class13 - Differences How are people different? (or: Nature...

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Unformatted text preview: Differences How are people different? (or: Nature and Nurture) Why are people different? Some differences • • • • Sexual identity Sexual orientation Happiness “Success” and “Failure” in life -- relationships -- job satisfaction -- crime • Personality • Intelligence Difference #1: Personality • A person’s general style of dealing with the world, particularly with other people 1 Difference #1: Personality • A person’s general style of dealing with the world, particularly with other people Usefulness of the Big 5 • Stable over many years (More stable after age 30) • Agreement across multiple observers • Predicts real-world behavior – Conscientiousness … martial fidelity – Openness … job changes – Extroverts … look people in the eye, more sexual partners Assessing measures of personality • Reliability • Validity Usefulness of the Big 5 • Stable over many years (More stable after age 30) • Agreement across multiple observers • Predicts real-world behavior – Conscientiousness … martial fidelity – Openness … job changes – Extroverts … look people in the eye, more sexual partner 2 Difference #2: Intelligence • 1000 experts: • ALL: Abstract reasoning, problem-solving, capacity to acquire knowledge • MOST: memory, mental speed, linguistic competence, mathematical competence, mental speed, knowledge, creativity Difference #2: Intelligence • 1000 experts: • ALL: Abstract reasoning, problem-solving, capacity to acquire knowledge • MOST: memory, mental speed, linguistic competence, mathematical competence, mental speed, knowledge, creativity Difference #2: Intelligence • 1000 experts: • ALL: Abstract reasoning, problem-solving, capacity to acquire knowledge • MOST: memory, mental speed, linguistic competence, mathematical competence, mental speed, knowledge, creativity Defining & measuring intelligence • Charles Spearman (1863-1945) – two factors • “g ” = general intelligence • “s” = specific ability – score on any given test depends on a combination of these 2 factors • g accounts for the similarity in test results • s accounts for the differences in test results -- athletic analogy 3 Modern intelligence tests • The Wechsler tests – used more widely now than StanfordBinet – modeled after Binet’s, also made adult test • WISC-III for children • WAIS-III for adults Standardized scoring of Wechsler tests • All raw scores converted to standardized scores • Normal distribution • Mean of 100 • Standard deviation of 15 How valid are IQ tests? How valid are IQ tests? • School achievement • Prestigious positions • On-the-job performance & other work-related variables But … • http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/wsj_main.html • http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/apa_01.html 4 How valid are IQ tests? • School achievement • Prestigious positions • On-the-job performance & other work-related variables But … -- cultural acceptance of IQ makes the validity of IQ tests at least in part a self-fulfilling prophecy Why are people different? What do IQ tests measure about your mind? • Mental speed and span of working memory – typically use a digit span test to measure this – more recent studies find significant correlations between reaction times and IQ scores Why are people different? Heredity + Environment (Nature + Nurture) 5 Heredity • Proportion of variance due to genetic differences – (0.00 - 1.00) -- NOT proportion of an individual’s trait that is due to genes! Heredity + Shared Environment + Nonshared Environment = 1 Environment • Shared environment -- proportion of the variance due to environment shared by family members (e.g., variance caused by parents) • Nonshared environment -- proportion of all other variance (e.g., random events) The tools of behavioral genetics • Monozygotic (MZ) twins are clones (100% overlap in genes) • Dizygotic (DZ) twins are just like siblings (50% overlap in genes) • Adopted siblings have no special genetic overlap (0%) ----• Two people raised in the same house by the same parents have 100% the same shared environment 6 The tools of behavioral genetics Are MZ twins much more similar than DZ twins? (If so, big role of genes -- high heritability) Are MZ twins just as similar as DZ twins? (If so, low role of genes -- low heritability) Two big findings of behavioral genetics 1. High heritability (0.3 - 0.8) … for almost everything Are adopted children higly similar to their brothers and sisters? (If so, high role of shared environment) Are twins reared apart very similar (If so, high role of genes) Side topic: Does this mean that group differences have to largely be due to genes? -- Clear differences in IQ scores among American “racial” groups. -- Such groups are partially socially constructed -- But some genetic differences -- e.g., vulnerability to disease Side topic: Does this mean that group differences have to largely be due to genes? No 7 Evidence that group differences have environmental--not genetic-causes 1. IQ differences correspond to sociallydefined groups, not genetic groups Evidence that group differences have environmental--not genetic-causes 2. We know that IQ can differ radically across groups without any genetic differences Two big findings of behavioral genetics Two big findings of behavioral genetics 1. High heritability (0.3 - 0.8) … for almost everything 2. Almost all of the rest (0.2 - 0.7) is due to non-shared environment -- shared environment counts for little or nothing -- when it comes to personality or intelligence, an adopted child is no more similar to his siblings than to a stranger -- e.g., the IQ correlation between geneticallyunrelated adults who were raised in the same family is about 0. 8 Harris’ response • How sharper than a serpent’s tooth • To hear your child make such a fuss • It isn’t fair—it’s not the truth • He’s fucked up, yes, but not by us. Good kids have good parents There MUST be an effect of shared environment!!! Of course, parents have an effect, After all … • No doubt at all • High correlation between parent and child for everything -- reading -- religion -- criminality -- income -- intelligence But … 9 Good kids have good parents Parents do something that affects their kids Parents share the genes with the kids The worst study in the world The child is making the parents good, not viceversa • Family meal -> drug-free kids • Drug-free kids -> family meal • Good family -> drug-free kids + family meal • Bad family -> stoned kids + no family meal 12-year-olds -> more likely drug-free and family meal 17-year-olds -> more likely stoned and no family meal Look, I know that my Mom/Dad had a huge role in my life That’s why I am so happy and successful 10 How do you know? Look, I know that my Mom/Dad had a huge role in my life That’s why I am so miserable and screwed-up But if parents don’t mold their children’s personalities, why should they treat their children nicely? • How do you partial out genes versus environment? (are you adopted?) • How do you figure out which is the cause and which is the effect? Reading Response Explain the Flynn effect •Because they love them •Because they want them to be happy •Because they want to have good relationships with them 11 ...
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