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Chapter 1

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Pluralistic Ignorance, Extraversion And Introversion, Acronym

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Michael Inzlicht

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Psych Lecture: Mar 30/15
The final approach is the dynamical systems approach
It emphasizes genetic-environment interaction
Genes not altered by environment, no Lamarckian evolution, but gene activity is altered by
environment and behaviour within the environment
o Lamarck: acquired characteristics passed down to children (working out, muscles passed
down to kids… giraffe neck lengthened over generations
Two types of genes: structural and regulatory
o Structural genes are genes that provide codes for making proteins and enzymes
o Regulatory genes are genes that turn various combinations of structural genes on and off.
Know this because of puberty, regulatory genes turned certain ones on
Most traits, especially cognitive one like intelligence, are polygenetic in nature
o Polygenetic meaning many genes contribute to this trait, many genes for intelligence and
So behaviour within the environment can alter the pattern of which sets of genes are turned of or
on. Gives the biological system tremendous resiliency while still being quite efficient in its
o Body adjusts like if youre a long-distance runner, or if youre on a diet, metabolism shifts
and after a month its harder to lose weight)
3 basic models of this dynamic interaction between biology and environmentally embedded
o Range model argues biology determines the range for a particular trait and then the
environment sets the specific value within the range, e.g. height and available nutrition
(eight is a simpler trait. Genetic structure determines range like -8 but then
environment (amount of nutrition, variation in diet, physical trauma) determines
specific value
Good for some development features but gives too passive a role to the organism in
its own development
o Niche Picking Model argues that the organisms behaviour at first evokes response from
the environment, and then increasingly shapes the environment to suit the development of
its traits (an environmental niche is formed
A niche is a set of environmental conditions that optimally affords an organisms life
and towards which is biology is specifically adapted
Great White Shark set to hunt certain types of creatures in a certain area.
This is a typical set of conditions that it is geared towards, so it can optimally
interact with this niche to survive
But human beings are socio-cultural beings, i.e., they use society to run culture,
which is a process by which people are shaped to fit the environment, and the
environment is shaped to fit people. Think of living in Canada
Coming through winter, yet many weeks into spring. We shape environment
so it better shapes us, culture is a process of niche-making
Human beings make their own niches
For example, the colicky baby will evoke certain patterns of behaviour from
its parents which will tend to reinforce certain patterns of it behaviour and
leave others less opportunity for others development
The childs traits will then lead it to select certain features for its
environment, e.g. how the child furnished and decorates its room, the friends
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it hangs out with, etc., that will reinforce certain traits and shape gene
activity in important ways
So what we have is a self-organizing cyclical relationship between biology and
environment in development, so it is a dynamic system
However it is too simplistic, fails to recognize how dynamically developmental a
machine the brain is, fails to recognize how layered and dynamically complex the
environment is
o We noted that SOC-SWN nature of the brain, and that this is scale invariant, i.e. found at
many levels of analysis of the brain. The brain is recursively (layers that feedback
onto each other) organized.
o That is the case throughout our biology and beyond our biology into our culture.
o The chemical environment constrains the gene activity, the cell environment constrains the
chemical interactions, the tissue environment constrains the cell behaviour, the organ
environment constrains the tissue behaviour, the system environment constrains the organ
behaviour, the overall organism morphology constrains the systems, the immediate family
environment constrains the behaviour of the organism, the extended family and peer
groups constrain the family behaviour, the community constrains those, the communities
are constrained by socio-economic political systems, which is constrained by the culture,
and the ecological environment constrains the behaviour of the culture
Thus, multi-layered environment. One that constrains another is that ones
environment. Acts as environment to layer below it. Only think not altered is gene
o So development is a massively recursive bio-psychosocial dynamic process
The embodied brain is the type of machine suited for this process
The main problems with this framework are its infancy and the complexity of the
modeling it requires
Five main frameworks:
Trait framework: (Most dominant)
o A personality trait is a person’s habitual pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving
o Research has converged on the conclusion that there are 5 big factors in terms of which
we can explain personality traits
o Big Five Factors. Acronym is OCEAN:
Individuals who are high in this are very curious, creative, artistic, and
imaginitize. More sensitively aware of emotions
Low: defend status quo, avoid the unknown, practical, straightforward and
simple, prefer tangible to symbolic things
High in this like to organize, efficient, self-disciplined, and dependable
Low are easy-going and fun to hang out with, disorganized, careless with
details, cant get things done. Have difficulties with plans, lists, and schedules.
High very social, sensation seekers, tend to be assertive, talkative, and
Low are known as introverts, tend to be quiet, overwhelmed by too much
social interaction and stimulation, more withdrawn
High easy to get along with, kind, compassionate, empathetic, helpful and
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