Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Phenotypic Trait, Human Hair Color, Polygynandry

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Chapter Four
Genes, Evolution and Behavior
Products of natural selection – occur when organisms change (and adapt) according
to their environment, allowing them to survive through challenging environmental
situations; adaption’s have an increased reproductive ability when they allow an
organism a better chance of survival in their environment
Adoption Study
A method of research in behavioral studies where adoptive people are compared to
both their biological and adoptive parents in attempt to determine how strong of a
genetic component the characteristic might have
An alternative form of genes which are responsible for the production of different
Occurs when an individual aids another individual, but in the process causes some
harm to themselves
Biologically Based Mechanisms
Mechanisms within an organism which first receive input from the environment, then
process the information and finally respond to it
A tightly coiled molecule made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that is partly covered
by protein; contains genes
The likelihood that two people share a particular characteristic
Situations in which one individuals gains an advantage from helping another
Domain-Specific Adaptations
Adaptations designed to solve a particular problem (ie. Selecting a suitable mate,
choosing safe foods to eat, avoiding certain environmental hazards, etc.); suggest
that the human mind is not a general (all purpose) problem solver – but rather a
collection of specialized independent modules evolved to handle specific adaptive
Dominant Gene
The characteristic this gene controls will be displayed if paired up with a recessive
The view which describes one group’s genes as superior to another
A change over time in the frequency of genes/characteristics produced (in an
interbreeding species or organism)
Evolutionary Personality Theory
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A theory which seeks to explain personality as a result of evolutionary history (ie.
Personality is thought to have developed its characteristics as a result of natural
Gene Knockout
A method of genetic engineering psychologists use to eliminate the function of a
gene in by altering that genes characteristics (using the aid of an inhibitory virus);
used to study behavior in mice after a virus (consisting of the gene infiltrator) infects
Located on chromosomes – the biological components/units of heredity
Genetic Deter minism
The view which holds genes have constant and unavoidable effects
The genetic makeup of an individual
Heritability Coefficient
A statistic which ratios the extent to which variation of a particular characteristic
(within a population) can be linked to genetic factors
Kin Selection
A view which holds individuals are more likely to help those with similar genetics (ie.
Relatives, offspring, parents, etc.)
Monogamous Mating System
A mating system in which parents stay together with one another – just until their
offspring become self sufficient; (ie. “No divorce until child can provide for
themselves and doesn’t need us anymore”)
Natural Selection
“Survival of the Fittest (Genes)” – Genes observed to increase the likelihood of
survival of a particular species within a given environment are more likely to be
preserved by that species and therefore, become more common in that species
Parental Investment Theory
A theory which suggests the organism giving birth to offspring will be more “choosy”
when selecting their mate
The observable characteristics (ie. Hair color, skin color, eye color, body shape, etc.)
produced by the genotype
A mating system in which one female may mate with a number of males – found in
some fish, insect and bird species
Polygenic Transmission
When a number of gene pairs combine their influences to create a single phenotypic
(ie. Promiscuity) – a mating system where all members of a particular group can
mate with any other members of that particular group – found in some primate
groups such as chimpanzees and the bonobos
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