Chapter 3 genes evolution and environment

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Chapter 3: Genes, Evolution, and Environment Evolutionary Psychology: looks for commonalities in human behavior, cognition, and emotion. Behavioral Genetics: looks for how genes interact with environments to create individual differences. Nature vs. Nurture : is an outdated view; a very complex interaction whereby genes affect experiences, and experiences affect gene expression (epigenetics). What is a Gene? - Section of a chromosomes made up of DNA that codes for a particular protein - Almost everything has some genetic basis, but almost nothing has ‘a’ gene for it - Most traits are polygenic, where multiple genes are involved in determining the specific trait - Evolution and Genes; The human genome is the product of adaptation to the environment (physical and social) over many millennia Structure of DNA - Has the four basic chemical elements of adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G) - Thymine and adenine pair up; cytosine and guanine pair up Evolutionary Relationship with Apes: Human Nature (Human Universals) - Innate human characteristics: Infant reflexes; ex. the moro reflex
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Interest in novelty Desire to explore and manipulate objects Impulse to play Basic cognitive skills (mental modules) Evolution: a change in gene frequencies within a population, a change that typically takes place over many generations; as particular genes become more or less common in the population, so do the characteristics that they influence; these developments account for changes within a species, and when the changes are large enough they can result in the formation of a new species. Natural Selection: formulated by Charles Darwin; the evolutionary process in which individuals with genetically influenced traits that are adaptive in a particular environment tend to survive and to reproduce in greater numbers than do other individuals; as a result, their traits become more common in the population. Sexual Selection - Natural selection arising through preference by one sex for certain characteristics in individuals or the other sex - Intrasexual Selection: competition within a sex - Intersexual Selection: individuals making decisions about who to mate with - Modern mating preferences have a long evolutionary history Sex differences in courtship and mating: - Evolutionary approach: examine male-female differences based on differing evolutionary pressures and challenges - Males: mating with as many people as possible; Females: choosing a mate with optimal genes - Minimum investment was required to reproduce: Males- minimal; females- 9months+ - More men value looks than women, whereas more women value money than men Criticisms of Sex-Difference Theory - Mating behavior varies widely across cultures - Actual behavior does not always match stereotypes - Research samples are not always representative - Significant evolutionary changes could have occurred since the Pleistocene epoch Jealousy as an Adaption - Angry, aggressive behaviors in mainly men but also women -
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