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Presentation on theme: "EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY EIGHTH EDITION IN MODULES David Myers"— Presentation transcript:

PowerPoint Slides Aneeq Ahmad Henderson State University Worth Publishers, © 2011

2 Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity

3 Behavior Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology Module 8

4 Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences
Genes: Our Codes for Life Twin and Adoption Studies Temperament, Heredity, and Personality Gene-Environment Interaction

5 Evolutionary Psychology: Understanding Human Nature
Natural Selection and Adaptation Evolutionary Success Helps Explain Similarities An Evolutionary Explanation of Human Sexuality THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT: The Evolutionary Perspective on Human Sexuality

6 Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences
Behavior Geneticists study our differences and weigh the relative effects of heredity and environment. Environment is every nongenetic influence.

7 Genes: Our Codes for Life
Chromosomes are threadlike structures that contain DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), a complex molecule containing genetic information. Preview Question 1: Our genes predispose our biology. Does this mean they determine our behavior?

8 Genes: Our Codes for Life
Genes are the biochemical units of heredity that make up chromosomes. They are segments of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein. Gene

9 Twin and Adoption Studies
Studying the effects of heredity and environment on both identical (monozygotic) twins, which develop from one egg, and fraternal (dizygotic) twins, which develop from two separate eggs, is useful in studying genetics. Preview Question 2: How do twin and adoption studies help us understand the relative influence of environment and heredity?

10 Personality, Intelligence
Separated Twins A number of studies compared identical twins reared separately from birth, or close thereafter, and found numerous similarities. Separated Twins Personality, Intelligence Abilities, Attitudes Interests, Fears Brain Waves, Heart Rate

11 Separated Twins Critics of separated twin studies note that such similarities can be found between strangers. Researchers point out that differences between fraternal twins are greater than identical twins.

12 Biological Versus Adoptive Relatives
Adoption studies, as opposed to twin studies, suggest that adoptees (who may be biologically unrelated) tend to be different from their adoptive parents and siblings.

13 Adoptive Studies Adoptive studies strongly point to the simple fact that biologically related children turn out to be different in a family. So investigators ask: Do siblings have differing experiences? Do siblings, despite sharing half of their genes, have different combinations of the other half of their genes? Ultimate question: Does parenting have an effect?

14 Parenting Influences Children’s
Parenting does have an effect on biologically related and unrelated children. Parenting Influences Children’s Attitudes, Values Manners, Beliefs Faith, Politics

15 Temperament and Heredity
Temperament refers to a person’s stable emotional reactivity and intensity. Identical twins express similar temperaments, suggesting heredity predisposes temperament. Preview Question 3: What is the relationship between temperament and personality?

16 Gene-Environment Interaction
Genes can influence traits which affect responses, and environment can affect gene activity. A genetic predisposition that makes a child restless and hyperactive evokes an angry response from his parents. A stressful environment can trigger genes to manufacture neurotransmitters leading to depression. Preview Question 4: How do genes and environments interact?

17 Gene-Environment Interaction
Both genes and environment affect our traits, but the interaction, the interplay that occurs when the effect of one depends on another, is most important. People respond differently to Will Ferrell than to Zac Efron.

18 Evolutionary Psychology: Understanding Human Nature
Evolutionary psychology studies why we as humans are alike. In particular, it studies the evolution of behavior and mind using principles of natural selection. Natural selection is an evolutionary process through which adaptive traits are passed on to ongoing generations because these traits help animals survive and reproduce. Preview Question 5: How do evolutionary psychologists use natural selection to explain behavior tendencies?

19 Natural Selection and Adaption
Through artificial selection, biologists like Belyaev and Trut (1999) were able to artificially rear and domesticate wild foxes, selecting them for friendly traits. L.N. Trur, American Scientist (1999) 87: Any trait that is favored naturally or artificially spreads to future generations.

20 Natural Selection and Adaption
Does natural selection explain our human tendencies? Nature has selected advantageous variations from among gene combinations and mutations (random errors in gene replication). But our genetic traits are not as hardwired as those of animals and so genes and experience shape our lives, allowing us to adapt and learn.

21 Evolutionary Psychology Today
Evolutionary psychologists have addressed questions such as these. Why do infants fear strangers when they become mobile? Why do people fear spiders and snakes and not electricity and guns? How are men and women alike? How and why do men’s and women’s sexuality differ?

22 An Evolutionary Explanation of Human Sexuality
Gender Differences in Sexuality Males and females, to a large extent, behave and think similarly. Differences in sexes arise in regards to reproductive behaviors. Question (summarized) Male Female Casual sex 58% 34% Sex for affection 25% 48% Think about sex everyday 54% 19% Preview Question 6: How might and evolutionary psychologist explain gender differences in mating preferences?

23 Natural Selection & Mating Preferences
Natural selection has caused males to send their genes into the future by mating with multiple females since males have lower costs involved. However, females select one mature and caring male because of the higher costs involved with pregnancy and nursing.

24 Mating Preferences Males look for youthful appearing females in order to pass their genes into the future. Females, on the other hand, look for maturity, dominance, affluence and boldness in males. Data based on 37 cultures.

25 Critiquing the Evolutionary Perspective
- Evolutionary psychologists take a behavior and work backward to explain it in terms of natural selection. - Evolutionary psychology proposes genetic determinism and undercuts morality in establishing society. - Where genders are unequal, gender preferences are wide, but when they are closely equal, preferences narrow down. Preview Question 7: What are the key criticisms of the evolutionary perspective on human sexualiy?


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