Flashcards in Chapter 3 Deck (93):
What are the previous two perspectives regarding where human differences come from?
1. The Nativist Perspective
2. The Empiricist Perspective
Describe the Nativist perspective
Emphasize genes & inborn characteristics (nature)
Describe the Empiricist perspective
Focus on learning & experience (nurture)
Describe Evolutionary Psychology
Considers evolutionary foundation for modern psychological traits. How these traits have effected the survival of the species.
Describe Behavioural Genetics
A field of science that looks to understand the link between genetics and behaviour
What are genes?
The basic units of heredity that are composed of DNA and located on chromosomes
What are chromosomes?
Rod-shaped structures found in the nucleus of every cell (23 pairs)
What is DNA?
A chromosomal molecule that transfers genetic characteristics by way of coded instructions for the structure of proteins
Who is credited with the discovery of DNA? (2)
Francis Crick and James Watson
Who is Fredrick Sanger?
Someone who developed techniques to sequence DNA. He identified The 4 chemical elements of DNA.
What are the 4 chemical elements of DNA code used for protein synthesis?
Adenine, Cytosine, Thymine, and Guanine
What is a genome?
A full set of genes in each cell of an organism (except sperm & egg cells)
What are dominant genes?
Genes that overpower recessive genes.
What is the human genome project?
In 1990, scientists wanted to map out the genetic makeup of humans. It was used to look at differences between individuals and to identify markers for disease/disorders.
What are linkage studies?
Studies that look for patterns of inheritance of genetic markers in large families in which a particular condition is common
What is a genetic marker?
Segment of DNA that varies among individuals, has a known location on a chromosome, and can function as a genetic landmark for a gene
A change in gene frequencies within a population over many generations
What might changes in genes be a result of?
Errors in copying of DNA sequences during
division of cells that produce sperm & eggs and during the formation of sperm or eggs small segments of DNA cross over to another chromosome pair
Who came up with natural selection?
What is the theory of natural selection?
Individuals with genetically influenced traits that are adaptive in particular environments tend to survive & reproduce in greater numbers (“survival of the fittest”). As a result, traits become more common in the population.
Who proposed sexual selection?
What is intersexual selection?
A member of one sex chooses a mate from the other sex on the basis of certain characteristics
What is instrasexual selection?
Members of the same sex compete for a partner of the other sex
What do evolutionary biologists do?
They start with an observation about a characteristic and try to account for it in evolutionary terms
What do evolutionary psychologists do?
They ask what sorts of challenges humans might have faced and infer what behavioural tendencies may have been selected to overcome these challenges
What are mental modules?
A collection of specialized and independent sections of the brain, developed to handle specific survival problems (e.g., location of food, finding a mate)
What do critics of mental modules point out?
That not all traits are adaptive but may be by-products of other traits. Now all the traits we have seem to be based off of survival value.
What are 5 innate human characteristics?
1. Infant reflexes
2. An interest in novelty
3. A desire to explore & manipulate objects 4. An impulse to play & fool around
5. Basic cognitive skills
A system that combines meaningless elements such as sounds or gestures to form structured utterances that convey meaning
What is surface structure?
The way a sentence is spoken
What is deep structure?
How a sentence is to be understood
Who was Chomsky?
A well-known psycholinguist
Who believed that babies were born with a language acquisition device?
What is a Language Acquisition Device (LAD)?
An innate mental module that allows young children to develop language if they are exposed to an adequate amount of
What much children use transform surface structure into deep structure?
What is Syntax?
Something that reflects a universal grammar where brains are sensitive to core features common to all languages (e.g., nouns & verbs). It is developed at a young age.
What is universal between children in different cultures?
Similar stages of linguistic development
What are overregularizations?
When children combine words in ways that adults never would
What happens when children are not exposed to adult language?
They may invent a language of their own.
Finish the sentence. "Even though adults do not consistently correct their children's syntax...
(Also really sorry for the crappy card.. didn't know how else to add this in.)
...children learn to speak correctly anyway."
How young can children derive simple linguistic rules from a string of sounds.
What are Computer Neural Networks?
Mathematical models of the brain that can “learn” some aspects of language
What are some arguments that support the environment playing a larger role in language? (3)
There are major differences in acquisition
Parents recast sentences rather than corrections
Children imitate recasts & expansions
When an adult restates what a child has said with proper syntax and grammar. The adult is expanding on the child’s language.
What is Sociobiolgy?
An interdisciplinary field that emphasizes evolutionary explanations of social behaviour in animals & human
What do sociobiologists believe?
That we have a tendency to act in ways that maximize chances of passing on genes as well as helping close biological relatives do the same
What do males do in regards to reproduction?
Males compete with other males to access females, inseminate as many as possible
What do females do in regards to reproduction?
Females have larger biological investment in pregnancy so choose dominant males with resources & status
What are 2 things that have caused differences in aggression, dominance, and sexual strategies?
