Psychology 3102:
Introduction to Behavioral Genetics
Fall 2005

11:00-12:15 Tuesday, Thursday
Muenzinger E113

Gregory Carey
Offices: Muenzinger D261B
Phones: 492-1658
FAX: 492-2967
Home Page:


Office Hours:
(1) Official: Monday 2:00-3:00, Tuesday, 1:00-2:00
(2) Semi-official: Call for appointments
(3) Very unofficial: Fridays after 5:30: Hungry Toad
 NOTE:  I am very flexible about seeing students, so do not hesitate to drop in unannounced.


Course Requirements:

Consistent lecture attendance is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged for three reasons.  First, the majority of most important material is covered in the lectures.  Second, some sections of the reading can be complicated, so lecture attendance can help you to sort out the important material from the background information. Third, dates of tests and assignments listed later under “Tentative Schedule” are indeed tentative.  The actual date of tests and assignments will be announced in class at least one week before the actual test or assignment.  Students are responsible for knowing the dates of tests and assignments.  If you miss class and require information about tests or assignments, please contact me.

Grading is based on performance on the tests and papers.  Raw points are added and letter grades are based on a curve rather than on percent correct.  Your instructor has never experienced a semester in which students would have done better on a “percent correct” basis than on the curve.  It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that all assignments—tests and papers—are completed on time.  Exceptions must be approved by the instructor.

Propaganda and Notices from the Administration



I. Disabilities:


Administration: If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities.


Me: See me and explain.



II. Religious Observance:


Administration: Campus policy regarding religious observances states that faculty must make reasonable accommodation for them and in so doing, be careful not to inhibit or penalize those students who are exercising their rights to religious observance. Faculty should be aware that a given religious holiday may be observed with very different levels of attentiveness by different members of the same religious group and thus may require careful consideration to the particulars of each individual case.


Me: Take the day off, but make sure to get the notes.  If I schedule an exam for that day, let me know and we will reschedule.



III. Classroom Behavior Policy


Administration: Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Students who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Faculty have the professional responsibility to treat all students with understanding, dignity and respect, to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which they and their students express opinions.  Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender variance, and nationalities.  Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records.  See polices at   and at


Me: Be nice.



IV. Honor Code:

Administration: All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution.  Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior.  All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (; 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at  and at


Me: Be honest.




Carey, G. (2003) Human Genetics for the Social Sciences.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Course Web Page:

1) for the book, go to:

2) for other course materials, go to:


General Outline of the Course:

This section of behavioral genetics deals exclusively with human behavior.  Animal models, breeding regimens, and methodology specific to animals will not be covered.  The reason for the selected content is entirely practical--there is insufficient time to cover both animal and human behavioral genetics in a one semester course.
                  The course is divided into three general modules:

Module 1: Genetics. This section of the course will introduce the social science student to the science of genetics. Topics include molecular genetics, Mendelian genetics, metabolic disorders, chromosomal disorders, linkage and association designs, and the genetics of complex disorders.  Although the material in this module is largely factual and objective, the examples of basic genetic principles are behavioral.  The major goal of this section is to appreciate the numerous ways and mechanisms in which genes can influence behavior and social influences can influence gene expression.  Because this module is quite lengthy, two tests are usually given.

Module 2: Individual Differences. Why are some people shy while other people are very outgoing?  Why do some people do well at school while others struggle just to pass?  This section of the course examines the roles that genes play in creating individual differences among us humans. Topics include overviews of the twin and adoption designs, the genetics of personality, the genetics of cognitive ability, and the genetics of psychopathology.  The final exam covers this section of the course.

Module 3: Evolution and Evolutionary Psychology. This section of the course examines behavior from the perspective of evolution. Topics include population genetics and the principles of evolution, biological constraints on behavior, human behavioral adaptations, and mate preferences.  The major goal of this section is to appreciate how millions of years of mammalian and primate evolution contributes to many different aspects of our behavior today.  Often a paper is given in place of an exam for this section of the course.


FINAL Exam: On the course web page, go to the section Final Exam Questions.  Many of these questions will be on the final.

Tentative Schedule:

NOTE VERY WELL:  This schedule is tentative, especially with regard to the dates of tests.  It is totally coincidental if the date of an actual test falls on its scheduled date.  I want to finish a certain amount of material and then give a test on that material.  The date for a test will always be announced at least one week prior to the test.







Chapter 1


History - I



History - II



Background to Molecular Genetics

Chapter 2


The Gene and the Genetic Code

Chapter 3


Protein Synthesis



Genetic Regulation and Development

Chapter 4


Mendelian Traits - I

Chapter 5


Mendelian Traits - II



Catch up – Review



Exam I



Fall Break



Disorders with Complex Genetics

Chapters 6


New Genetics

Chapters 7



Chapter 8


Mendel, Morgan & Association

Chapter 9, 10, 11


Mendel, Morgan & Association



Quantitative Genetics

Chapters 17, 18


Quantitative Genetics



Exam II



Intelligence – I

Chapters 20, 21


Intelligence – II




Chapters 22






Chapter 23


Family Environment & Culture

Chapter 24


Catch Up






Evolution – I

Chapters 12, 13, 14


Evolution - II



Evolutionary Psychology - I

Chapters 15, 16


Evolutionary Psychology - II



The final exam period is scheduled for Monday, December 12, from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm.