Genes and the environment - summary (referring to lec 5)

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Robert Gerlai

Do we have free will in terms of what we do?Or is it restricted by the environment and biological factors (product of evolution)? A mix of culture and genetics influences our preferences- why do we obey certain laws - The origin of racial differences- is it adaptive? Yes- in africa- people are dark skinned- because there is alot of sunlight therefore it prevents one from developing skin cancer - genetic influence may be strong or weak - Nature vs. Nurture debate- it is difficult to seperate gene and environmental effects - one needs to look at how they work together - The scientific method is used to see how much the gene influences vs. The environmental influence - It is a hypothesis- wants to identify: what is the proportion of variability coming from the gene or the environment heritability- looks at how heritable something is- what is the proportion of variance A larger proportion of variance occurs due to genetics, but even if something is 100% heritable, it doesnt mean that we cant use the environment to change it If IQ is highly heritable: it MEANS- that 60% of variation in our population has a genetic origin- 40% has an environmental origin INDIVIDUAL VS. POPULATION -heritability is not about the individual- it is about the variability in a POPULATION - ex. The IQ average is misinterpreted as influencing the individual- however, heritability looks at the source of variability in a POPULATION- doesnt mean that an individuals performance has this average- - Even if these is the ratio for the population, in an individual, environment may influence them beyond 40% of influence them less than 40% - Ex. If an alchoholic drinks everyday, (the environment) will influence them depsite the parents (genetics) What is vs. What can be
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