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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Genetic and Biological Foundations

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Inzlicht

Genetic and Biological Foundations What is the Genetic Basis of Psychological Science? Genetics describes how various characteristics are passed along through inheritance Each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes made up of genes Gene segment of DNA that is involved in producing proteins that carry out a specific task Gene expression the process by which the gene produces RNA and then protein, is switched on Genes have instructions about when to produce RNA determined by the environment Allows cells to differentiate to different tasks Heredity Involves Passing along Genes through Reproduction Gregor Mendel and selective breeding Alleles two versions of a gene if they differ, one is dominant and one is recessive Dominant genes are expressed whenever they are present, recessive genes are expressed only when matched with a similar gene from the other parent Genotype genetic constitution of an organism, the actual genetic makeup determined at conception (Pp) Phenotype the observable physical characteristics of an organism, determined by genetic and environmental factors (Purple) Polygenic effects influenced by many genes, as with most human traits and diseases Genotype Variation Is Created by Sexual Reproduction Gametes egg and sperm cells with half the chromosomes of a normal cell, randomly divided Zygote fertilized cell, egg and sperm combined to make 46 chromosomes Each combination is 1 of 8 million outcomes leading to genetic variability www.notesolution.com Mutations - errors in the process of cell division at the embryonic stage, may produce an advantage or disadvantage Such advantages are spread through the gene pool natural selection Genes Affect Behaviour Behavioural genetics the study of how genes and environment interact to influence psychological activity Behavioural genetics methods to assess the degree to which traits are inherited twin studies and adoption studies Twin studies compare similarities between twins to determine the genetic basis of specific traits; the more similar monozygotic twins are than dizygotic twins, the more likely the influence is to be genetic Adoption studies compare similarities between biological relatives and adopted relatives; any similarities between adopted relatives are more likely environmental Studying monozygotic twins who are either raised together or raised apart likely to be similar in either case, may be more similar if raised apart because parents of twins encourage individuality Heredity the transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring by means of genes Heritability statistical estimate of the portion of observed variation in a population that is caused by differences in heredity Variation the overall amount of difference among people E.g. if height has a heritability of .60, it means 60% of height variation among individuals is due to genetics refers to populations, not individuals The more diverse the population, the lower the estimate of heritability greater variability comes from diversity Social and Environmental Contexts Influence Genetic Expression Different genes may react differently to environmental factors such as abuse Genes influence how you react to environmental factors , which causes different responses from others www.notesolution.com
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