamenthigher levels of physiological arousal. More stress hormones in their body.
Hormones in body will speed up blocking of arteries, as well as blood vessels will constrict.
Blood pressure will go up, and high BP damages arteries.
-negative emotionsanger, hostility, cynical. When we are angry all the time, that puts us at a
higher risk of early death and disease.
C.3 Other Toxic Emotions
-pessimism people: more vulnerable to disease, tend to die earlier
-depression: higher risk for disease, heart problems, heart attack, die from heart attack or have
complications from it
-recruited 180 nuns age 22
asked to write a page about their lives
some had joy, love, positivity, happiness etc
others had more negative feelings
divided based on feelings, and followed them for years
nuns who were positive lived on average 7+ years
by age 80, 54% of the negative nuns had died, vs 24% of positive nuns who died.
-it is how we deal with emotions
-make effort to have positive emotions in your life Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
D. Stress and Susceptibility to Disease
D.1 Stress & Immune System
-immune system: the army of our body highly complex system
-protects from viruses and bacteria, as well as cells within our body that have become
-macrophages: white blood cells: first line of defense. Looking for things to destroy in the body
always. Destroy by ingesting, or deliver to other cells to destroy them
-B lymphocytes: bone marrow: destroy cells by producing antibodies.
-T lymphocytes: thymus: go after cells that have already been infected with viruses, or are
turning malignant, or transplanted cells
-natural killer cells: protect us from cancer, spread of cancer and viruses
-helper T-cells: enhance and regulate activity of immune system. HIV goes after these cells
weaken immune systemblood pressure, HR goes up, pupils dilate, body releases sugar and fat
into blood stream. Send blood to arms and legs, and will weaken and shut down any system
competing for energy.
-problems with the immune system:
may overreact: goes after the tissue in the body
may underreact: if the ‘soldiers’ aren’t paying attention, cancer, viruses, bacteria will all spread
-strongest immune system? Women have a stronger immune system
more resilient to infections
more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases like arthritis Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
real illness that is linked with psychological factors
field of researchers: study the link between the nervous system, psychological factors, and
D.2 Stress and AIDS
-stress will make disease progress faster, more vulnerable to infections
D.3 Stress and Cancer
-animal studies: definite link between stress and cancer
-human studies: inconclusive. (cannot do the things to humans that we do to animals). Some
found links, but some didn’t. when people have cancer, and they’re stressed, stress hormones
will make cancer more aggressive and spread faster
II. Promoting Health
A. Coping with Stress
-coping: the amount of effort putting in order to manage and deal with stressful situation. Can be
adaptive and maladaptive (going to bar to drown sorrows, stress eating)
ways of coping:
problem-focused copingidentify problem/source, and deal with it head on….if you can solve the
problem, use problem-focused coping. If not, it is maladaptive.
emotion-focused copingworking on the emotions that are created by stressful situation….if the
problem is uncontrollable, use emotion-focused coping, but in a healthy way, go to therapist, talk
to friends, etc.
reappraising the problemhow you are thinking about the problem, reassess.
learning from the experiencenever let situation to go to waste. Find something to help you be a
better person, help others.
Making social comparisonseverybody fails at some point. Upward: compare to others doing
better, downward: compare to others doing less well.
Cultivating a sense of humourimportant to laugh at ourselves. Watching funny videos makes
you less stressed
Learned optimismbetter to be optimist than pessimist-linked with negative consequences
perceived controlnot about controlling other people, believing that even if a bad situation, you
can still control how you feel about it Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
B. Managing Stress
B.1 Aerobic Exercise
-it is sustained physical activity
-HB between 55-85% max capacity
-health: immune systemstrengthens
lowers heart disease 30%
lowers stroke 400%
lowers colon cancer 2/3
lowers breast cancer 200%
-brain: increase nerve growth factors
essential for growth, maintenance, repair of neurons
stimulate nerve regeneration
rescue damaged neurons from death
increase neuronal metabolismblood flow to the brain, glucose, nutrients
better brain function
-stops shrinkage of brain, helps rebuild back up
-stress: aerobic exercise burns stress hormones
lowers physiological response to stress
fitter, lower physiological response to stress will be
increase ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters
norepinephrinemood, motivation, confidence, energy, memory
serotoninrelaxing, soothing, calming, less sensitive to pain Psychology: Chapter 12 Claire Watson
endorphinssoothing, calming, deal with pain, more likely to follow through on goals
self esteem goes up, personal power goes up
B.2 Biofeedback and Relaxation
-study in book-
blood lactatelactic acid
shuts down: fight or flight response
melatonin (sleep hormone)
attention and focus
B.3 Social Support
-not enough to have family/friends…do you feel that your family and friends
value/love/appreciate you for who you are. Reach out and be nurtured. Responsive to needs. If
you have all this, you have social support.
-relationships can affect us in two ways:
when healthy, we are not only happier, but also will be healthier. Buffer between us and stress.
when neglectful, those relationships are toxic to our health. As bad as being obese.
-being judged: increase stress hormones in blood
-DNAwhen no social support and stress, will change expression of genes
telomeres: tips of chromosomes, when cells divide, get shorter. To age slower, need longer
-nurture whether you had social support, had higher levels of activity in left frontal lobe (positive
emotions. Negative nurture, high levels in right frontal lobes (sadness, negativity)
-belief in higher power (caring for you) will affect health Psychology: Chapter