|Instructor:||Jaime Derringer, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://psychology.illinois.edu/directory/profile/jderr|
|Class meeting times:||Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 am - 12:20 pm in 32 Psychology|
|Office hour:||Wednesdays 1pm - 2pm or by appointment (email) in 419 Psychology|
|Course Websites:||https://jaimederringer.github.io/psyc408/, https://compass2g.illinois.edu/|
|Have a question?||Email or tweet me.|
There are no prerequisites for PSYC 408. If you think the material sounds interesting, this class is for you. This semester, we will:
This is a highly interactive class. Success depends on students learning from and respecting one another. This respect includes the time and effort contributed by each student to the learning of the group.
The aim of this course is to provide students with a clearer understanding of the contribution that genes make to individual differences in behavior. Students will be in a better position to evaluate evidence for and against genetic and environmental influences. They will also gain an appreciation of the interrelationships of biological and social causes of behavior and will gain a better understanding of influences that might affect themselves and others.
The course will be intellectually demanding, and will require a substantial amount of reading, active in-class discussion, and attentive development of a serious term paper. The course will require about 3 to 6 hours per week outside class for readings and assignments. If you have any concerns about your preparedness for this course, please talk with the instructor.
Grades are assigned based on your final point total at the end of the semester. Points come from two sources: (1) attendance and participation and (2) a term paper.
|Point Total||90 - 100||80 - 89.999||70 - 79.999||60 - 69.999||< 60|
Starting Week 3 (after the add deadline), you earn 2 points per class meeting for attendance and participation. Everyone gets one absence without losing points, no questions asked. If you miss more than one day, you may make-up the points by submitting (email) a 500-word essay on the topic(s) covered within 1 week.
You may choose any topic related to the course content, as long as I approve it. The final paper should be about 3,500 to 4,000 words (12 – 15 pages) for undergrads, or 4,000 to 4,500 words (15 – 18 pages) for grad students, plus references. I care more about clarity, insight, evidence, and the flow of argument than about length. Expect to read at least 10 – 20 published research papers on your topic of choice. For graduate students, plan to produce a paper that you could turn around and submit as a review in a decent journal or a book chapter.
Graduate students’ performance is evaluated against higher expectations for intellectual rigor, argument, and synthesis. Undergrads and grad students are graded separately.
All assignments are due by 11:59 pm on their listed due dates (always Thursday, unless noted otherwise). Late assignments lose 20% credit per calendar day. Assignments due on Thursday reduce to 80% of the earned points if submitted on Friday, 60% on Saturday, 40% on Sunday, 20% on Monday.
Select a topic for your term paper and find 5 references. Pick something you're interested in!
Use APA format for the references. The Purdue OWL website is a handy free guide for APA formatting. If you find a reference on Google Scholar, click the image of the quotation mark to copy the APA-formatted citation.
Summaries of at least 10 references related to your paper topic. Especially for empirical articles, you may want to use the Empirical Article Summary template.
The FINAL paper will be about 3,500 to 4,500 words (12 - 18 pages) plus 10-20 references; your draft should be at least 8 pages of text (assuming double-spaced 12pt Times New Roman or 11pt Arial, not including references). The more complete your draft, however, the more useful your peer review feedback will be and the less work you'll need to put in to produce the final version. A suggestion for how to move from your 10 article summaries to a draft of your paper:
|Topic Coverage||3 points
Provides broad coverage of a range of behavior genetic approaches to the topic, or in-depth coverage of a specific area/methods of genetic research on the topic.
|1.5 points||0 points
Presented research is not clearly related to course themes.
|Variety of References||3 points
Information comes from a variety of primary research reports.
|1.5 points||0 points
Over-reliance on one or two existing review papers of the topic and/or excessive use of quotations (research findings not restated in student's own words).
Provides a coherent/logical flow between topics. Includes some elements of synthesis or overall summary.
|1 point||0 points
Information is presented as if in list format, with no transition or synthesis across information.
Easy to read. (Does not need to be free of minor grammar or spelling errors or in final/perfect APA format, as long as content is clear.)
|1 point||0 points
Widespread grammar/spelling errors or sentence fragments make draft unreadable.
Create a brief piece (blog post, tweet thread, wikipedia page, video, infographic, or graphic storytelling) to convey information about your paper topic to the public.
