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Flashcards in Chapter-Three-Textbook Deck (24):

Define Evolutionary Psychology

A field of psychology emphasizing evolutionary mechanisms that may help explain human commonalities in cognition, development, emotion, social practices, and other areas of behaviour.


Define Behavioural Genetics

An interdisciplinary field of study concerned with the genetic bases of individual differences in behaviour and personality.


Explain Intersexual Selection

A member of one sex chooses a mate from the other sex on the basis of certain characteristics. For males, usually attractiveness and youth. For females, height/muscles, resources man has.


Explain Intrasexual Selection

Members of the same sex complete for a partner of the other sex. Males may compete by becoming more muscular or wealthy, females may use make up or hair dye.


Define Mental Modules

A collection of specialized and independent sections of the brain, developed to handle specific survival problems, such as the need to locate food or find a mate.


What is Instinct Theory?

An once-popular notion in psychology that virtually every human activity and capacity is innate.


What are Innate Human Characteristics?

1. Infant Reflexes 2. An interest in novelty3. A desire to explore and manipulate objects 4. An impulse to play and fool around5. Basic cognitive skills


What is meant by the innate "Infant Reflexes"?

Babies are born with a number of reflexes - simple, automatic responses to specific stimuli like sucking on something put to their lips (nursing).


What is meant by the innate "interest in novelty"?

Human babies reveal a surprising interest in looking at and listening to unfamiliar things.


What is meant by the innate "desire to explore and manipulate objects"?

Taking things apart and scrutinizing things for the sheer pleasure of it.


What is meant by the innate "impulse to play and fool around"?

Play and exploration may be biologically adaptive because they help members of a species find food and other necessities of life, and learn to cope with their environments.


What is meant by innate "basic cognitive skills"?

Many evolutionary psychologists believe that people are born with abilities that make it vey easy to learn to interpret the expressions and gestures of others, identify faces, and figure out what others are feeling/thinking. Distinguish objects. Recognize numbers.


What is Sociobiology?

An interdisciplinary field that emphasizes evolutionary explanations of social behaviour in animals, including human beings.


Define Social Darwinism.

The notion that the wealthy and successful are more reproductively fit than other people.


Three important facts about Heritability:

1. An estimate of heritability applies only to a particular group living in a particular environment 2. Heritability estimates do not apply to individuals, only to variations within a group3. Even highly heritable traits can be modified by the environment


How to Compute Heritability.

There is no way to estimate the heritability of a trait or behaviour directly so scientists must infer by studying people whose degree of genetic similarity is known. The best approach is to study adopted children since they are exposed to different environments. If identical twins are more alike than fraternal twins, then the increased similarity must be due to genetic influences.


Define Intelligence Quotient

A measure of intelligence originally computed by dividing a person's mental age by his or her chronological age and multiplying it by 100; it is now derived from norms provided for standardized intelligence tests.


How are scores for IQ set up?

On a bell curve with the average score arbitrarily set at 100, with two thirds of all people between 85 and 115.


What do critics of IQ testing say?

1. That intelligence comes in many varieties than can be captured by a single score. 2. IQ tests are culturally biased, favouring the white middle class.3.


What is the heritability score for intelligence (in reference to IQ)?

For children - 0.40 or 0.50; half of the variance in IQ scores is explainable by genetic differences.For adults - 0.60 to 0.80; the genetic contribution is larger and the environmental impact is smaller.


What is Fluid Intelligence?

A person's problem solving ability; your ability to encounter a new situation and adapt to that situation. Very heritable.


What influences are associated with reduced mental ability?

1. Poor prenatal care2. Malnutrition 3. Exposure to toxins 4. Stressful family circumstances


What is Epigenetics?

The study of changes in gene expression due to mechanisms other that structural changes in DNA. (Environment)


What are pros and cons of genetic testing?

1. Genes are not destiny (most traits are influenced by genes, environment, and other biochemical events)2. Knowing about a genetic disposition can create a premature diagnosis or a self-fulfilling prophecy 3. Genes do not absolve you of responsibility 4. Knowing your genetic risk does not necessarily tell you what to do about it5. Genetic testing can be liberating or stigmatizing