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Nature and Nurture in Psychology. Module 3. Behavior Genetics : the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior. Genes: the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA.

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slide2

Behavior Genetics: the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.

  • Genes: the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA.
  • Environment: Every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
predisposition
Predisposition
  • Chromosome: Thread like structures mad of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
  • DNA: A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes. (A,T,C, or G)
  • Genome: The complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in its chromosomes.
  • Mutation: Random errors in gene replication that lead to a change in the individual’s genetic code; the source to all genetic diversity.
genetic makeup
Genetic Makeup
  • Fruit Fly has 15,000 genes
  • Human has 30,000 genes
  • 99.9 percent of your four letter DNA sequences match that of every other human
slide5

Some of the controversy surrounding cloning involvers whether or not parents could choose different traits fro their unborn children. Critics of cloning fear that parents could engineer “the perfect child,” creating a child with only desirable qualities who is resistant to disease and the ill effects of aging.

cloning
Cloning
  • Should parents be allowed to craft their ideal child? Why or Why not?
  • What qualities would you consider to be ideal? Do others share you ideas? Why or why not?
  • How would culture affect genetic engineering of children?
  • What if parents chose traits that actually affected their child adversely from an evolutionary standpoint?
slide7

Many states do not allow adoptees to learn information about their biological parents in order to protect the privacy of people who put up children for adoption.

adoption
Adoption
  • What would be the benefits of confidentiality laws that favor biological parents? What are the disadvantages?
  • Should adoptees be allowed to find out all information about their biological parents? Why or why not?
  • What compromise could you propose that would enable adoptees to learn about their biological heritage and protect the privacy of biological parents?
environment matters

Environment Matters

Key Environmental Influences

cultural influences
Cultural Influences
  • Culture: The shared attitudes, beliefs, norms and behaviors of a group communicated from one generation to the next.
  • Norms: Understood rules for accepted and expected behavior; norms prescribe “proper” behavior.
  • Collectivism: Giving priority to the goal of one’s group and defining one’s identity accordingly.
  • Individualism: Giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals, and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identification.
questions
Questions
  • What is the most obvious trait you’ve inherited from your parents? What is the most obvious thing you’ve learned from them?
  • At this point in your life, which has more influence over you morals and values: Parents or peers? Why? Which has more influence over your personality? Why?
  • How is life in the U.S. different from life in you native culture?
  • How much of the culture in the U.S. have you adopted as your own, and what native cultural traditions have you kept? How do other family members balance the two cultures?