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Chapter 3 vocabulary from Myers eighth edition.


Every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.

Behavior genetics

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


Threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)

A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.


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


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

Identical twins

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

Fraternal twins

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


A person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.


The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes.


The effect of one factor (such as the environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity).

Molecular genetics

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

Evolutionary psychology

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

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.


A random error in gene replication that leads to a change.


In psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female.


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


An understood rule for accepted and expected behavior.

Personal space

The buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.


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


Giving priority to the goals of one's group and defining one's identity accordingly


Physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone.

X chromosome

The sex chromosome found in both men and women.

Y chromosome

The sex chromosome found only in males.


The most important of the male sex hormones.


A set of expectations about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.

Gender role

A set of expected behaviors for males and for females.

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