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Department
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Course
PSYCH 100
Professor
tamararahhal
Semester
Spring

Description
Behavior Genetics: Why Are People So Different? • an approach to understanding the extent to which behavior/trait differences can be attributed to genetic difference • Twin Studies – Raised Together → Identical Twins – 100% same genes → Fraternal Twins – genetic similarity of siblings ~ identical twins are much more similar to each other than fraternal twins • Problems → huge samples → are identical twins raised more similarly than fraternal twins • Identical Twins – Raised Apart → identical twins raised in separate homes are remarkably similar to each other • Problems → never mention the differences → how similar are you and I? • identical twins raised apart vs. fraternal twins raised apart → identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins (small but consistent effect) → unaffected by “age at separation” → mix­ups • are adopted kids more like their genetic (biology) or adoptive (environment) parents? • how similar are adopted kids to other kids in the house? → Personality → biology wins ~ home environment has little effect ~ adoptive kids do not resemble biological kids ~ biological kids don’t often resemble each other → IQ → biology and environment tie ~ adoptive kids’ IQ’s are close to biological parents’ IQ’s but more in the direction of adoptive parents’ IQ’s → Values → environment wins ~ religious and ethical values are heavily influenced by the values of the adoptive parents → Temperament → biology wins ~ studies with monkeys • Nature (Genes) → evolutionary psychology → genes promote similarity → behavior genetics • Nurture → what are the influences of nurture (the environment) on traits and behaviors → Rosenzweig Studies ~ rats raised in isolation vs. with toys and playmates → neural changes translate into cognitive or emotional advantage → stimulation isn’t enough → need interaction too → Freud → parents exert a huge influence on their developing children ~only sort of true; only mild effects → peers have a huge influence on their friends ~ smoking/alcohol/drug use ~ language development ~ preferences → could it still be only genes? ~ birds of a genetic feather flock together? ~ evolutionary explanation • Culture → the behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next ~ formality, personal space, pace, expressiveness → could cultural differences really be biological? ~ probably not ~ generational difference within a culture ~ college classroom in 1913 vs. 2013 • Nature vs. Nurture: Gender Differences → spatial cognition → verbal ability → locus of control → female: internal; male: external → empathy • Nature (biological) explanation) → hormones differ in men and women → hormones influence behavior • Nurture (environmental) explanation → we model “imitate” what we see → we are rewarded for gender­stereotyped behavior • Nature vs. Nurture: Conclusions → both genes and environment influence behavior → it is not easy to distinguish the relative contributions of genes vs. environment for any particular behavior → it is not easy to predict any given behavior by controlling the genes or the environment ~ the relationship is so complex • Developmen
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