Psyc 3102: Behavioral Genetics (Carey)
Spring 2005: Questions for the Final Exam
Procedure: Below are a series of questions that may appear on the final exam. You may prepare for these in any way you choose—study with friends, see the professor, etc. Excluding definitions, about 5 or 6 of these will appear verbatim on the final exam. You will have to answer all of these 5 or 6 questions without the benefit of open books or notes during the final exam period.
1) set point model of personality stability and change
8) smorgasbord model of personality development
1) Name and define the five forces of human evolution.
2) Consider the following statement: "The
3) Here is a complicated statement: "Empirical evidence suggests that being raised in the same family does not make siblings similar to one another in personality. However, these same data cannot be used to say that parents have no influence on their children's behavior." Give a lucid and common sense explanation of this statement to a layperson who is educated but does not have much training in psychology. Make certain to include the types of empirical data on which the above statement rests.
The following is a quote from a behavioral geneticist: “If a strong meritocracy evolves in this
5) Describe the relationship among genes, intelligence (as measured by intelligence tests), and social stratification in modern industrialized society.
6) Give four different generalizations from the empirical data on the genetics of personality.
7) The following is a quote from Stephen Jay Gould in a
critique on The Bell Curve. "The general claim is neither
uninteresting nor illogical, but it does require the validity of four shaky
premises, all asserted (but hardly discussed or defended) by Herrnstein and
Murray. Intelligence, in their
formulation, must be depictable by a single number, capable of ranking people
in linear order, genetically based, and effectively immutable. If any of these premises are false, their
entire argument collapses." Stephen
Jay Gould, "Curveball," The New
In class, we did not discuss the issues of representing IQ by a single number and linearly ordering people by this, so it is not necessary for you to treat these issues. Otherwise answer the questions below about this quote:
a) What does the empirical evidence suggest about intelligence being "genetically based"?
b) How necessary is the “genetically based” assumption for Herrnstein and Murray?
c) What does the empirical evidence suggest about intelligence being "effectively immutable"?
d) Gould later goes on to say that because of the failures of these assumptions, intelligence (as measured by IQ tests) plays no role in eventual social status. Criticize this conclusion.
8) Describe the Flynn effect, what is known about it, what is not known about it, and the implications of the Flynn effect for group differences in intelligence.
9) The following is an actual statement made to your professor by a very high ranking person in the Department of Justice—“If crime is genetic, then the implications for the penal system and the concept of rehabilitation are enormous.” Using your knowledge of the major conclusions to this course and of the concepts of heritability and environmentability, compose a lucid response to this statement.
10) Describe how the study of an endophenotype can help us learn more about the genetics of psychopathology.
11) In a paragraph, describe the overall results of molecular genetics and psychopathology. Mention the potential reason(s) for these findings and the prospects for the future.
12) What are “idiosyncratic parental effects?” What role might they play in the estimation of “common environmental effects” on personality? What is empirically known about these effects?
13) The biggest “genetic marker” for alcoholism is the Y chromosome. Give a plausible scenario of how the Y might have achieved this status.
14) The biggest “genetic marker” for anxiety disorders is the absence of the Y chromosome. Give a plausible scenario of how the XX genotype achieved this status.
15) Why do many population geneticists eschew the word “race” and instead prefer to use the word “population?”
16) The President of
According to news reports of the meeting, some participants viewed his remarks as “healthily provocative” while others were offended. A small furor erupted and Dr. Summers “eventually apologized for his remarks” (http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/01/20/harvard.summers.ap/).
Using all your knowledge about what you have been taught thus far in this course (and, of course, all that you have been taught in other courses), write a coherent two-paragraph statement on how genetic differences between men and women might or might not contribute to the observed prevalence of men over women in academic positions of math, science, and engineering.