psychology ch. 2

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the sex cells from the mother and father that form a new cell at conception


the new cell formed by the process of fertilization


the basic unit of genetic information


the substance that genes are composed of that determines the nature of every cell in the body and how it will function


rod-shaped portions of DNA that are organized in 23 pairs

monozygotic twin

twins who are genetically identical

dizygotic twins

twins who are produced when two separate ova are fertilized by two separate sperm at roughly the same time

dominant trait

the one trait that is expressed when two competing traits are present

recessive trait

trait within an organism that is present, but is not expressed


the underlying combination of genetic material present (but not outwardly visible) in an organism


an observable trait; the trait that actually is seen


inheriting from parents different forms of a gene for a given trait

polygenic inheritance

inheritance in which a combination of multiple gene pairs is responsible for the production of a particular trait

x-linked genes

genes that are considered recessive and located only on the x chromosome

behavioral genetics

the study of the effects of heredity on behavior and psychological characteristics

down syndrome

a disorder produced by the presence of an extra chromosome on the 21st pair; once referred to as mongolism

fragile x syndrome

a disorder produced by injury to a gene on the x chromosome, producing mild to moderate mental retardation

sickle-cell anemia

a blood disorder that gets its name from the shape of the red bood cells in those who have it

tay-sachs disease

a disorder that produces blindness and muscle degeneration prior to death; there is no treatment

klinefelter’s syndrome

a disorder resulting from the presence of an extra x chromosome that produces underdeeloped genitals, extreme height, and enlarged breasts

genetic counseling

the discipline that focuses on helping people deal with issues relation to inherited disorders

ultrasound sonography

a process in which high-frequency sound waves scan the mother’s womb to produce an image of the unborn baby, whose size and shape can then be assessed

chorionic villus sampling

a test used to find genetic defects that involves taking samples of hairlike material that surrounds the embryo


the process of identifying genetic defects by examining a small sample of fetal cells drawn by a needle inserted into the amniotic fluid surrounding the unborn fetus


patterns of arousal and emotionality that represent consistent and enduring characteristics in an individual

multifactorial transmission

the determination of traits by a combination of both genetic environmental factors in which a genotype provides a range within which a phenotype may be expressed


the process by which a sperm and an ovum–the male and female gametes, respectively–join to form a single new cell

germinal stage

the first, and shortest, stage of prenatal period, which takes place during the first two weeks following conception


a conduit between the mother and fetus, providing nourishment and oxygen via the umbilical cord

embryonic stage

the period form two to eight weeks following fertilization during which significant growth occurs in the major organs and body systems

fetal stage

the stage that begins at about eight weeks after conception and continues until birth


a developing child, from eight weeks after conception until birth


the inability to conceive after 12 to 18 months of trying to become pregnant

artificial insemination

a process of fertilization in which a man’s sperm is placed directly into a woman’s vagina by a physician

in vitro fertilization

a procedure in which a woman’s ova are removed from her ovaries, and a man’s sperm are used to fertilize the ova in the labratory

fetal alcohol syndrome

a disorder causd by the pregnant mother consuming substantial quantities of alcohol during pregnancy, potentially resulting in mental retardation and delayed growth in the child

fetal alcohol effects

a condition in which children discplay some, although not all, of the problems of fetal alcohol syndrome due to the mother’s concumtion of alcohol durin gpregnancy


a factor that produces a birth defect

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