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Chapter 3

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PSYC 1020H
Wolfgang Lehmann

Chapter 3 Psychology Notes September 17, 2013 10:21 AM Psych Ch. 3 Notes  Nativists – emphasized genes and natural characteristics  Empiricists – focus was on learning and experience Evolutionary Psych Helped explain commonalities like language learning, attention, reasoning, emotion, memory, perception, sexual behaviour, and many other aspects about human behaviour Behavioural Genetics Tried to create a separation between learning and focused on individual differences like personality, mental ability, and other characteristics Practically no one argues between nature vs nurture anymore, instead it’s a mixture of environment and heredity Genes: The functional units of heredity; composed of DNA and specify the structure of proteins Can affect the kinds of experiences we have: a teenager with a genetic aptitude for school work may be more likely to join a spelling bee Epigenetic: the study of the type of stable change in genetic expression DNA – Four basic chemical elements make up DNA: A = Adenine T = Thymine C = Cytosine G = Guanine In order they look like: ACGTCTCTATA Linkage studies: looking for genes associated with physical and mental conditions: researchers start by looking for Genetic Markers (A segment of DNA that varies among individuals, has a known location on a chromosome, and can function as a genetic landmark for a gene involved in a physical or mental condition). The researchers look for commonalities inside inheritance, (Depression, Aggression) if these only exist within family members with the condition it can be a genetic landmark. QUIZ 1. What does it mean to say that the Gene- environment interaction works in both directions? Genes affect the environments we experience and environment factors affect the activity of genes over a person’s lifetime 2. The basic unit of heredity is called a (a) gene (b) chromosome, (c) Genome, (d) DNA Molecule A 3. What does a code within a gene encode for? The synthesis of a particular protein Fundamental idea behind Natural Selection: in a particular environment, individuals with a genetically influenced trait tend to be more successful than other individuals in finding food, surviving the elements, and fending off enemies and therefore better at staying alive long enough to produce offspring they will become more and more common in the population Evolution: a change in gene frequencies within a population over many generations; a mechanism by which genetically influenced characteristics of a population may change Mutation: Changes in genes, sometimes due to an error in the copying of the original DNA sequence during the division of the cells that produce sperm and eggs. Darwin had another theory called sexual selection: there are two types of sexual selection Intersexual selection – one member of a sex chooses another member and the members look for attractive qualities between them Intersexual Selection - Members of the same sex compete for a member of the opposite sex, either through fighting or getting more muscular/ putting makeup on. Mental Modules: A collection of specialized an independent sections of
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