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Traits that are highly heritable

Visual acuity, eye color, sociosexual orientation, verbal intelligence.


Traits that are low in heritability but influenced by genetics

Number of eyes, sexual orientation, presence vs absense of basic language skills.


What is the relation between phenotypic variation and genetic variation?

Quantifies the importance of genes by identifying how much phenotypic similarity on a trait can be predicted by genetic similarity. “How much”


Why is heritability a statistic that can tell us about how important genes are in determining a trait within a population, rather than applying to an individual?

The “which”-approach identifies particular versions of genes which are found more frequently among those with different phenotypes. That means finding genes that are more existing in certain types of people.


What is additive genetics (A) and when do we see them?

Genetic effects on the phenotype which do not depend on the presence of other genes.

The similarities seen between identical twins who were raised in different homes come from additive genetics because they haven’t shared environment.


What is shared environment (C) and when do we see it?

The effects of the environment that make members of a family more similar to each other.

Any similarity among adopted siblings are tribute to shared environment. There are no genetics to “blame”, only the environment.


What is unique environment (E)?

The effects of the environment that make members of a family different from each other.


What do you look at when trying to found out how important A, C and E are?

You look at diverse relationships with different components.

You exhibit similarities or not in different sibling types.


What is the correlation on adopted siblings?



Reared-together MZ twin personality correlation?

Around .5 because 0.5 = A + C


Reared-together DZ twin personality correlation?

Around .25 because 0.5 * A + C = 0.25


What is the gene-environment correlation (rGE)?

When a given gene or set of genes are found more often in people who are in certain environmental contexts.

It makes it harder to identify whether some aspect of the environment causes a trait or is simply correlated with genes contributing to a trait.


What is passive rGE?

When you just passively receive the gene and the environment. It isn’t an active choice to like a certain thing, but your parents do it and therefore, it is in your environment and genes.


What is evocative rGE?

Evoking a response from others that’s causing a match between the gene and the environment.


What is active rGE?

If you have a gene, you control your environment to do the thing that your gene says. The ability to causal influence your environment.


How was rGE shown in the Ge et al. adoption study involving adoptive parent behaviour?

Finding: The personality traits of the biological parent predicted the behaviour of the adoptive parent.

Reason why: Something of the personality from the biological parent is shared with the personality of the adoptive child. Then, this has influenced the adoptive parent!


Do genes become more or less important for psychological characteristics as the individual ages?

Genes account for very little in the little ages but become substantially more important later (tops around 20).


How stable are political views when looking at MZT and DZT?

MZT seems to have more similar politics trough life where DZT seems to become less similar. MZT and DZT have around the same correlation in politic view when 17-19 years old. But when genes become more influence – when aged and moved out – DZT become less similar in political view.


How is IQ in two adoptive children through life?

Correlation at age 7: .33
At age 18: around .00


How influencital are shared environment through life?

Shared environment seems more important in the first years but will have little influence later in life. Around age 5, genes and shared environment cross each other in correlation, but then genes take over and become most important.


What is gene-environment interaction?

The effects of a genetic difference between two individuals depends on the environment.
You can’t say something about the differences without looking at the environment.


Is heritability equvialent to immutability (uforanderlighed)?

NO! Because of the Flynn effect.


What is the Flynn effect?

That IQ has gotten higher through the years. Seems to have stopped operating in the west. But it is seen in other developing countries.

Even though IQ is a highly heritable item, the Flynn effect has happened.


What is the relation if your father has an identical twin?

If the father has an identical twin, you will have the same amount of DNA shared with your mother, your father and your father’s MZ twin (genetically).

But when looking at the environment, your mother and father will both influence you with 100 % each. But your father’s MZ twin will not influence you at all.


What is the correlation between lifetime alcohol problem and being the child of the identical twin that divorced?

Correlation on lifetime alcohol problem is 4.2. If you’re the child of the identical twin that didn’t divorce correlation on lifetime alcohol problem is only 1.4


What is the correlation between emotional problems and being from a divorced vs non-divorced twin?

When taking both divorce and non-divorce, the correlation on emotional problems is equal. It doesn’t matter in which household you grew up.


What is genome?

The total collection of about 3,2 billion base pairs of the DNA.


What is the goal of Human Genome Project?

To identify the particular sequence of DNA molecules in humans.


What are behavioral geneticists interested in determining?

The ways in which genes and the environment interact and correlate with each other.


What is heritability?

The proportion of phenotypic variance that is attributable to genotypic variance.