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Chapter 4

Chapter 4.docx

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Psychology 1000

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Psychology Chapter 4: Genes, Evolution, and Behaviour GENETIC INFLUENCES Hippocrates  Suggested that semen contains not body parts, but rather some sort of design for the formation of the offspring Genotype: the specific genetic makeup of an individual Phenotype: the observable characteristics produced by that genetic endowment  It is estimated that about half of all genes target brain structure and function Polygenic transmission: a number of genes working together to create a particular phenotypic characteristic Recombinant DNA procedures: researchers use certain enzymes to cut the long threadlike molecules of genetic DNA into pieces, combine them with DNA from another organism, and insert them into a host organism, such as a bacterium Gene knockout: a procedure that alters a specific gene in a way that prevents it from carrying out its normal function. This can be used in psychology to study how certain neurotransmitters affect the brain and functionality  Genetic engineering allows scientists to duplicate and alter genetic material or, potentially to repair dysfunctional genes Heritability coefficient: the extent to which the degree of variation in a particular characteristic among a group of people can be attributed to genetic factors Heredity means the passage of characteristics from parents to offspring by way of genes Heritability means how much of the variation in a characteristic within a population can be attributed to genetic differences Concordance: the likelihood that 2 people share a particular characteristic Adoption study: a person who was adopted early in life is compared on some characteristic both with the biological parents, with whom the person shares genetic endowment, and with the adoptive parents. If the person is more similar to their biological parents, a genetic influence is suggested. If a person is more similar to their biological parents, an environmental influence is suggested Psychology Twin studies: a behaviour genetics method in which identical and fraternal twins are compared on some characteristic; this method is particularly informative if the twins have been raised in different environments GENETIC INFLUENCES ON BEHAVIOUR  The more genetically similar 2 individuals, the higher the correlation between even genetically identical individuals, however, is not perfect, indicating an important role for the environment. “How do heredity and environment interact to affect intelligence?” Reaction range: the range of possibilities—the upper and lower limits—that the genetic code allows. An individual inherits a range for potential intelligence that has upper and lower limits. Environmental effects will then determine where the person falls within these genetically determined boundaries  Hans Eysenck argued that personality differences could be traced to differences in brain development or function.  Personality trait theory is called Five Factor Model. Believe that individual differences in personality can be accounted for by variation along 5 broad personality dimensions Five factor model: 1. Extraversion-introversion 2. Agreeableness 3. Conscientiousness 4. Neuroticism 5. Openness to experience  Genetic factors relevant for personality interact with the environment by predisposing an individual toward particular types of activities because of genetically influenced differences in brain activity or other physical characteristics EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOUR Biologically based mechanisms: mechanisms that receive input from the environment, process the information, and respond to it  What evolves are genetically produced physical structures that interact with the demands of the environment to produce behaviour Psychology Evolution: a change over time in the frequency with which particular genes—and the characteristics they produce—occur within an interbreeding population. Mutations help to create variation within a population’s physical characteristics. This variation makes evolution possible Natural selection: characteristics that increase the likelihood of survival and ability to reproduce within a particular environment will be more likely to be preserved in the population and therefore will become more common in species over time Adaptations: allow organisms to meet recur
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