Provide structured, journal-style feedback on 2 others’ draft papers. You should follow the example peer review structure.
Final version of your digital media piece (actually posting it somewhere is encouraged, but optional).
Evaluated on topic coverage, organization, grammar, APA formatting, and responsiveness to reviewer comments.
|Topic Coverage||6 points
Provides broad coverage of a range of behavior genetic approaches to the topic, or in-depth coverage of a specific area/method of genetic research on the topic. Information comes from a variety of primary research reports and includes the student's own synthesis or summary of the current research literature. Concepts are clearly presented and technical terms are defined.
Coverage of the topic is superficial. Some technical terms remain undefined or there are points that are not clearly presented/described.
Presented research is not clearly related to course themes. Excessive use of quotations (research findings not restated in the student's own words). Over-reliance on one or two existing review papers of the topic, instead of primary research reports.
Well organized and easy to follow with a clear narrative flow.
Specific topics clearly organized into sections, but little to no transition between topics and/or lack of "big picture" summary of topic, either in introduction or conclusion sections.
Little to no clear organization; difficult to follow or understand topic being addressed or argument made in several sections.
Near perfect grammar and spelling.
Several noticeable grammar or spelling errors.
Frequent errors of grammar or spelling that make the paper difficult to read.
Near perfect APA style, including paper structure and formatting, title page, abstract, in-text citations, and reference list.
Several noticeable errors in APA style.
Little to no evidence of use of APA style; missing a major element such as title, abstract, or citations.
|Response to Peer Review||1 point
Final paper is clearly responsive to reasonable suggestions made during peer review process.
Some improvements made in response to peer review but several major concerns or reasonable suggestions that were made in peer review are ignored.
Little to no evidence of improvement since the peer-reviewed draft version.
Free versions of assigned readings are linked wherever possible. Assigned readings that are only available behind a paywall are posted for students on the UIUC-login-required course site at https://compass2g.illinois.edu/.
Lectures in the first half of the semester are focused on building a basis of knowledge about concepts, methods, and themes in human behavior genetics. Most weeks will be taught in a 'flipped classroom' approach. You are expected to do assigned readings before the Tuesday class, so that you can fully participate in the in-class activities.
Citron tags indicate things to do (mostly, read) before the Tuesday class.
Gray-blue tags describe major in-class activities for the week.
Teal tags identify assignments that are due that week (by Thursday at 11:59pm, unless otherwise noted).
A major course goal is completion of a substantial term paper. In any weeks where the assigned readings are relatively light, it is assumed that you will be reading papers for your term paper.
Read Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., Knopik, V. S., & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2016). Top 10 replicated findings from behavioral genetics. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(1), 3-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615617439
Read Briley, D. A., Livengood, J., Derringer, J., Tucker-Drob, E. M., Fraley, R. C., & Roberts, B. W. (2019). Interpreting behavior genetic models: seven developmental processes to understand. Behavior Genetics, 49(2), 196-210. http://publish.illinois.edu/dabriley/files/2018/11/Briley-2018-Interpreting-behavior-genetic-models.pdf
Watch Crash Course: Biology [youtube] has all the background information and keywords you need to get started in this course. A good review if you haven't taken (or don't remember) biology.
Read Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H., ... & Poulton, R. (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science, 301(5631), 386-389. student copy on compass
Read Border, R., Johnson, E. C., Evans, L. M., Smolen, A., Berley, N., Sullivan, P. F., & Keller, M. C. (2019). No support for historical candidate gene or candidate gene-by-interaction hypotheses for major depression across multiple large samples. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(5), 376-387. student copy on compass
Read Alexander, S. (7 May 2019). 5-HTTLPR: A pointed review. Slate Star Codex. https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/05/07/5-httlpr-a-pointed-review/
Current Event Many Genes Influence Same-Sex Sexuality, Not a Single ‘Gay Gene’, The New York Times
Lecture Slides The Story of MAOA: "The Warrior Gene"
Read Loehlin, J. C. (2009). History of behavior genetics. In Handbook of Behavior Genetics (pp. 3-11). Springer, New York, NY. student copy on compass
Skim History of eugenics (n.d.). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_eugenics
Watch Crash Course Biology #18 Population Genetics (11:03)
Read Martin, A. R., Kanai, M., Kamatani, Y., Okada, Y., Neale, B. M., & Daly, M. J. (2019). Clinical use of current polygenic risk scores may exacerbate health disparities. Nature Genetics, 51(4), 584-591. student copy on compass
Read Tsosie, K. S., Yracheta, J. M., & Dickenson, D. (2019). Overvaluing individual consent ignores risks to tribal participants. Nature Reviews Genetics, 20(9), 497-498. student copy on compass
Current Event Geneticists Are Untangling the Mystery of Left-Handedness, Gizmodo
Lecture Slides A (very brief) History of Eugenics
Lecture Slides Population Genetics & Ancestry
Read Luo, J., Derringer, J., Briley, D. A., & Roberts, B. W. (2017). Genetic and environmental pathways underlying personality traits and perceived stress: Concurrent and longitudinal twin studies. European Journal of Personality, 31(6), 614-629. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2127
We will go through this paper as an example of How to Read a Twin Study.
