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Lecture 2

HDFS 2317 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology, Human Genome Project, Chromosome


Department
Educational Psychology
Course Code
HDFS 2317
Professor
Kimberly Schoger
Lecture
2

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The Evolutionary Perspective
Natural Selection and Adaptive Behavior
Individuals that best adapted to their environment are most likely to survive and
reproduce
Their characteristics are passed on to the next generation
Over generations, organisms with characteristics best suited for survival make up
an increased percentage of the population
Survival of the fittest
Men seek sex objects, women seek success
Evolutionary Psychology
Emphasizes adaptation, reproduction, and survival of the fittest in shaping
behavior
Evolution explains human physical features and behaviors
We take longer to become adults now, we’ve evolved
Some behaviors are problematic today, like people gorging themselves in food
scarce areas
Evolutionary developmental psychology
Extended childhood evolved for human beings
Evolved characteristics are not always adaptive in contemporary society
Genetic Foundations of Development
The Collaborative Gene
Chromosomes
Threadlike structures located in the nucleus of each human cell
Made up of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
DNA
Complex molecule with a double helix shape
Contains genetic information
Genes
Basic units of hereditary information
Short segment of the DNA strand
Direct cells to reproduce and assemble proteins that direct body
processes
Human Genome Project
Genome - Mapping of complete set of developmental instructions for creating
proteins to create human organism
Genes collaborate with each other and with nongenetic factors in and outside of
body
Gene activity is affected by environment
Turns genes “on” or “off”
Sources of Genetic Variability
Combining genes of two parents in offspring increases genetic variability in the
population
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