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PSYC100 13/14 Week 14.docx

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PSYC 100
Jon Miller

Week 14: Genetics and Intelligence Behaviour and Genetics - DNA o Genetic material that makes up chromosomes; resembles twisted ladder o Strands of sugar and phosphates connected by rungs made from nucleotide molecules of adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine - Chromosomes o Threadlike structures in the nuclei of living cells; contain genes Genes and Alleles - Genes o Small units of DNA that guide the creation of proteins which make up our physical structures and regulate development and physiological processes - Alleles o Alternative forms of the same gene o Pair of genes at a given locus - Homozygous o Each parent contributes the same allele for a particular gene - Heterozygous o Each parent contributes different alleles for a particular gene - Dominant o Trait that is exhibited when an individual possesses heterozygous alleles at that locus o Eg. Brown eyes - Recessive o Trait that occurs only when it is expressed by homozygous alleles o Eg. Blue eyes Genetic Influences - Genotype o An organism’s genetic makeup; genetic makeup of a trait o Represents what was inherited - Phenotype o Represents physical and behavioural manifestation of an organism’s genotype through interactions with the environment - Polygenic o A trait that is influenced by more than one pair of genes Behavioural Genetics - The study of how genes and environment influence behaviour - Family studies - Adoptive studies - Twin studies compare: o Identical twins  Share 100% genes o Fraternal twins  Share 50% genes o If the rate of concordance (expression of similarity in, or absence of, traits) for a trait is higher for identical twins, then it has a genetic component Epigenetics - The study of heritable changes that occur without a change in the DNA sequence; a mutation Heritability - Amount of variability in a given trait in a given population at a given time due to genetic factors - Measured by h^2 - Trait that is not inherited always has zero heritability - Expressed as a number between 0 and 1 Measuring Intelligence - Intelligence o The ability to think, understand, reason, and cognitively adapt to and overcome obstacles o Consists of a person’s ability to:  Efficiency • Higher cognitive abilities = more efficient neural processing; lower levels of activation in areas of the brain to perform a task  Synchronization • Higher skill level = increased synchronization between cortical regions; increases with learning  Adaptation
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