Chapter 4 Nature Nurture Vocabulary

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1

Environment

every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us

2

Behavior genetics

the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior

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Chromosomes

threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain genes

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DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes

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Genes

the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein

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Identical Twins

twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms

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Fraternal Twins

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer that brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment

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Temperament

a person’s characteristic emotional reactivity and intensively

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Interaction

the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on another factor (such as hereditary)

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Evolutionary psychology

the study of the roots of behavior and mental processes, using the principles of natural selection

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Natural selection

the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

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Mutation

a random error in gene replication that leads to change

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Gender

in psychology, the biological and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female

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Culture

the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared from one generation to the next

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Norm

an understood rule for accepted and expected behavior. Norms prescribe “proper” behavior

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Personal Space

the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies

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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

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Collectivism

giving priority to group goals (often those of the extended family of work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly

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Aggression

physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone

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X Chromosomes

the sex chromosome in both men and women. Females have two X chromosomes; males have one. An X chromosome from each parent produces a female child

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Y Chromosomes

the sex chromosome found only in males. When paired with an X chromosome from the mother, it produces a male child

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Testosterone

the most important of the male sex hormones. Both males and females have it, but the additional testosterone in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the sevelopment of the male sex characteristic during puberty

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Role

a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those on the position ought to behave

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Gender Role

a set of expected behaviors for males or for females

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Gender Identity

our sense of being male or female

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Gender Typing

the acquisition of traditional masculine or feminine role

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Social Learning Theory

the theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitation and by being rewarded or punished