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Week 14 Exam Notes

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Queen's University
PSYC 100

GENETICS Nature vs. Nurture Debate: • Two views on the origin of behaviour: Nativism and Empiricism • Nativism: we are born with behaviour • Empiricism: behaviour comes from experience as we interact with our environment • DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): strands of sugar and phosphate connected by nucleotide basis • Gene: sequence of nucleotide bases along DNA o Contain instructions for proteins that affect behaviour o No explicit genes for behaviour • Chromosomes: are threadlike structures of DNA o Genes are located on chromosomes o The point where the gene is located is the locus o We inherit 23 chromosomes from each parent • Sex chromosomes and autosomes • Alleles are the alternative forms of genes o Homozygous: 2 of the same alleles on both chromosomes of the pair  Recessive traits occur only when the individual is homozygous for the trait o Heterozygous: 2 different alleles on both chromosomes of the pair  Dominant traits are show when the individual is heterozygous for the trait • Genotype is the genetic makeup of a trait • Phenotype: how the trait is expressed Polygenic Inheritance: • Some behaviours are inherited based on many genes • Causes a continuum of behaviour • Studied by using identical and fraternal twins o Identical (monozygotic) twins come from the same egg and have identical genotypes o Fraternal (dizygotic) twins come from different eggs and are no more similar than any other siblings • Concordance research studies the similarity of traits between twins o Twins are concordant for a trait if both express or do not express it o They are discordant for a trait if only one expresses it o Concordance is higher for identical twins (trait is influenced by genetics) • Genetic influence is measured by heritability (h^2) o Heritability: the estimated amount of variability in a trait (in a given population at a given time) due to genetic factors  More a trait influenced by genetic factors = greater heritability Studying Behavioural Genetics: • Mendelian traits show dominant or recessive patterns of inheritance • Non-Mendelian traits are usually polygenic and show continuous variation in the phenotype INTELLIGENCE Intelligence is a person’s ability to: • Lean and remember information • Recognize concepts and their relations • Apply information to their own behaviour Spearman’s Two-Factor Theory: • Performance on a test is determined by: o G factor: general factor, accounts for moderate correlations among different tests o S factor: factor specific to a particular test • Factor analysis: identifies common factors and groups of tests o If a person scores high on a set of tests, these tests likely measure the same factor o g (common factor for general intelligence) – comes from fact that all measures of intelligence are positively correlated • Gf = fluid intelligence o Defined by culture free tasks such as the ability to see relations among objects o Potential ability to learn and solve problems • Gc = crystallized intelligence o Definied by culture dependent information such as vocabulary and information learned in schools o What a person has accomplished with fluid intelligence Information Processing Theory (Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence): • Analytical intelligence: mental mechanisms people use to plan and perform tasks; 3 components: o Metacomponents: decide the nature of the problem, select a strategy and choose resources o Performance components: process us
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