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Chapter 4

Psych 1000: Chapter Four Notes (Definitions + Key Concepts)

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Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Chapter Four Genes, Evolution and Behavior Adaptations • 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 Alleles • An alternative form of genes which are responsible for the production of different characteristics Altruism • 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 Chromosome • A tightly coiled molecule made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that is partly covered by protein; contains genes Concordance • The likelihood that two people share a particular characteristic Cooperation • Situations in which one individuals gains an advantage from helping another individual 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 problems Dominant Gene • The characteristic this gene controls will be displayed if paired up with a recessive gene Eugenics • The view which describes one group’s genes as superior to another Evolution • A change over time in the frequency of genes/characteristics produced (in an interbreeding species or organism) Evolutionary Personality Theory • 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 selection) 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 them Genes • Located on chromosomes – the biological components/units of heredity Genetic Determinism • The view which holds genes have constant and unavoidable effects Genotype • 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 overtime Parental Investment Theory • A theory which suggests the organism giving birth to offspring will be more “choosy” when selecting their mate Phenotype • The observable characteristics (ie. Hair color, skin color, eye color, body shape, etc.) produced by the genotype Polyandry • 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 trait Polygynandry • (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 Polygyny • A mating system in which one male may mate with a number of females – a mammalian mating trait Reaction Range • Genetically influenced limits in which environmental factors can exert their effects on an organism; the range of possibilities (ie. Upper and lower limits) the genetic code allows (ex. Intelligence is not fixed at birth – an indiv
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