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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

WEEK 14 ONLINE LESSON: GENETICS AND INTELLIGENCE -behavior has been classified as nativist (born with it) or empiricist (learned from society and the environment) -nativist: hard-wired behavior, doesn't depend on environment -empiricist: born as a blank slate, all behavior results from individual experiences from environment and sensation -->NATURE V.S. NUTURE: how do genetics and the environment affect our intelligence? GENETICS behavioral genetics: the study of the relationship b/w genetics and behavior -humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes -->22 pairs of autosomes -->1 pair of sex chromosomes -sperm carries either X or Y chromatid; when combining with the egg (which has X), it can either result in XX or XY -half your genes come from each parent, but combining them into characteristics is very complex genes: regions on chromosomes (coiled DNA) that encode specific proteins needed for cellular f'n -locus: location of gene on chromosome -homozygous: when genes at the same locus on two homologous chromosomes are the same -heterozygous: when genes at the same locus " " are different -alleles: a pair of genes at a given locus; one from mom, one from dad; can be dominant or recessive over the other -phenotype depends on both environment and genetics -genes don't DIRECTLY influence behavior: they are turned on/off to produce certain amounts of proteins that our body uses for f'ns related to our behavior and structure(eg. neurotransmitters) -environment can influence which genes are turned off/on, thus which proteins are present monogenic: one genes controls the trait (eg. eye colour) -disorders sometimes arise from the mutation of a single gene -eg. FOXP2 gene on chrom. 7: severe language disorder polygenic: multiple genes control the trait (eg. dog fur colour) -most traits are a result of the interactions of multiple genes with the environment -most disorders (eg. schizo, autism, depression) are the result of 1+ gene's actions (polygenis basis) monozygotic: twins resulting from a fertilized egg split in two; identical dizygotic: twins resulting from two eggs fertilized simultaneously by two different sperm; variation in genes received -many studies compare genetic similarity to similarity in a trait -concordance: matching phenotypes b/w twins -->if the rate of concordance is higher in maternal twins than fraternal, the trait has a genetic component--> genetics play a large role in having the trait epigenetics: the study of heritable changes that occur w/o a change in the DNA sequence (mutation) -usually affects non-reproductive DNA/ changes cells that are passed on as cell divides asexually -exterior factors (stress, diet, toxins) affect chem. switches that regulate gene expression -can cause a change to the "blueprints" of cells -differentiated cells: cells with changes in gene expression patterns -also describes less-common changes that pass down through sexual reproduction INTELLIGENCE -polygenic trait -most of the time a child's intelligence will resemble those of their parents relatively closely -very difficult to separate the effects of the environment from genetics -genetics can be expressed differently depending on the environment keep in mind: 1. correlation =/= causation when looking at a factor and a trait 2. studies tell us about pop'n effects, not individual effects; findings can be generalized to similar pop'ns, but not necessarily individuals 3. polygenic traits lie on a scale, there are varying degrees of the trait (really short, short, medium, tall, really tall) 4. the influence of environment and genetics can't be easily separated, often interact too much; environment affects gene influence heritability: a statistic measuring genetic inheritance -the proportion of the observed variance in a behavior that can be attributed to genetic differences among individuals -an inherited trait can have high or low heritability -a trait that is never inherited has 0 heritability -estimates depend on the degree to which individuals in the pop'n have genes in common -->eg. small villages = lots of genes in common = higher heritability -can only generalize if the pop'ns are similar enough INTELLIGENCE DEFINITION AND ASSESSMENT -to accurately and objectively define intelligence, a numerical value can be used differential approach: intelligence involves many different abilities -involves tests and measures to gauge these various abilities factor analysis: a way to determine correlations b/w individual items on a test -high correlation b/w items = evidence that they are measuring the same thing -examines a group of variables and looks for any underlying structure that connects them by calculating the extent to which observed variables can be explained in terms of a smaller number of variables, called factors -eg. a collection of different lumps under a blanket are all caused by a sleeping child indifference of the indicator: the finding that the content of the test items and the nature of the task used to test general intelligence doesn't matter much in test scores -eg. people who did well on a hard math test also did well on the easy vocab test general intelligence, "g": because all measures of intelligence correlate (+), they all reflect a
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