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PSYA01 Chapter 3 Exam Notes

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Steve Joordens

Psychological ScienceChapter 3 Biological Psychology31 Genetic and Evolutionary Perspectives on BehaviorGenes and experience are never independent They interact to make us who we areGenes are the basic units of heredity they are responsible for guiding the process of creating the proteins that make up our physical structures and regulate development and physiological processes throughout the life spanoGenes are organized along chromosomes structures in the cellular nucleus that are lined with all of the genes an individual inheritsoHumans have approximately 30000 genes distributed across 23 pairs of chromosomes half from each parentoGenes are comprised of DNA deoxyribonucleic acid a molecule formed in a doublehelix shape that contains four amino acids adenine cytosine guanine and thymineoGenotype refers to the genetic makeup of an organismoPhenotype refers to the observable characteristics including physical structures and behaviorsoGenes come in pairs one inherited from each parent aligned along the chromosomes If two corresponding genes at a given location on a pair of chromosomes are the same they are referred to as homozygous If the two genes differ they are heterozygousBehavioral Genetics Twin and Adoption StudiesoBehavioral genetics is the study of how genes and environment influence behavioroMonozygotic twins come from a single ovum egg which makes them genetically identicaloDizygotic twins fraternal twins come from two separate eggs fertilized by two different sperm cells that share the same womboOne twin study found that anxiety and depression seem to be influenced by genetics in children and adolescents It was far more likely for both monozygotic twins to show symptoms than for both dizygotic twins to do so However the genetic influence of anxiety and depression decreased as the person grew in age serving as a reminder that the environment never stops interacting with genesoBehavioral geneticists use twin studies to calculate heritability a statistic expressed as a number between zero and one that represents the degree to which genetic differences between individuals contribute to individual differences in a behavior or trait found in a populationIn contrast to the results of the twin study another study found that heritability for intelligence increases with age Children were more like their adoptive parents at a young age and by the time they were 16 they were more like their biological parentsBehavioral genomics is the study of DNA and the ways in which specific genes are related to behaviorEvolutionary PsychologyoEvolution is the change in the frequency of genes occurring in an interbreeding population over generationsoNatural selection is the process by which favorable traits become increasingly common in a population of interbreeding individuals while traits that are unfavorable become less commonAnimals of many species use coloration as a way to attract the attention of potential mates and those who are most colorful are often preferredOne cue upon which both men and women base their feelings of attraction is the symmetry of the face
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