Week 14: Genetics & Intelligence Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Week 14: Genetics & Intelligence Deck (36):


Philosophical view that you are born with knowledge and have innate abilities already hard-wired within. Nature.



Philosophical view that you are born as a blank slate and all knowledge is gained from experience from the environment. Nurture.


Behaviour genetics

Study of the influence of genetics on behaviour. Founded in 1950's by Thompson who came to queens to teach.



The amount of variability of a given trait at a given time of a given population based on genetic factors. Represented as h^2


How do genes influence our behaviour?

Guide cells to make proteins that are related to behaviour, in the same way it guides cells to make proteins coding for eye pigment and hair colour.



The appearance of a physical trait or the behaviour of an organism based on the expression of the genotype.

Phenotype is a result of genes interaction with environment.



Involve more than one gene responsible for a trait or behaviour or disorder



Involve more than one gene as a causation.



A percentage. Similarity of expression of traits in twins. Usually used in monozygotic and dizygotic twin studies to see how much of the similarity (or absence of similarity) is due to environment.



The study of heritable changes that occur without a DNA mutation.

Cell has instructions for body > external factor (chemical like eat mcdonalds or social) occurs and changes how cell expresses the instructions > keeps passing on new instructions or pass on new altered cell to next gen.


Differentiated Cells

Cells that have become specialized


Differential Approach

Devoted to tests and measures of individual differences in various psychological properties (like solving a problem).

Measures the different ways different people go about solving a problem.


Deviation IQ

A procedure for computing the intelligence quotient: compares and individuals score with scores of other individuals of the same age.



Determining the typical performance on a test.
Need so that we can assess that the test is differentiation what we want it to.

THINK: if the test is too easy or too hard we haven't learned anything from it



Information about the comparison groups so we can compare an individuals performance relative to their peers.



Ability to think, understand, reason and cognitively adapt to and overcome obstacles.


Achievement testing

Measuring current knowledge & thinking skills that have been acquired


How do genes influence behaviour?


Genes-guide the cell- generate proteins- that make neurotransmitters - that influence behaviour



General intelligence

the common factor of intelligence proposed by Spearman who compared intelligence scores to other intelligence scores and found correlations that could point to a connection and investigate what it is.


Sir Francis Galton

Realized that brilliant people had brilliant relatives aka must be biologically based. Tried to compare intelligence scores to the other biological attributes of a person like forehead size, neural quickness etc. no reliability or validity. Also, discriminatory because he didn't want to spend money educating less intelligent people.


Binet - Simon Test 1905

The first measuring of intelligence test. Binet (French) wanted to identify children who were less intelligent that needed special education.


Binet-Simon 1908

Mental age = description of score compared to the average score of a child that age

Should correspond with your normal age. If not, you were identified as less intelligent.



Lewis Terman translated the Binet-Simon test to english, brought it to Stanford university and made it into a ratio: divided mental age by chronological age and multiplied by 100 for IQ: intelligence quotient. Soon became popular for adults but problem because the denominator increases the IQ value decreases with age.


Deviation IQ test

David Wechsler solved the problem of the ratio IQ by creating the deviation IQ test which compares scores to others of that chronological age and uses the mean and standard deviations from the mean.


WAIS and WISC (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children)

David Wechsler noticed that patients with inability to speak did poorly on deviation IQ and he realized that these people were still able to think and carry out tasks. So he created a Full Scale IQ test made up of Verbal IQ and Performance (non-verbal) IQ.

Currently on the IV version and consists of 4 scales.


Test-retest reliability

Take the test on Monday and then on Friday = same result.


3 ways we can see intelligence in brain scans (biological correlates)

1) efficiency of neural resources

2) synchronization of cortical centres

3) adaptation to change cortical demands


If brain neural activity is efficient will you see a lot of activation or a little bit of activation in the domain of the corresponding area in the brain?

A little bit = more efficient


If a person has a high skill level, when solving a problem would you expect to see 1 part of the brain being activated or many different regions?

Many different regions. Synchronization can be measured as the degree to which activation levels in 2 regions in the brain vary together.

Synchronization within an individual increases learning.


When solving an easy problem followed by a difficult problem how can one adapt?

- use more regions of the brain (more activation in different regions)

- use more energy (high glucose metabolism)

So individuals with high cognitive abilities show demonstrate these ways of adaptation.


Gene-environment co-variation

A person's genetic make-up guides them towards environmental conditions.

THINK: A person with inherited extrovert characteristics may seek out a job working with many people.


Family/neighbourhood level vs population level

Inheritance factors are strong vs. environment factors are strong

- proof from the Flynn Effect of rising IQ each year (thought to be attributed to nutrition or focus of knowledge in youth or even maybe reliability issues)


Aptitude Testing

Measuring the potential to perform well on a specific range of tasks


Fluid intelligence G(f)

Knowledge that is dynamic and changing. It's used to adapt to new situations and solve new problems without relying on previous knowledge.


Crystallized Intelligence G(c)

Knowledge that relies on extensive experience and is like an actual crystal- more permanent, stable and robust.

THINK: vocabulary


How do G(f) and G(c) change over time?

Both forms of intelligence are examined across lifespan to see how each type change with time.

Performance on tasks that use fluid intelligence peaks in early-middle adulthood and then declines later in life.

Crystallized intelligence is conserved or accumulates as long as constantly learning new info.

The brain regions involved associated with fluid intelligence decline more quickly that the brain regions involved with crystallized intelligence.