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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Review Class 2.docx

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University of Ottawa
Christine Mountney

CHAPTER 4 REVIEW Nature Nurture and Human DiversityBehavior Genetics Predicting Individual Differences 1 What are genes and how do behavior geneticists explain our individual differencesChromosomes are coils of DNA containing gene segments that when turned on expressed code for the proteins that form our bodys building blocks Most human traits are influenced by many genes acting together Behavior geneticists seek to quantify genetic and environmental influences on our traits Studies of identical twins fraternal twins and adoptive families help specify the influence of genetic nature and of environmental nurture and the interaction between them meaning that the effect of each depends on the other The stability of temperament suggests a genetic predisposition 2 What is heritability and how does it relate to individuals and groupsHeritability describes the extent to which variation among members of a group can be attributed to genes Heritable individual differences in traits such as height or intelligence need not explain group differences Genes mostly explain why some are taller than others but not why people today are taller than a century ago3 What is the promise of molecular genetics researchMolecular geneticists study the molecular structure and function of genes Psychologists and molecular geneticists are cooperating to identify specific genesor more often teams of genesthat put people at risk for disordersEvolutionary Psychology Understanding Human Nature 4 How do evolutionary psychologists use natural selection to explain behavior tendenciesEvolutionary psychologists seek to understand how natural selection has shaped our traits and behavior tendencies The principle of natural selection states that variations increasing the odds of reproducing and surviving are most likely to be passed on to future generations Some variations arise from mutations random errors in gene replication others from new gene combinations at conception Charles Darwin whose theory of evolution has for a long time been an organizing principle in biology anticipated the contemporary application of evolutionary principles in psychology5 How might an evolutionary psychologist explain gender differences in mating preferencesMen more than women approve of casual sex think about sex and misinterpret friendliness as sexual interest Women more than men cite affection as a reason for first intercourse and have a relational view of sexual activity Applying principles of natural selection evolutionary psychologists reason that mens attraction to multiple healthy fertileappearing partners increases their chances of spreading their genes widely Because women incubate and nurse babies they increase their own and their childrens chances of survival by searching for mates
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