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These terms are matched to Myers 8th edition of Psychology chapter 3.


An inherited characteristic that increases in a population because it provides a survival or reproductive advantage.


physical or verbal behavior that is intended to hurt or harm someone.

behavior genetics

the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and enviromental influences on behavior.

Charles Darwin

renowned naturalist and thinker associated with the theory of evolution by natural selection


threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes


sense of "we". priorities are given to a certain group. One's identity is defined accordingly


the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.


(deoxyribonucleic acid) is a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.


refers to every nongenetic, or external, influence on our traits and behaviors.

evolutionary psychology

the study of evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection.

fraternal twins

develop from two separate eggs fertilized by different sperrn and therefore are no more genetically similar than ordinary siblings.


the biologically and socially influenced characteristic by which people define male and female.

gender identity

one's personal sense of being male or female.

gender role

a culturally prescribed set of behaviors for males and females.

gender schema theory

children acquire a cultural concept of what it means to be female or male and adjust their behavior accordingly.


the acquisition of a traditional feminine or masculine gender role.


the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; they are segments of the DNA molecules capable of synthesizing a protein.


the complete instructions for making an organism - consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes


the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The ___________ of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.

identical twins

develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two and therefore are genetically identical.


Giving priority to one's own goals over group and defining one's identity in terms of personal sttributes rather than group identification.


occurs when the effects of one factor (such as heredity) depends on another factor (such as environment).


variations in ideas, fashions, and innovations passed from one person to another that cause rapid cultural mutations.

molecular genetics

the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.


a process in which the genetic material of a person, a plant or an animal changes in structure when it is passed on to children, causing different phycical characteristics to develop.

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.


understood social prescriptions, or rules, for accepted and expected behavior.


biochemical units that make up DNA and genes.

personal space

personal space-the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.


a culturally prescribed set of behaviors expected of those who occupy a particular social position.

social learning theory

people learn social behavior (such as gender roles) by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.


a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.


the principal male sex hormone. During prenatal development, it stimulates the development of the external male sex organs.

X Chromosome

the sex chromosome found in both men and women. Females have two of these chromosomes; males have one. One of these chromosome from each parent produces a female child.

Y chromosome

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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