structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
Genes: the biochemical units of heredity that make up the
chromosomes; a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein.
DNA: (deoxyribonucleic acid) a complex molecule that makes up the
chromosomes. (A DNA molecule has two strands-forming a "double helix").
Genome: the complete instructions for making an organism,
consisting of all the genetic material in its chromosomes.
Natural Selection: the principle that, among the range of all
inherited traits, those that lead to increased reproduction and
survival will most likely be passed on to future generations.
Mutation: a random error in gene replication which is the source
of all genetic diversity.
Evolutionary Psychology: the study of the evolution of behavior
and the mind using the principles of natural selection.
Behavior Genetics: the study of the relative power and limits of
genetic and environmental influences on behavior.
Environment: every nongenetic influence, from prenatal
nutrition to the people and things around us.
try to determine the relative impact of nature (genetics) and nurture
(environment) by doing twin and adoption studies.
Identical Twins: twins who develop from a single fertilized
egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical
Fraternal Twins: twins who develop from separate eggs. They
are no more similar, genetically, than brothers and sisters, but they
share the same fetal environment.
Temperament: a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and
|*Thomas & Chess identified
three distinct temperament styles in babies as young as 2 months old.
10%--Difficult babies: irregular rhythmicity, withdraw from new
situations, slow-to-adapt to new situations, & intense reactions
15%--Slow-to-warm-up babies: low activity level, withdraw from
new situations, slow-to-adapt, low intensity of reactions, & negative
40%--Easy babies: Opposite of difficult babies.
seems quite stable throughout life and the same percentages are found in
other cultures. Thus, it is believed that temperament is
Heritability: the amount of variation among individuals that
we can attribute to the differences in their genes.
*For example: if identical twins are found to be different in some
way, the heritability of that trait is 0%. The difference can't be
due to their genes, because they have identical genes. Any
differences between them must be due to their non-shared environments.
Culture: the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions
shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to
Norm: the understood rules for accepted and expected behavior.
Personal Space: the buffer zone we like to maintain around our
Memes: self-replicating ideas, fashions, and innovations passed
from person to person.
X- chromosome: the sex chromosome found in both males and females.
Women have two, men have one.
Y-chromosome: the sex chromosome found only in males. When paired
with an X-chromosome from the mother, it produces a male child.