Behavioral genetic methodologies from twin and adoption studies through DNA analysis will be described and applied to address longstanding questions about the origins of individual differences in behavioral traits.
From the lesson
Unit # 1: Course Introduction and OverviewOverview: Unit # 1 provides an overview to the field of human behavioral genetics and to this course. We will begin by discussing the early history of the field and how behavioral genetic research influenced and was influenced by the eugenics movement. Once this historical context has been established, we will define the field of behavioral genetics and use this definition to provide an overview of the course. This week’s lectures will end with two case studies that illustrate the importance of behavioral genetic approaches. The first is the famous John/Joan case, where one member of a monozygotic twin pair was raised as a boy and the other as a girl. The second is the human genetic disorder Phenylketonuria (PKU), which has been recognized as a paradigm of human genetic disease since its discovery in 1934.Unit Objectives: At the end of this unit you should know• The history of the founding of the field of behavioral genetics• What the eugenics movement was and how it impacted psychology and behavioral genetics• What the field of behavioral genetics covers• How the John/Joan case represented the extreme of the “Blank Slate” mentality within psychology• Why Phenylketonuria is considered a public health success and model of human genetic diseaseLecture Modules:A. The Nature-Nurture Debate and Founding of Behavioral GeneticsB. The Eugenics MovementC. What is Behavioral GeneticsD. The John/Joan CaseE. Phenylketonuria (PKU) F. Huntington Disease (Supplemental)