psych--week 4

psych--week 4 - Introduction to Psychology: Nature,...

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Introduction to Psychology: Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity Module 11: Behavior Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences Behavior Geneticists : scientists who study our differences and weigh the relative effects of heredity and environment Genes : biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes Environment : every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us Genes: Our Codes for Life Gene : segment of DNA containing the code for a particular protein; determines our individual biological development Chromosome : threadlike structure made largely of DNA molecules DNA : a spiraling, complex molecule containing genes Genome Complete instructions for making an organism o Complex traits come from a combination of genes o Humans and animals We share about 96% of our DNA with chimps, so in terms of our genetics we are similar. Twin and Adoption Studies How is nature or nurture used? Allow us to control: o Heredity while varying the home environment o Home environment while varying heredity Types of studies: o Identical vs. fraternal twins o Separated twins o Comparing adoptive vs. biological relatives
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Identical vs. Fraternal Twins Identical twins : develop from a single fertilized egg, creating two genetically identical organisms o Always the same sex Fraternal twins : develop from separate fertilized eggs; genetically no closer than other siblings o Can be any sex Which are more similar? o Personality Identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins on extraversion and neuroticism o Divorce Identical twin who’s divorced: odds go up 5.5 times Fraternal twin who’s divorced: odds go up 1.6 times o BUT twins are often TREATED alike Separated Twins Striking similarities in personalities, attitudes, abilities, interests, and fears o Criticisms: o Appearance affects treatment o Adopted twins are often placed in similar environments o Strangers have similarities too 2 different people who have the same name, same birthday, and are best friends
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2011 for the course PSYCH 2000 taught by Professor Domangue during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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psych--week 4 - Introduction to Psychology: Nature,...

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