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Chapter 2

FMST 210 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Genomics, Operant Conditioning, Observational Learning

Family Studies
Course Code
FMST 210
Maria Weatherby

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Chapter 2: Independent Questions
I. Biological and Evolutionary Theories
1. Summarize the two introductory paragraphs of this section.
When studying human development, have to be aware of biological processes such as genetic
and epigenetic factors because they interact with environment to shape us. Evolutionary
theories say that genetics that underlie human behaviour have changed due to mutation and
natural selection.
A. Genetics
2. Define the following terms related to genetics: (a) chromosomes, (b) DNA, (c) genes, (d) genome
a) Strings of genetic material in the nuclei of cells
b) A chemical material that makes up chromosomes and genes
c) Complex chemical units of a chromosome that control or influence inherited traits
d) All the DNA that an organism possesses
B. Genotypes, Phenotypes, and Patterns of Inheritance
i. Dominant and Recessive Genes - Optional reading: Not on the exams
ii. Polygenic and Multifactorial Inheritance
3. Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring (from parents or ancestors). There are many different patterns
or rules of heredity/inheritance. Some inherited traits are referred to as Mendelian traits (that is, traits that
are under the direct control of a single gene). Predicting the expression of traits determined by a single
gene (Mendelian traits/monogenic inheritance) is relatively straightforward. However, unlike monogenic
inheritance, polygenetic and multifactorial inheritances are complex.
(a) What does polygenetic inheritance mean?
It is a pattern of inheritance in which many genes influence a trait.
(b) What does multifactorial inheritance mean?
A pattern of inheritance affected by both genes and the environment.
C. Epigenetics
Some of the traits we inherit cannot be explained by our genes/genome. Epigenetics is a recent theory that
suggests heritability can be operating above the genetic level. It influences gene expression or function
(not gene structure).
4. Define the following terms: (a) epigenome, (b) gene expression, (c) gene silencing
a) The sum total of inherited and acquired molecular modifications to the genome that leads to
changes in gene regulation without changing the DNA sequence of the genome.
b) When a gene sequence is activated or turned on and ready to be translated into gene
products (proteins for the most part).
c) When a gene sequence is made inactive or turned off and is prevented from being translated
into gene products (proteins for most part).
5. Summarize the research findings from the field of Epigenetics presented in the third and fourth
paragraphs of this section on “Epigenetics”.
Szyf and Meaney found that epigenetic factors play a big role in development. They were the
first researchers to demonstrate that maternal care can alter molecular epigenetic structures in
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offspring. Recent studies have shown that some acquired epigenetic modifications can be
passed on.
6. Read the Research Report on p. 69 in Chapter 3 entitled Twins in Genetic and Epigenetic Research.
a) What is the logic behind comparing identical and fraternal twins to assess the heritability of traits?
(See first and second paragraphs)
If identical twins (whose genes are exactly the same) who are raised apart are more similar
than fraternal twins (whose genes are similar but not identical) who are raised together,
heredity must play a role in the traits being studied.
b) The report states, “If intelligence and attitudes were determined solely by heredity, identical twins
would be exactly alike, and researchers would find correlations of +1.00” (fourth paragraph).
However, because the correlations found are less than +1.00, environmental factors must also
contribute to intelligence and attitudes. Summarize the key findings from the fifth and six
paragraphs of this research report.
Epigenetic variables affect behaviour and disease in monozygotic twins. Different lifestyle and
different environment affected epigenetics differences greatly in middle aged twins while the
differences in younger twins was indistinguishable.
D. Evolutionary Theories
i. Ethology
7. Describe this theoretical view and identify the examples provided.
Perspective on development that emphasizes genetically determined survival behaviours
presumed to have evolved through natural selection (passed down). For example, evolution has
equipped birds with nest building genes. Also, genes for crying in an irritating manner increase
chances of survival of babies.
ii. Behaviour Genetics
8. Describe this theoretical view and identify the examples provided.
Study of the role of heredity in individual differences. For example, traits or behaviours are
believed to be influenced by genes when those of related people are more similar than those of
unrelated people.
iii. Sociobiology
9. Describe this theoretical view and identify the examples provided.
Study of society using the methods and concepts of biology; when used by developmentalists, an
approach that emphasizes genes that aid group survival. Evolution has provided humans with
genetic programming that helps us cooperate (ie. Laws against murder in society).
iv. Evolutionary Psychology - Optional reading: Not on the exams
v. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology - Optional reading: Not on the exams
vi. Evolutionary Prenatal Programming and Adult Health and Disease - Optional reading: Not on the exams
E. Applying Biology and Evolutionary Theories
i. Disease Control
10. Summarize all the text in this section.
Human genomics is the study of the human genome including the location of genes, their
function and their role in disease processes. Some scientists believe rare single-gene diseases
will have limited impact on national healthcare. Other scientists predict the greatest impact of
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