The Biological Framework: Heredity (2 of 2)

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Obviously, both methods are valid and would lead in time, to a fairly good understanding of the behavior of the car. But neither method alone earl give us the complete picture-for that, we need both methods. Thus in this book we shall combine the two approaches. In this article we will introduce you to the body mechanisms that are of chief concern to psychologists, In subsequent chapters we will examine the   organism’s behavior and then try to make connections with what is found ”under the hood.”

The instructions for building a car–including the “recipes” for the steel of the axles, the plastic of the dashboard, and the glass of the headlights– fill several thick volumes. Yet the instructions for making the infinitely more complex human body–including the ”recipes” for the hard surface of the teeth, the flexible fibers of the muscles, and the transparent surface of the eye-can be lit into the microscopic area of a single cell. These instructions are contained in the genes. Your own genes are a randomly determined combination of genes from your mother and father-your   genetic inheritance, or heredity.

Genes determine physical traits. These include visible traits such as whether you have blue eyes or brown, curly hair or straight. Genes also provide the directions for the construction of the nervous system the   endocrine system, the sense organs, the muscles. We sometimes think of genes as being primarily involved in producing differences among people; it is important to remember that they are also responsible for the many things that all humans have in common.

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