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Chapter 4

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Psychology 1000

Psychology Chapter 4: Genes, Evolution, and Behaviour Genetic Influences • Both nature and nurture determines our behaviour • Genotype – genetic makeup • Phenotype- observable characteristics produced by the genetic makeup • Chromosome- tightly coiled molecule of DNA that is partly covered in protein • Genes- hereditary portion of the DNA in the chromosome • Alleles – alternative forms of a gene • Genes affect our body’s development and function through proteins (what DNA codes for) • Human Genome Project- mapping out the entire genome; discovers that there is less genes than expected; found that some genes arise from bacteria that inserted their genes into our ancestor • Recombinant DNA procedures- using certain enzymes to cut DNA into pieces and combine them with DNA of another organism (ex. bacteria) • Gene knockout-alter gene in a way that the gene will not carry out its normal function • Genetic engineering allows scientists to alter, duplicate, and potentially repair genes Dominant, Recessive and Polygenic Effects • Dominant- particular characteristic that will be displayed as long as one of the alleles have been inherited • Recessive- particular characteristic that is displayed if only both alleles are the same • Polygenetic transmission- when a number of gene pairs are combined to influence one phenotypic trait Behaviour Genetics Techniques • Heritability coefficient- the extent to which variation in a particular characteristic within a group can be attributed to genetic factors • Heredity vs heritability= passage of characteristics through generations vs the variation in a characteristic within a population can be attributed to genetic differences • Heritability only applies within a group, not to the differences between groups • If a characteristic has higher concordance/co-occurrence, in people who are more highly related to one another, then this points to a possible genetic contribution (especially if they grew up in different environments) • Adoption study- (based on the principle above); a person who was adopted is compared on some characteristics both with the biological and foster parents ( whoever is greater in similarities suggests that biological or environmental factors are more of an influence) • Twin studies- compare concordance rates between identical twins and fraternal twins; sometimes better results come from a study where two twins, who are separated from birth, are compared Genetic Influences on Behaviour • Both environment and genetics affect intelligence (the question is how do both interact to affect intelligence?) • Reaction range- the range of possibilities that the genetic code allows (ex. a person can inherit a range of potential intelligence; the environment factors determine where the person will fall on the range) • Differences of personality are believed to be caused by the specific differences in brain activity 5 • Five Factor Model (a personality trait theory): 1. Extraversion- Introversion = outgoing vs quiet 2. Agreeableness= cooperative vs antagonistic 3. Conscientiousness = responsible vs undependable 4. Neuroticism = worrying/anxious vs calm/well-adjusted 5. Openness to Experience = imaginative vs unreflective/ lack of curiosity Evolution and Behaviour • Evolutionary psychology seeks to understand how behavioural abilities and tendencies have evolved over time • Biologically based mechanisms allows us to r
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