Differences in survival
What type of studies have found a consistent difference between males and females?
What is the most common age distinction between sexual partners?
An older male and younger female.
What are males generally older than there female sexual partners?
Older age predicts status and dominance in men and younger age predicts fertility in women.
What are 4 main criticisms of the evolutionary explanations of sex differences?
1. Stereotypes versus actual behaviour (A lot of the explanations that evolutionary psych has to look at infidelity or monogamy are based on gender stereotypes)
2. Convenience versus representative samples (samples may not be representative)
3. What people say versus what people do (people often only can speculate about what they would do in a situation and don't actually know that they would do)
4. The Fred Flintstone problem
What is the 'Fred Flintstone problem'?
Evolutionary theory describes modern day humans as hunters and gatherers. The way questions are framed normally don't fit the way that we live our lives today.
What is the best predictor of somebody choosing a mate?
Proximity and personality similarities
What is the meaning of heritability?
A statistical estimate of the proportion of the total variance in some trait that is attributable to genetic differences among individuals within a group
How is heritability expressed?
As a proportion with the maximum value being 1. E.g. 0.60 or 6/10.
What does high heritability mean?
A greater genetic contribution to a trait.
True or False? Estimates of heritability apply to many groups living in a particular environment.
Fasle. Estimates of heritability apply only to a particular group living in a particular environment.
True or False? Heritability estimates do not apply to individuals, only to variations within a group.
True or False? Highly heritable traits cannot be modified by the environment.
False. Even highly heritable traits can be modified by the environment.
How do people infer heritability?
By studying people whose genetic similarity is known.
Who do scientists study to separate the role of genetics and environment?
What can studying identical and fraternal twins show?
If identical more similar than fraternal twins, greater the genetic influence. Also they can study twins separated early in life & raised apart.
What are monozygotic twins?
Identical twins. A single egg is fertilized by a single sperm and then it splits. They share all their genes.
What are dizygotic twins?
Fraternal twins. Separate eggs are fertilized by separate sperm. They only share half of their genes.
How was the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) originally measured?
By dividing a person’s mental age by chronological age and multiplying by 100.
How is the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) measured now?
It is derived from norms on standardized IQ tests.
What heritability proportion produces high IQ scores in children and adults?
Children & adolescents (.40-.50); adults (.60- .80)
True or False? IQ scores of identical twins more highly correlated than those of fraternal twins.
True of False? Scores of adopted children are highly correlated with their adoptive parents.
False. Scores of adopted children are highly correlated with their biological parents.
If genes influence individual differences, can they account for differences between groups?
Yes. Differences have been used to justify differential treatment of groups (e.g., ethnicity, gender).
What is the fatal flaw with genetic explanations?
Heritability estimates have relied on Caucasian samples to estimate role of heredity between groups.
True or False? Differences within groups have a genetic basis which means differences between groups are genetic.
False. Differences within groups may have a genetic basis but that does not mean differences between groups are genetic.
What do studies that have overcome methodological flaws of genetic explanations fail to do?
Reveal genetic differences in IQ scores
as a function of ethnicity.
What are some environmental conditions that influence IQ scores? (3)
1. Blacks and whites grow up in different
2. Due to racial discrimination and segregation, minority children often receive fewer nutrients
3. Negative stereotypes cause members of minority groups to doubt their own abilities
What are some environmental influences associated with reduced mental ability? (4)
1. Poor prenatal care
3. Exposure to toxins
4. Stressful family circumstances
What are some environmental influences associated with enhanced mental abilities? (3)
1. Good health care & nutrition
2. Mental enrichment in home, child care, school
3. Parental interaction, discussion, & encouragement of mental processing
Do genes and environment interact?
What does the rapid increase in the IQs of people in developing countries prove?
That the increase in IQ cannot be purely based on genetic evolution.
True of False? The interaction between genes and the environment is very simplistic.
False. Genes-environment interaction very complex.
What may be associated with common diseases?
Mutations in DNA that is found outside of genes (“junk DNA”)
Can a gene be fragmented or intertwined with other genes?
New technology has shown this to be possible.
What causes gene expression to be varied?
Gene expression varies due to biochemical processes within bodily cells (“noise”).
True or False? Heredity and environment always interact to produce the unique mixture of qualities that make a human.
What are epigenetics?
A new specialty area studying changes in gene expression due to mechanisms other than structural changes in the DNA.
Are genes ultimate predictors of someones traits and behaviours?
No. Genes are not destiny
What can happen if someone knows about their own genetic disposition?
Knowing about a genetic disposition can create a premature diagnosis or a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Do genes absolve you of responsibility?
Is genetic testing liberating or stigmatizing?
It can be both.
Does knowing your genetic risk tell you what to do to prevent something bad from happening?
Knowing your genetic risk does not tell you what to do about it.