PSY 1102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4, 5, 10 : Relational Aggression, Spermarche, Parenting

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22 Apr 2018

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Chapter 4: Nature, Nurture and Human Diversity
Behaviour Genetics
Study of relative power and limits genetic and environmental influences on behaviour
Every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to people and things around us
Complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all genetic material in that organisms chromosomes
46 chromosomes
23 by mother and 23 by father
o Structures made of DNA molecules that contain genes
o Composed of coil chained DNA
o Deoxyribonucleic acid
o Contains genetic info that makes up the chromosomes
o Small segments of DNA
o Capable of synthesizing proteins
Identical vs. Fraternal Twins
o Develop from single fertilized egg that splits in two
o Genetically identical
o Same sex only
o Don’t always have same number of copies of genes
! This explains why one twin may be at higher risk for certain illnesses
o Usually share same placenta but some don’t
! One placenta may provide better nourishment which may contribute to identical twin differences
Fraternal Twins
o Develop from two separate fertilized eggs
o Share same prenatal environment, but are no more genetically similar than ordinary siblings
o Same sex or opposite sex
Identical twins are more likely to have similar personality traits than fraternal twins
Experiences do not account for similarities
o Twin dressed identically are not more similar than those not dressed similarly
White people have more twins
Separated Twins
Similar even through they were separated at birth
Less similar if separated at birth then if raised together
o Still separated identical twins are more alike than if they were fraternal
Share appearance, emotional response
Biological vs. Adoptive Relatives
Genetic relatives and environmental relatives
People who grow up together do not much resemble each other in personality
Adopted people are more similar to biological parents than adoptive parents
Environment shared by family's children has no discernable impact on their personalities
Parents do not influences their childrens attitudes, values, manners, politics, and faith
Religious involvement is genetically influenced
o Adopted or identical twins will share more similar beliefs if raised together
Most adoptive children thrive because lower rate of abuse or parental divorce
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Temperament and Heredity
o Person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity
o Genetically influenced
Genetic effect appears in physiological differences
o Anxious infants have high and variable heart rates
o Serotonin predisposes fearful temperament and in combination with unsupporting caregiving it can create and
emotionally reactive child
Proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes
May vary depending on range of populations and environments studied
Genetic influence explains of observed variation among people
Extent to which differences among people due to genes
Genes matter but so does environment
Gene- Environment Interaction
Molecular genetics
o Subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes
Most human traits are influenced by teams of genes
Molecular Behaviour Genetics
o Study of how the structure and function of genes interact with our environment to influence behaviour
! Used to find the many genes that influence complex traits like weight, sexual orientation, and
Genes can be active or inactive
o Study of environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change
Genes are self-regulating
Environmental factors like diet, stress, and drugs can affect epigenetic molecules that regulate gene
Ex. Rats that didn’t get licked by their mother had more stress
Prenatal Testing to Predict Future Traits
Have sperm and egg tested in labs to test for certain traits that could occur or even the sex
Led to millions of missing women in China and India because they would abort the child if it was a girl
By selecting out certain traits like psychological disorders, we will ridding the world of future Handels or Van
Evolutionary Psychology: Understanding Human Nature
Evolutionary Psychology
o Study of the evolution of behaviour and the mind, using principles of natural selection
o Focus mostly on what makes us alike as humans
Natural selection
o The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variation, those contributing to reproduction and survival
will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations
Natural Selection and Adaptation
Over time traits that give an individual species a reproductive advantage are selected and will prevail
o Random error in gene replication that leads to a change
Genes selected in our ancestral history give us the capacity to adapt in varied environments
o Contributes to our fitness - our ability to survive and reproduce
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Our Genetic Legacy
- behavioural and biological similarities come from our shared human genome
95% of genetic variation exists within populations
Shared moral instincts survive from distant past when we lived in small groups in which direct harm-doing
was punished
We are genetically predisposed to behave in ways that promote surviving and reproducing
Male-Female Difference in Sexuality
Men have higher sex drives
Men are more likely to initiate sexual activity
Gay couples have sex more often than lesbian couples
Gay men show more interest in
o Uncommitted sex
o Visual sexual stimuli
o More concern with partners physical attractiveness
Straight men misperceive women's friendliness as sexual come on
o This is strongest among men who require little emotional closeness before intercourse
Natural Selection and Mating Preferences
Women are more picky when choosing sexual partners
o Because that’s where her genes will go in the future
Straight women attracted to tall men with slim waists and broad shoulders (signs of reproductive success)
o Also men who seen mature, dominant and bold
Men pair widely
Women pair wisely
Men like women with narrower waist to hip ratio
o Shows future fertility
People prefer others that are in peak fertility
o Teen boys = older women
o Older men= younger women
Nature selects behaviors that increase the likelihood of sending one’s genes into the future
Critiquing the Evolutionary Perspective
Natural selection prepares us for survival and reproduction
Social Scripts
o Culturally modeled guide for how to act in various situations
Women may learn these social scripts therefore that’s why they don’t want casual sex
Much of who we are is not hard wired
Natural selection prepared us to be flexible
We have great ability for learning and social progress
Culture, Gender, and other enviromental Influences
o The interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor depends on another
Our genes affect how people react to and influence us
Environments trigger gene activity
Our genetically influenced traits evoke significant responses in others
Identical twins share same genetic predispositions and also seek and create similar experiences that express their
shared genes
We select environments well suited to our nature
How Does Experience Influence Development
We are formed by nature and nurture
Experience and Brain Development
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