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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Independent Questions.doc

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 208
Maria Weatherby

Chapter 2: Independent Questions ______________________________________________________________________________ I. Biological and Evolutionary Theories 1. Summarize the two introductory paragraphs of this section. - Knowledge of biological processes is an important foundation for understanding evolutionary theories of development - Epigenetics – profoundly change the way we think of human development in 21 century st - Evolution – genetic and physiological processes changed gradually over time through genetic mutation and natural selection o used to explain cognitive, social, and cultural behavior A. Genetics 2. Define the following terms: (a) chromosomes, (b) DNA, (c) genes, (d) genome (a) Chromosomes – strings of genetic material in the nuclei of cells (b) DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) – a chemical material that makes up chromosomes and genes (c) Genes – a complex chemical unit of a chromosome that control or influence inherited traits (d) Genome – all the DNA that an organism possesses B. Genotypes, Phenotypes, and Patterns of Inheritance (Optional reading: Not on the exams) C. Epigenetics 3. Define the following terms: (a) epigenome, (b) gene expression, (c) gene silencing (a) Epigenome – 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) Gene Expression – when a gene sequence is activated (“turned on”) and ready to be translated into gene products – proteins, for the most part (c) Gene Silencing – when a gene sequence is made inactive (“turned off”) and is prevented from being translated into gene products – proteins, for the most part 4. Summarize the research findings from the field of Epigenetics presented in the third and fourth paragraphs of this section on “Epigenetics” (pp. 27- 28). – MATERNAL CARE OF RATS (ENVIRONOMNT  EPIGENETICS) - Mosche Szyf and Michael Meaney have found that epigenetic factors play a pivotal role in development across the lifespan - Through animal studies, they were the first researchers to demonstrate that maternal care can physically alter molecular epigenetic structures in offspring (Ex. a mother rat’s increased postnatal levels of feeding and groomer of her pups resulted in calmer rat pups by actually altering the molecular epigenetic structures in the rat pups  in follow up studied, researchers found that although these early-life epigenetic changes persist into adulthood, they could be reversed experimentally) - Recent studies have shown that some acquired epigenetic changes to liver, heart, and brain proteins in mice, endocrine, reproductive and behavioural changes in rats acquired during the lifetime of the parent can be transmitted to the offspring - Epigenetic changes caused by changes to maternal diet have been shown to transfer across generations in mice populations - Preliminary evidence shows that acquired epigenetic traits linked to chromosome structure alterations may be inherited in humans D. Evolutionary Theories i. Nativism 5. Describe this theoretical view and identify the example provided. - The view that humans possess unique genetic traits that will be manifested in all members of the species, regardless of differences in their environments - Supported when developmentalists identify behaviours that appear early in life, develop in almost all individuals in every culture, and do not exist in other species - E.g. all healthy children learn language early in life without any specific instruction from adults (to date, scientists have found no evidence of grammatical language in nonhuman species) ii. Ethology 6. Describe this theoretical view and identify the examples provided. - Emphasizes genetically determined survival behaviours that are assumed to have evolved through natural selection - E.g. nests are necessary for the survival of young birds (therefore, ethologists say that evolution has equipped birds with nest-building genes) - Ethologists believe that emotional relationships are necessary to the survival of human infants - E.g. most people feel irrigated when they hear a newborn crying (ethologists say that the baby is genetically programmed to cry in a certain way, adults are genetically programmed to get irritated when they hear it  the caretaker and infant interact, an emotional bond is created between them (genes for crying in an irritating manner increase infants’ chances of survival) iii. Behaviour Genetics 7. Describe this theoretical view and identify the examples provided. - Focuses on the effect of heredity on individual differences - Traits or behaviours are believed to be influenced by genes when those of related people, such as children and their parents are more similar than those of unrelated people  behaviour geneticists have shown that heredity affects a broad range of traits and behaviours, including intelligence, shyness, and aggressiveness iv. Sociobiology  biological view (100% nature view) about some of the social experiences that humans have (this theory is not usually found in sociology) 8. Describe this theoretical view and identify the examples provided. - Study of society using the methods and concepts of biological science - When applied to human development, sociobiology emphasizes genes that aid group survival - Sociobiologists claim that individual humans have the best chance for survival when they live in groups (evolution provided humans with genetic programming that helps us cooperate) - To support views  sociobiologists look for social rules and behaviours that exist in all cultures - E.g. every society has laws against murder  sociobiologists believe that humans are genetically programmed to create rules based on respect for other’s lives and to be able to cooperate v. Evolutionary Psychology (Optional reading: Not on the exams) vi. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (Optional reading: Not on the exams) vii. Evolutionary Prenatal Programming and Adult Health and Disease (Optional reading: Not on the exams) E. Evaluation of Biological and Evolutionary Theories i. Disease Control 9. Summarize all the text in this section. - Advances in human genomics will play an important role in predicting and preventing st diseases in the 21 century - Study of the relationship between the epigenome and human health is still in its infancy but early indications suggest that both external and personal factors influence epigenetic mechanisms - Epigenetic changes alter gene expression, which increase the risk for developing both physical and psychological disorders  epigenetic markings on DNA are continually modified throughout the lifespan and any acquired epigenetic traits may be passed onto the next generation - Epigenetic research is rapidly contributing to our understanding of the inheritance factors involved in vulnerability and resilience and may one day lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders in humans - Newly discovered epigenetic factors may prove to be the proverbial “missing link” that helps us explain how nurture interacts with nature ii. Early Intervention 10. Summarize all the text in this section. - Evolutionary theory and research – scientists more aware of the relative importance of early- life events in making accurate predictive-adaptive responses that match expected future environments - Growing awareness has focused attention on the need to promote early interventional strategies during prenatal development (Ex. to support good health and nutrition in females of reproductive ages) vs. those instituted later in adult life) - This could be an important element to prevent chronic disease in future generations globally iii. Remaining Questions 11. Summarize all the text in this section. - Critics of evolutionary theories claim that they underestimate the impact of the environment and place too much emphasis on heredity (Ex. true that children learn all language in the same way; however, environmental factors including characteristics of different languages affect the rate at which children learn language) - Critics say that societies have similar rules, and over generations, people have learned which rules work  when social rules don’t work anymore, critics say that people invent new ones, both the new rules and the reasons for them are passed on from one generation to the next through language and not genes - These theories are difficult to prove, making it a major concern II. Psychoanalytic Theories A. Freud’s Psychosexual Theory (Optional reading: Not on the exams) B. Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory (Optional reading: Not on the exams) C. Evaluation of Psychoanalytic Theories (Optional reading: Not on the exams) D. The Humanistic Alternative 12. Summarize the key points presented in the introductory paragraph about the general nature of Humanistic Theories. - Some psychologists have proposed alternative theories that focus on the positive aspects of development while accepting the psychoanalytic assumption that behaviour is motivated by inter
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