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Evolutionary Psychology

emphasizes the importance of adaptation, reproduction, and survival of the fittest in shaping behavior.


threadlike structures made up of DNA


a complex molecule with a double helix shape that contains genetic information


units of hereditary information composed of DNA Genes direct cells to reproduce themselves and manufacture the proteins that maintain life.


cellular reproduction in which the cell's nucleus duplicates itself with two new cells being formed, each containing the same DNA as the parent cell


specialized form of cell division that occurs to form eggs and sperm

Mutated Gene

permanently altered segment of DNA


all of a persons genetic material makes this up


consists of observable characteristics

Down Syndrome

a chromosomally transmitted form of mental retardation, caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21.

Klinefelter Syndrome

a genetic disorder in which males have an extra X chromosome, making them XXY instead of XY

Fragile X Syndrome

a genetic disorder that results from an abnormality in the X chromosome, which becomes constricted and often breaks

Turner Syndrome

a chromosome disorder in females in which either an X chromosome is missing, making the person XO instead of XX

The XYY Syndrome

a chromosomal disorder in which the male has an extra Y chromosome

Behavior Genetics

the field that seeks to discover the influence of heredity and environment on individual differences in human traits and development.

Twin Study

the behavioral similarity of identical twins is compared with the behavioral similarity of fraternal twins

Adoption Study

a study in which investigators seek to discover whether, in behavior and psychological characteristics, adopted children are more like their adoptive parent, or more like their biological parents

Passive genotype-environment correlations

patents who are genetically related to the child, provide a rearing environment for a child

Evocative genotype-environment correlations

occur because a child's characteristics elicit certain types of environments

Active genotype-environment correlations

occurs when children seek out environments that they find compatible and stimulating


finding a setting that is suited to one's abilities

Epigenetic View

development is the result of an ongoing, bidirectional interchange between heredity and the environment

Germinal Period

prenatal development that takes place in the first 2 weeks after conception, the creation of the zygote, continued cell division, and the attachment of the zygote to the uterine wall

Embryonic Period

prenatal development that occurs 2-8 weeks after conception, embryonic period, the rate of cell differentiation intensifies, supports system for the cells form, organs appear


organ formation that takes place during the first two months of prenatal development

Fetal Period

prenatal period of development that begins two months after conception and lasts for seven months, on the average


any agent that can potentially cause a birth defect or negatively alter cognitive and behavioral outcomes

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

a cluster of abnormalities that appears in the offspring of mothers who drink alcohol heavily during pregnancy

Natural Childbirth

method attempts to reduce that mother's pain by decreasing her fear through education about childbirth and relaxation techniques during delivery

Prepared Childbirth

developed by french obstetrician Ferdinand Lamaze, this childbirth strategy is similar to natural childbirth but includes a special breathing technique to control pushing in the final stages of labor and a more detailed anatomy and physiology course.

Apgar Scale

a widely used assessment of the newborn's health at 1 & 5 minutes after birth

Postpartum Period

the period after childbirth when the mother adjusts, both physically and psychologically, to the process of childbirth. This period lasts for about 6 weeks or until her body has completed its adjustment and returned to a near prepregnant state

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