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Behavior Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology Module 6

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1 Behavior Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology Module 6

2 Behavior Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology
Behavior genetics: Predicting Individual Differences Genes: our Codes for Life Twin Studies Temperament Studies Heritability Gene-Environment Interaction The New Frontier: Molecular Genetics Psychology 7e in Modules

3 Behavior Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology
Evolutionary Psychology: Understanding Human Nature Natural Selection An Evolutionary Explanation of Human Sexuality Critiquing the Evolutionary Perspective Psychology 7e in Modules

4 Nature, Nurture and Human Diversity
Similarities Differences Genes: Same set of chromosomes Genes: Genetic anomalies may make us different Biology: The organs and body function the same Biology: May change during development Brain: Same brain architecture Brain: Asymmetry of brain across genders Behaviors: Speak language Behavior: Speak different languages OBJECTIVE 6-1| Give examples of differences and similarities within the human family. Psychology 7e in Modules

5 Evolution Natural Selection
The evolutionary process by which some genes in a population spread more than others do, causing species to change over time. Principles of Natural Selection: Within a species, no two are alike. Individuals differ in their suitability to their environment. Those better suited are more likely to survive and reproduce. Reproduction perpetuates the genes of better suited individuals.

6 Evolution Natural Selection
Adaptations Advantageous physical and psychological traits that are inherited Mutations Random gene copying errors that can spark evolution by natural selection

7 Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences
Behavior Geneticists study our differences and weigh the relative effects of heredity and environment. OBJECTIVE 6-2| Describe the type of questions that interest behavior geneticists. Psychology 7e in Modules

8 Genes What Genes Are and How They Work Genetic Building Blocks

9 Genome Genome is the set of complete instructions for making an organism Containing all the genes in that organism. Thus human genome makes us human and the genome for drosophila makes it a common house fly. Psychology 7e in Modules

10 Genes How Genes Affect Behavior
Genotype The underlying DNA sequence that an individual inherits Phenotype An organism’s observable properties, physical and behavioral Genes contribute more directly to physical traits than to psychological characteristics.

11 The Nature-Nurture Debates The Pursuit of Heritability
The debate over the extent to which human behavior is determined by genetics and the environment. Heritability A statistical estimate of the percentage of the variability of a trait within a group that is attributable to genetic factors.

12 Twin Biology To study the effects of heredity and environment two sets of twins, identical and fraternal, have come in handy. OBJECTIVE 6-4| Explain how identical and fraternal twins differ, and ways that behavior geneticists use twin studies to understand the effects of environment. Psychology 7e in Modules

13 Twin and Procedures Behavior geneticists study the effects of shared and unique environments on total or partial genetic makeup. Psychology 7e in Modules

14 Personality, Intelligence
Separated Twins A number of studies have looked at identical twins raised separately from birth or close there after and have found a number of similarities. Separated Twins Personality, Intelligence Abilities, Attitudes Interests, Fears Brain Waves, Heart Rate Psychology 7e in Modules

15 Adoption Studies Opposed to twin studies, adoption studies suggest that adoptees (who may be biologically unrelated) tend to be different from their adoptive parents and siblings. OBJECTIVE 6-5| Cite ways that behavior geneticists use adoption studies to understand the effects of environment and heredity. Psychology 7e in Modules

16 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 genes? Ultimate question: Does parenting have an effect? Psychology 7e in Modules

17 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 Psychology 7e in Modules

18 Temperament Studies Temperament refers to a person’s stable emotional reactivity and intensity. Identical twins express similar temperaments, suggesting heredity predisposes temperament. OBJECTIVE 6-6| Discuss how the relative stability of our temperament illustrates the influence of heredity on development. Psychology 7e in Modules

19 The Nature-Nurture Debates Genetic Influences
Other studies of twins and adoptees show: Genetic factors account for some differences in intelligence, verbal and spatial abilities, criminality, vocational interests, and aggressiveness. There is a genetic component to psychological disorders, such as alcoholism, depression, and schizophrenia. And, there is evidence for a genetic link to people’s attitudes toward issues and activities.

20 The Nature-Nurture Debates Genetic Influences Heritability of Various Human Attributes
The role of genetic factors is shown by the extent to which identical twins are more similar to each other than are fraternal twin pairs.

21 The Nature-Nurture Debates Genetic Influences Heritability of Attitudes
This study involved 672 twins who rated their attitudes on various issues and activities. The results show some influence of genetic factors.

22 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 angry responses from his parents. A stressful environment can trigger genes to manufacture neurotransmitters leading to depression. OBJECTIVE 6-8| Give and example of a genetically influenced trait that can evoke responses in others, and give another example of an environment that can trigger gene activity. Psychology 7e in Modules

23 Molecular Genetics: Promises and Perils
Molecular geneticists are trying to identify genes that put people at risk for disorders. With this kind of knowledge parents can decide to abort pregnancies where fetuses are suspected of having such disorders But this opens up a real concern about ethical issues involving such choices. Psychology 7e in Modules

24 Evolutionary Psychology: Understanding Human Nature
Molecular genetics studies why we as organisms are distinct. Evolutionary psychology studies why we as humans are alike. In particular it studies the evolution of behavior and mind using principles of natural selection. OBJECTIVE 6-10| Describe the areas of psychology that interests evolutionary psychologists Psychology 7e in Modules

25 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. Psychology 7e in Modules

26 Human Traits A number of human traits have been identified as a result of pressures afforded by natural selection. Why do infants fear strangers when they become mobile? Why are most parents so passionately devoted to their children? Why do people fear spiders and snakes and not electricity and guns? Psychology 7e in Modules

27 Question (summarized)
Human Sexuality Gender Differences in Sexuality Males and females to a large extent behave and think similarly. Differences in sexes arise with regards to reproductive behaviors. Question (summarized) Male Female Casual sex 60% 35% Sex for affection 25% 48% Think about sex everyday 54% 19% OBJECTIVE 6-12| Identify gender differences in sexuality. Psychology 7e in Modules

28 Mating Preferences Natural selection has pressurized males to send their genes into the future by mating with multiple females because of lower cost involved. But females because of higher costs involved with pregnancy and nursing select one mature and caring male. OBJECTIVE 6-13| Describe evolutionary explanations for gender differences in sexuality. Psychology 7e in Modules

29 Mating Preferences In order for males to pass their genes into future they look for youthful appearance in females. Females on the other hand look for maturity, dominance, affluence and boldness in males. Data based on 37 cultures. Psychology 7e in Modules

30 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 closely equal, preferences narrow down. OBJECTIVE 6-14| Summarize the criticisms of evolutionary explanations of human behavior, and describe the evolutionary psychologists’ responses to those criticisms. Psychology 7e in Modules

31 Evolutionary Psychologists Reply
Evolutionary psychologists argue that we need to test behaviors that expound evolutionary principles. Evolutionary psychologists remind us how we have adapted, but does not dictate how we ought to be. Males and females are more alike than different, if we study these differences we can establish their causes. Psychology 7e in Modules

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