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Myer’s Psychology for AP Chapter 3C

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What are the differences between humans?
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Our differences as humans include our personality, interests, and cultural and family backgrounds.
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What are the similarities between humans?
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Our similarities as human beings include our common biological heritage, our shared brain architecture, our ability to use language, and our social behaviors.
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What is the fundamental question in developmental psychology?
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A fundamental question in psychology deals with the extent to which we are shaped by our heredity, called our nature, and by external influences, called our nurture.
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What are behavior geneticists?
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Researchers who specifically study genetic and environmental influences on behavior are called behavior geneticists.
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What does the term “environment” refer to?
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The term environment refers to every nongenetic influence.
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Describe chromosomes.
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The master plans for development are stored in the chromosomes. In number, each person inherits 46 of these structures, 23 from each parent. Each is composed of a coiled chain of the molecule DNA.
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Describe genes.
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If chromosomes are the “chapters” of heredity, the “words” that make each of us distinctive human being are called genes. Most of our traits are influenced by many of these units of heredity. Genes are self-regulating; rather than acting as blueprints that always lead to the same result, they react to the environmental context.
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What is the human genome?
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The complete instructions for making an organism are referred to as the human genome.
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How do researchers study genetic influences on behavior?
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To study the power and limits of genetic influences on behavior, researchers use twin and adoption studies.
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What is the difference between an identical and fraternal twin?
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Twins who developed from a single egg are genetically identical. Twins who developed from different fertilized eggs are no more genetically alike than siblings and are called fraternal twins. In terms of the personality traits of extraversion and neuroticism, identical twins are more alike than are fraternal twins.
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How are twin pairs usually treated?
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Twin pairs reported being treated alike. However, their similarities could not be attributed to how they were treated.
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What do scientists study about identical twins raised apart?
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Through research on identical twins raised apart, psychologists are able to study the influence of the environment.
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Compare the personalities and qualities of adopted children to adoptive parents.
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Studies tend to show that the personalities of adopted children do not closely resemble those of their adoptive parents. However, adoption studies show that parenting does matter. For example, many adopted children score higher than their biological parents on intelligence tests.
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What is heritability?
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The extent to which variation among individuals can be attributed to differing genes is called heritability. Heritable individual differences do not necessarily imply heritable group differences.
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What are human psychological differences the result of?
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For psychological phenomena, human differences are nearly always the result of both genetic and environmental influences. Throughout life, we are the product of the interaction of our genetic predispositions and our surrounding environment.
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Why do fraternal twins recall greater variations in their early family life than do identical twins?
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Environments trigger activity in genes and our genetically influenced traits evoke responses in other people. This may explain why fraternal twins recall greater variations in their early family life than do identical twins.
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What is molecular genetics?
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The subfield of biology that seeks to identify some of the many genes that influence normal human traits is molecular genetics.
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How are genes uncovered?
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To uncover the genes, researchers in this field seek links between certain genes or chromosome segments and specific disorders. They find families with the disorder over several generations, and they compare DNA of affected and unaffected members, looking for differences.
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What are evolutionary psychologists?
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Researchers who study natural selection and the adaptive nature of human behavior are called evolutionary psychologists. Researchers in this field focus mostly on what makes people so much alike.
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What traits are passed on, according to natural selection?
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According to the principle of natural selection, traits that lead to increased reproduction and survival will be most likely to be passed on to succeeding generations.
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What is the source of genetic diversity?
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Genetic mutations are random errors in genetic replication that are the source of all genetic diversity.
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Compare genetic constraints on human behavior to animal behavior.
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Genetic constraints on human behavior are generally looser than those on animal behavior.
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What contributes to humanity’s fitness?
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The human species’ ability to learn and therefore to adapt in responding to different environments contributes to our fitness, defined as our ability to survive and reproduce.
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Give an example of a gender difference concerning sex.
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Compared with women, men are more likely to desire more frequent sex, and they are more likely to initiate sexual activity. This is an example of a gender difference.
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What is the evolutionary explanation for gender differences in sex and mate attractiveness?
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The evolutionary explanation of gender differences in attitudes towards sex is based on differences in the optimal strategy by which women and men pass on their genes. According to this view, males and females are selected for different patterns of sexuality.
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Cross
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cultural research reveals that men judge women as more attractive if they have a youthful appearance, whereas women judge men who appear mature, dominant, bold, and affluent as more attractive.
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Describe the critiques to the theories about gender differences in sex and mate attractiveness.
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Critics of the evolutionary explanation of the gender sexuality difference argue that it often works backward to propose a hindsight explanation. Another critique is that gender differences in sexuality vary with social expectations. Gender differences in mate preferences are largest in cultures characterized by greater gender inequality. Evolutionary psychologists counter the criticisms by noting that the sexes, having faced similar adaptive problems, are more alike than they are different. They also note that evolutionary principles offer testable predictions.
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Are gender roles converging or diverging and why?
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As brute strength becomes less relevant to power and status, gender roles are converging.
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Are we the product of nature or nurture? How do we know this?
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We are the product of both nature and nurture, but we are also a system that is open. We know this because a biopsychosocial approach to development shows that no single factor is all-powerful.
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Describe Occam’s Razor.
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The principle that we should prefer the simplest of competing explanations for a phenomenon is called Occam’s Razor.
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behavior genetics
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study of the relative power and limits of genetics and environmental influences on behavior
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environment
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every non genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
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chromosome
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threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes. (46 chromosomes- 23 from mom/dad)
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DNA
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deoxyribonucleic acid. complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
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genes
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biochemical units of heredity that make up chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
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genome
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complete set of genetic information for an organism. blueprint for building an organism. each species has its own genome spread across 23 chromosomes- hold genetic code (DNA)
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identical twins
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twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in 2, creating 2 genetically identical organism
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fraternal twins
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develop from separate fertilized eggs. share fetal environment. genetically no more similar than ordinary brothers and sister.
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heritability
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proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. Heritability of a trait may vary, depending on range of populations and environments studies.
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interact
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interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (environment) depends on another factor (hereditary)
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molecular genetics
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subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
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evolutionary psychology
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study of the roots of behavior and mental processes using the principles of natural serlection
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natural selection
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principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
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mutation
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random errors in gene replications that are the source of genetic diversity