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PSYC 305 (62)
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Chapter 6


6 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 305
David King

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CHAPTER 6 GENETICS AND PERSONALITY What is the role of genetics in influencing personality The Human Genome Genomecomplete set of genes an organism processeshuman genome contains between 2000 to 30000 genesall these genes are located on 23 pairs of chromosomes each person inherits one set of each pair of chromosomes from motherone set from fatheranalogy human genome is a book with 23 chapters each chapter being a chromosome pair each one of the chapters contains several thousand genes each gene consists of long sequences of DNA molecules nucleus of each cell within the body contains 2 complete sets of the genome one from otherone from father each of us has about 100 trillion copies of our genome within our bodies most of the genes within the human genome are the same for each individualwhy we all have many of the same characteristics ie 2 eyes a small number of these genes are different for different individualsinfluence physical characteristics such as eye colourheight some genes that differ across individuals influence the behaviour characteristics that define human personality Human Genome Projectdedicated to sequencing the entire human genome identify the particular sequence of DNA molecules in the human species 2 noteworthy findingsnumber of genes humans possess similar to number of genes estimated for miceworms but the manner in which human genes get decoded into proteins turns out to be far more variable than in other speciesthese alternative forms of decoding means huge variety of proteins account for the complex differences we observe between humansrodents proteincoding genes make up roughly 2 of our genome other 98 previously thought of as genetic junk actually parts of these junk DNA have an impact on humans potentially affecting everything from our size to personality Controversy About Genes and Personality researchers attempt to determine the degree to which individual differences in personality are caused by geneticenvironmental differences ex discovery of a specific gene connected to noveltyseeking behaviour tendency to be extraverted impulsive exploratory excitable part of the reason for controversy is ideologicallead to findings from behavioural geneticsbeing misused to support political agendasanother reason is eugenics the notion that we can design the future of the human species by fostering reproduction of persons with certain traitsby discouraging the reproduction of persons without these traits knowledge is still better than ignorancefinding that a personality characteristic has a genetic component does not mean that environment is powerless to modify that characteristic Goals of Behavioural Genetics
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