Read Day, F. R., Ong, K. K., & Perry, J. R. (2018). Elucidating the genetic basis of social interaction and isolation. Nature Communications, 9(1), 2457. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04930-1
We will go through this paper as an example of How to Read a GWAS.
Read Polderman, T. J., Benyamin, B., De Leeuw, C. A., Sullivan, P. F., Van Bochoven, A., Visscher, P. M., & Posthuma, D. (2015). Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies. Nature Genetics, 47(7), 702-709. student copy on compass
Read Churchhouse, C. & Neale, B. (2017 September 20). Rapid GWAS of thousands of phenotypes for 337,000 samples in the UK Biobank. http://www.nealelab.is/blog/2017/7/19/rapid-gwas-of-thousands-of-phenotypes-for-337000-samples-in-the-uk-biobank
Browse Atlas of GWAS Summary Statistics. https://atlas.ctglab.nl/
Resource Empirical Article Summary template
Activity Citation Quickdraw
Teams compete to find a paper to answer a specific question. Report sample size and major finding. Largest & newest wins the point. Tie goes to most highly cited.
Survey Do Genes Cause Behavior? jigsaw preferences
Assignment Due Draft Bibliography submit via compass
Read Team-specific papers
Bai, D., Yip, B. H. K., Windham, G. C., Sourander, A., Francis, R., Yoffe, R., ... & Gissler, M. (2019). Association of genetic and environmental factors with autism in a 5-country cohort. JAMA Psychiatry.
Grove, J., Ripke, S., Als, T. D., Mattheisen, M., Walters, R. K., Won, H., ... & Awashti, S. (2019). Identification of common genetic risk variants for autism spectrum disorder. Nature Genetics, 51(3), 431-444. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6454898/
Haworth, C. M., Wright, M. J., Luciano, M., Martin, N. G., de Geus, E. J., van Beijsterveldt, C. E., ... & Kovas, Y. (2010). The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood. Molecular Psychiatry, 15(11), 1112-1120. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp200955
Trampush, J. W., Yang, M. L. Z., Yu, J., Knowles, E., Davies, G., Liewald, D. C., ... & Christoforou, A. (2017). GWAS meta-analysis reveals novel loci and genetic correlates for general cognitive function: a report from the COGENT consortium. Molecular Psychiatry, 22(3), 336-435. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2016244
Kendler, K. S., & Prescott, C. A. (1999). A population-based twin study of lifetime major depression in men and women. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56(1), 39-44. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/204631
Wray, N. R., Ripke, S., Mattheisen, M., Trzaskowski, M., Byrne, E. M., Abdellaoui, A., ... & Bacanu, S. A. (2018). Genome-wide association analyses identify 44 risk variants and refine the genetic architecture of major depression. Nature Genetics, 50(5), 668-681. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934326/
Liu, M., Jiang, Y., Wedow, R., Li, Y., Brazel, D. M., Chen, F., ... & Zhan, X. (2019). Association studies of up to 1.2 million individuals yield new insights into the genetic etiology of tobacco and alcohol use. Nature Genetics, 51(2), 237-244. https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc6358542
Rhee, S. H., Hewitt, J. K., Young, S. E., Corley, R. P., Crowley, T. J., & Stallings, M. C. (2003). Genetic and environmental influences on substance initiation, use, and problem use in adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(12), 1256-1264. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/208068
Silventoinen, K., Sammalisto, S., Perola, M., Boomsma, D. I., Cornes, B. K., Davis, C., ... & Luciano, M. (2003). Heritability of adult body height: a comparative study of twin cohorts in eight countries. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 6(5), 399-408.https://doi.org/10.1375/twin.6.5.399
Wood, A. R., Esko, T., Yang, J., Vedantam, S., Pers, T. H., Gustafsson, S., ... & Amin, N. (2014). Defining the role of common variation in the genomic and biological architecture of adult human height. Nature Genetics, 46(11), 1173-1186. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250049/
Hilker, R., Helenius, D., Fagerlund, B., Skytthe, A., Christensen, K., Werge, T. M., ... & Glenthøj, B. (2018). Heritability of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum based on the nationwide Danish twin register. Biological Psychiatry, 83(6), 492-498.
