PSY 1102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Culture Shock, Heritability, Gender Role

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18 Oct 2014

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PSY1102- Textbook
Chapter 4- Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity:
Behavior Genetics- Predicting Individual Differences:
- Behavior Geneticists: The study of the relative power and limits of genetic and
environmental influences on behavior
oWeigh the effects of heredity and environment
- Environment: Every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people
and things around us
- Chromosomes: Threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the
oComposed of DNA
oWe each have 46 chromosomes- 23 from mother and 23 from father
- DNA: A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up
- Genes: Biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment
of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
oEither active/expressed or inactive/not expressed
oEnvironmental events turn on genes
oGenes provide the code for creating protein molecules
- Genome: The complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the
genetic material in that organism’s chromosomes
- Humans are nearly genetically identical
- 96% of DNA sequence is shared with chimpanzees
- Most traits are influenced by genes
- Complex traits (intelligence, happiness, etc.) are influenced by a group of genes
- Genetic predispositions explain both our shared human nature and human
Twin Studies:
- Identical Twins: Twins who develop from a single (monozygotic) fertilized egg
that has split into two – genetically identical
oSame genes, but not always the same number of copies- one may be more
at risk for illness
o1/3 sets of twins has separate placentas- one may provide better
- Fraternal Twins: Twins who develop from separate (dizygotic) fertilized eggs
oNot genetically identical
- Shared genes = shared experiences
oIncreased risk of Alzheimer’s if one identical twin has it vs one fraternal
oExtraversion and neuroticism (emotional instability) are more similar in
identical than fraternal twins
- Bouchard was famous for doing separated twin studies
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- Separated identical twins show similarities in life choices, tastes, physical
attributes, personality
Adoption Studies:
- Behavior geneticists believe in genetic relatives (biological family members) and
environmental relatives (adoptive family members)
- Adopted children closely resemble their biological parents in terms of personality
- Environment shared by a family’s children has no impact on their personalities
- Parents do have a limited influence on children’s attitudes, values, manners, etc.-
- Adoptive children thrive due to lower rates of neglect/abuse in adopted homes
Temperament and Heredity:
- Temperament: A persons characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity
oPredisposed by heredity
- People begin to differ from the early weeks of life onwards
- Easy babies: cheerful, relaxed, predictable sleeping and eating patterns
- Difficult Babies: Irritable, intense, unpredictable
- Slow-to-warm-up Babies: resist/withdraw from new people/situations
- Temperament patterns usually persist throughout their lives
- Anxious infants become physiologically aroused in new/strange situations
Molecular Genetics:
- Molecular Genetics: The subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure
and function of genes
oSeeks to identify specific genes influencing behavior
- Molecular geneticists and psychologists team up to find genes that put people at
risk for genetically influenced disorders
- It’s becoming possible to give parents an idea of their fetus’ genes and if they
differ from ‘normal gene patterns
oBenefit: Allows parents to have an idea of what the gene difference means
oRisk: May lead to discrimination
- Heritability: The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute
to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of
populations and environments studied
- We can never say what percentage of a trait is inherited
- It refers to the extent to which differences among people are attributable to genes
- As environments become more similar, heredity becomes more important
- Heritable individual differences don’t imply heritable group differences
oIf some people are predisposed to be more aggressive it doesn’t explain
why some groups are more aggressive
Gene- Environment Interaction:
- Our most important similarity is our adaptive capacity
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