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PSY 3410 PBC

PSY 3410—Behavior Genetics and Individual Differences

Three Semester Hours

MDG 8/14  


University: 6 Hours of PSY including 101D or 1010.

Course Description

Extensive survey of individual differences and their relationship to genetic factors. Topics include chromosomal abnormalities, inborn errors of metabolism, genetic and prenatal screening, behaviors in infants, genetics and intellectual differences, psychopathology and genetics, racial differences, and continuing evolution of behavior.

Methods of Course Instruction

All material for this course is print-based. Instructor and students communicate and exchange materials through postal mail. 

E-Print Option

In this course an option exists to use e-mail to submit your lesson assignments. Your assignment will be returned to you either as an e-mail attachment or as a hard copy sent through the postal mail, depending on the preferences of the instructor and/or program. 

Textbooks and Supplies

Plomin, Robert, John C. DeFries, Valerie S. Knopik, and Janae M. Neiderhiser. Behavioral Genetics. 6th ed. 2013. [ISBN: 9781429242158]

Number of Lessons

The course has four lessons and four supervised course examinations. Lessons 1, 3, 5, and 7 contain the chapters (and pages) to read for the four exams that follow each unit. The lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: 
    • Part A—“Mendel’s Law of Heredity”
    • Part B—“Beyond Mendel’s Law”
    • Part C—“DNA—The Basis of Heredity”
    • Part D—“Identifying Genes
  • Lesson 2: First Midcourse Exam Information
  • Lesson 3:
    • Part A—“Nature, Nurture, and Human Behavior”
    • Part B—“Estimating Environmental and Genetic Influences”
    • Part C—“The Interplay Between Genes and Environment”
    • Part D —Appendix: “Statistical Methods in Behavioral Genetics”
  • Lesson 4: Second Midcourse Exam
  • Lesson 5
    • Part A—“Cognitive Disabilities”
    • Part B—“General Cognitive Ability”
    • Part C—“Schizophrenia”
    • Part D—“Other Adult Psychopathology”
  • Lesson 6: Third Midcourse Exam Information
  • Lesson 7
    • Part A—“Developmental Psychopathology”
    • Part B—“Personality and Personality Disorders”
    • Part C—“Substance Use Disorders”
    • Part D—“Health Psychology and Aging”
  • Lesson 8: Final Exam Information

The learning objectives, written assignments, and vocabulary lists will give you a guide to the most important material to study for each exam. Each exam will cover only the material covered in assignments A and B for each chapter in a unit. The final exam is NOT cumulative. All tests will consist of multiple-choice, matching, and short-answer questions.

Types of Writing Assignments

Each chapter contains two assignments:  

  • The first assignment (A) contains questions related to the required reading material that you are expected to complete and submit to the eLearning OHIO office as part of the written assignments required for this course. The written assignments must be submitted and reviewed by me before the examination for that unit can be taken.
  • The second assignment (B) of each chapter contains a thorough list of words (key terms, self-study glossary) for you to define and study as you prepare for each exam (assignment B DOES NOT get submitted to the professor).

Each assignment (A and B) is intended to help you study and prepare for each exam.

Grading Criteria

The final grade will be computed on the following basis:

  • Written Assignments — 20%
  • Unit I Exam — 20%
  • Unit II Exam — 20%
  • Unit III Exam — 20%
  • Unit IV (Final) Exam — 20%