Ripke, S., Neale, B. M., Corvin, A., Walters, J. T., Farh, K. H., Holmans, P. A., ... & Pers, T. H. (2014). Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature, 511(7510), 421-427. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature13595/
Activity Core Phenotypes jigsaw
Each team will read and complete article summaries of 3-5 papers addressing a commonly studied phenotype in behavior genetics, and prepare a blog post style summary. You will then rotate into mixed groups to share and compare findings across phenotypes.
Read Briley, D. A., Livengood, J., & Derringer, J. (2018). Behaviour genetic frameworks of causal reasoning for personality psychology. European Journal of Personality, 32(3), 202-220. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/14550/
Read Team-specific papers (TBA)
Activity Do Genes Cause Behavior? jigsaw
Each team will read several papers describing or applying a specific method that is intended to address causation. You will prepare a short summary of what questions the method can be used to answer, how it works, and limitations to what we can learn from it.
Read Team-specific papers (TBA)
Re-read your methods paper that was specifically about your phenotype. Skim your team's phenotype papers from across the other methods.
Activity Do Genes Cause Behavior? jigsaw
Each member will teach their team about their method, drawing from the paper about their method that focused on the team's phenotype. The team will prepare a blog post style summary of the phenotype, incorporating information from across methods.
Assignment Due Annotated Bibliography
Prepare Find an example of popular press coverage (e.g. an online news article or blog post) of a behavior genetic research paper, and track down the original paper.
You can search general news feeds by topic, e.g. https://news.google.com/search?q=behavior+genetics. Anything that makes reference to (at least) one specific published paper will work, so that you can compare the reporting of the paper to the paper itself.
Activity Scicomm constructive criticism carousel
Survey Miscellaneous Phenotypes jigsaw preferences
Read Kirby, D. A. (2000). The new eugenics in cinema: Genetic determinism and gene therapy in "GATTACA". Science Fiction Studies, 27(2), 193-215. https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/essays/gattaca.htm
Activity Watch and discuss Gattaca (1997)
Assignment Due Draft Paper
Prepare Begin searching and skimming papers relevant to your team's phenotype.
Activity Miscellaneous Phenotypes jigsaw
Each team will find 3-5 papers addressing a less frequently studied phenotype in behavior genetics, and prepare a blog post style summary. You will then rotate into mixed groups to share and compare findings across phenotypes.
Assignment Due Draft Digital Media Project
Assignment Due Peer Reviews
Read/Listen Hagerty, B. B. (2010 July 1). Can your genes make you murder?. On NPR Morning Edition. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128043329
Read Berryessa, C. M., Martinez-Martin, N. A., & Allyse, M. A. (2013). Ethical, legal and social issues surrounding research on genetic contributions to anti-social behavior. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(6), 605-610. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850765/
Activity Genetics at Trial debate
Assignment Due Final Digital Media Project
Assignment Due Final Paper (Friday December 13)
A substantial component of this course entails learning to use available resources. Resources will be added as they come up.
The Disability Resources & Educational Services office is available to facilitate the removal of barriers and ensure reasonable accommodations. You can share your letter of accommodation with the instructor either in person or by email.
The Student Assistance Center is on the 3rd floor of the Turner Student Services Center, or contact them at email@example.com or 217-333-0050. A letter from the Dean of Students is required for exceptions to the syllabus.
If you need help with an urgent matter after hours (NOT a previous or anticipated absence from class), contact the Emergency Dean at 217-649-4129.