Pitt PSY 0160 - Genetics and Personality (4 pages)

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Genetics and Personality

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Genetics and Personality


Lecture number:
Lecture Note
University of Pittsburgh
Psy 0160 - Psychology of Personality
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Personality Psychology Lecture 15 Outline of Last Lecture Temperament Thomas and Chess New York Longitudinal study Easy temperament Difficult temperament Slow to warm up temperament Dimensions of Temperament Buss and Plomin Emotionality Reactivity Sociability Kagan Inhibited Uninhibited Biological Influences of Inhibition Amygdala Frontal Cortex Stathmin protein Evolutionary Psychology Proximate causes Ultimate causes Evolved Tendencies Contents of Human Nature Buss Need to belong Helping and altruism Universal Emotions Ekman Mate preferences Parenthood Jealousy Eagly and Wood Outline of Current Lecture Genetics and Personality Behavior genetics Heritability coefficient Selective breeding Molecular genetics Gene environment interactions Shared and nonshared environment These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute Brain SES and serotonin Current Lecture Genetics and Personality Humans born with pair of 23 chromosomes each chromosome has different genes that direct synthesis of proteins that guide development o Genes don t govern behavior directly but influence biological development of organism Behavior genetics study of genetic contributions to behavior o Estimate the degree to which variation in psychological characteristics is due to genetic factors o Interaction between genes and environment not just genetics that dictate behavior Heritability coefficient H2 statistic that refers to the proportion of observed variance in a group of individuals that can be accounted for by genetic variance o Refers to variation in population examined in given study o Between variance due to genetics 0 1 variance due to genetics o Describes the degree to which genetic differences among individuals cause differences in an observed property height extraversion optimism o Highly consistent results o Does NOT indicate degree to which genetics accounts for fact that particular person has particular characteristic 8 doesn t mean that 80 of behavior is because of genetics o Ex h2 4 for inhibition does NTO mean that 40 of that trait is inherited Means that genetics accounts for 40 of the variability between the people in the population studied Investigating Heritability Selective breeding o Dogs o Animals with desired trait mate them with animals that also have desired trait if this is a heritable trait related to genetics then offspring should have that desired trait also o Produce animals with desired trait o Cant do this with humans Twin studies o Monozygotic identical same genetic material o Dizygotic fraternal don t have same genetic material Share same environment from beginning so might be more similarity between them still than with other siblings because of this Adoption studies o How much are adopted children like adopted vs biological parents o Relationship bweteen genetic similarity is greater more similar to biological parents People genetically identical but raised apart still have lots of similarity genetics critical If 2 people are different genetically BUT have same environment any observed differences are probably genetics Genetically identical twins do similar on IQ tests 8 correlation between degree of genetic similarity and IQ score Molecular Genetics Examination of underlying biology Look at genetic material of different individuals look at genes linked to personality traits Goal show how genetic variation codes for differences in biology and in turn psychological aspects Personality function combination between genes and environment Gene Environment Interactions Nature AND nurture determine personality Cooper and Zubek o Bred rats to be maze dull bad at mazes OR maze bright o Wanted to see how environment influenced problem solving in both kinds of rats o Raised some in enriched environments fun things to do and others in impoverished environments not much to do not stimulating o enriched environment improved learning in maze dull rats o impoverished environment handicapped maze bright rats Shared and non shared Environments Shared environment environmental influences that make siblings more alike Non shared environment environments that create differences among siblings who grow up in the same family o Especially with age differences in siblings the environment can be different for each Study monozygotic and dizygotic twins Effects of environmental effects are negligible Nonshared unique experiences appear to be more important friends influence of peers what you do outside of house 40 of variability of personality trait is due to environmental factors Observed differences in personality trait 40 genetics 0 shared environment 40 nonshared environment 20 error things cant account for don t know Brain Hemispheric dominance based on EEG o Left active during positive emotions o Right active during negative emotions Serotonin neurotransmitter important in mood regulation o Medications that increase availability in brain SSRIs Socioeconomic status of communities and Serotonin Manuck Found that those living in lower SES neighborhoods displayed lower serotonergic activity Socioeconomic inequalities can affect even the neurobiology of their resident Think serotonin influenced by environment where they lived how much money etc Designed experiment so could examine directly possibility that those living in different kinds of neighborhoods would produce different levels of serotonin o Had people take serotonin agonist mimics action of neurotransmitter o Lower levels serotonin lower mood vice versa o Serotonin influences production of prolactin hormone o Measured their blood samples to see how much prolactin they had in system o individuals living in lower SES had less prolactin also had lower levels thus of serotonin compared to people in higher SES

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