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PSYC 1000
Anne Bergen

Chapter 4: Psych 1100 Genes, Evolution, and Behaviour - genetically influenced behaviour is not Nature or Nurture, rather Nature and Nurture - how favourable or unfavourable environmental conditions can affect genetically inherited potential - heredity: passage of characteristics from parents to offspring through genes - heritability: how much variation in a characteristic within a population can be attributed to genetic differences Chromosomes and Genes - Gregor Mendel’s experimentation with pea plants in the 1860s showed that heredity was the passing on of specific traits instead of a blending of the parents’characteristics - Genotype: the specific genetic makeup of the individual - present from conception - never change - not all genes are used (contradict with others, environment never calls them out) - Phenotype: the observable characteristics produced by that genetic endowment - affected by other genes and environment - egg and sperm carry chromosomes: DNA(material of heredity, which has units called genes that carry information about your characteristics and traits) - genes affect development and functioning because they provide the code for proteins which control cell structure and chemical reactions - every cell in the human body has 46 chromosomes, except for the sex cells (sperm or egg) which only have 23 chromosomes Dominant, Recessive, and Polygenic Effects - dominant: the particular characteristic that it (the gene) controls will be displayed - recessive: the characteristic (that the gene controls) will not show up unless the partner gene inherited from the other parent is also recessive. - genes are made up of two connected strands, one from each parent - polygenic transmission: a number of genes working together to create a particular phenotypic characteristic - all characteristics are not always determined by one pair of genes = more variation Genetic Engineering - recombinant DNAprocedures: DNAis cut and pieces are modified and combined with DNAfrom other organisms, so that the new DNAcan replicate itself - used to produce human growth hormone - gene knockout: procedure that alters a gene in a way that stops it from carrying out its function - helps researchers track certain behaviours’dependencies/ what genes affect them - however may disrupt a wide range of functions and not just one - concordance: the likelihood that two people share the same particular characteristic - high concordance in people highly related to one another points to a possible genetic contribution rather than environment factors, especially if they live in different environments - adoption study: characteristics of a person adopted early in life are compared to both their biological parents and adoptive parents, to see which characteristics are more dependent on environmental factors rather than genetic factors, and vice-versa - twin studies: identical and fraternal twins are compared on some characteristics - again environment vs. genetic factors - led scientists to believe that many psychological characteristics, disorders, and intelligence have a notable genetic contribution - identical twins are more alike than fraternal twins across a wide range of personality characteristics, indicating an important genetic component in personality traits. Together with genetic factors, an individual’s unique experiences are important for personality; family environment has little impact Biological Reaction Range, Environment, and Intelligence - reaction range: genetically influenced limits within which environmental factors can exert their effects on an organism - intelligence isn’t fixed at birth, rather a human inherits a range of potential that is influenced and determined by environmental factors - intellectual growth is also affected by interests, motivation, and how we take advantage of our gifts and opportunities Evolution and Behaviour - no behaviour by any organism can occur without biologically based mechanisms that receive input from the environment and respond to it - such as aggression, altruism, sex roles, protecting kin, ability to learn, speak, remember etc. - evolution: particular genes – and the characteristics they produce – change over time within an interbreeding population - some genetic variation arises in a population through mutat
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