Twins are compared to genetically unrelated people

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Twins are compared to genetically unrelated people who are different o Twins reared apart but similar in adulthood is a sign that their genes are influencing their outcomes Blank slate – idea that your personality, intelligence, interests were shaped by the environment yr traitsou are in o Minnesota study showed power of your genetic makeup in influencing you About 50% of variation is due to genes & about 50% of variation is due to environment o Sometimes we see heritability because the environment may not be very variable o Just because something is heritable doesn’t mean environment doesn’t matter Beliefs about Biology Survey Survey was designed to asses “essentialist” beliefs about biology Essentialism – people who strongly agree w/ “A person’s traits is determined by their biological make-up” o People w/ strong essentialist beliefs are more likely to view human traits as fixed and unchangeable Genetic science has found that many traits w/ a genetic basis can be changed by changing environment Who’s in the Expert’s Chair – Dr. Frances Champagne Some people think that if something is influenced by genes, it’s related to an inherent and essential core quality of a person that can’t be fixed or can’t be changed
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o Just because something has a genetic influence doesn’t mean it is necessarily immutable Epigenetics – describes how genes and environments interact, describes on/off switches for genes o Epigenetic switches are the chemicals and proteins around the genes o As adults, most genes are turned off and silent until we need them You can study genes by getting saliva or tissue samples and sequence their DNA o What you are looking for is not the base pairs, but little chemicals attached to the DNA If you watch how much maternal care a rate gets in the lab, you can look at rats w/ little or lots of maternal care o Maternal care – mother rats like to lick their babies One advantage of animal studies is that you can cross-foster o You can take a baby from low-licking grooming mom and give it to a high- licking grooming mom o Many of the rodents that are worked w/ do not have as much genetic variation as humans Lamarckian inheritance – our experiences comes to influence our children and their children o Epigenetics might be a way for your experiences come to influence how you are You want to shape the brain in early environments – you shape organism to best fit within their environment o Lack of licking in rats will shut of genes that suppress their stress response – high stress environment Epigenetics is something that is potentially changeable – you can shift epigenetic markers and shift behavior Genes Discussion Evolutionary psychology – understanding how selection pressures & conditions in our environment have shaped the psychology we have today through evolutionary processes o This occurs through different mutations – traits that were adaptive would be
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