By James W. Kalat
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Additional info for Biological Psychology (11th Edition)
Suppose you have high sensitivity to tasting PTC. If your mother can also taste it easily, what (if anything) can you predict about your father’s ability to taste it? Suppose you have high sensitivity to the taste of PTC. If your mother has low sensitivity, what (if anything) can you predict about your father’s taste sensitivity? Answers 2. If your mother has high sensitivity to the taste of PTC, we can make no predictions about your father. You may have inherited a high-sensitivity gene from your mother, and because the gene is dominant, you need only one copy of the gene to taste PTC.
The emphasis is on evolutionary and functional explanations— that is, the presumed genes of our ancestors and why natural selection might have favored genes that promote certain behaviors. 2 Genetics and Behavior provided some advantage, at least in ancestral times. Consider these examples: Some animal species have better color vision than others, and some have better peripheral vision. Presumably, species evolve the kind of vision they need for their way of life (see Chapter 6). ■ Mammals and birds devote more energy to maintaining body temperature than to all other activities combined.
We would not have evolved such an expensive mechanism unless it gave us major advantages (see Chapter 10). ■ Bears eat all the food they can find, and small birds eat only enough to satisfy their immediate needs. Eating habits relate to different needs by different species (see Chapter 10). ■ On the other hand, some characteristics of a species have a less certain relationship to natural selection. Consider two examples: ■ ■ More men than women enjoy the prospect of casual sex with multiple partners.