Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Do We Know About Genes, Personality and Behaviour?

Deric Bownd's MindBlog is a useful resource to answer a question such as this. Here Bownds discusses the genetics of personality and well-being. He mentions a study by Weiss et al. (Psychological Science, 2008) that examines personality and subjective well-being in 973 twin pairs. Bownds mentions that numerous studies of personality have shown that genetic effects account for approximately 50% of the variance in the 'Big Five' peronslity traits. Weiss et al. report a very close genetic relationship between positive personality traits and well-being.

Bownds also mentions on his blog (here) that the Nov. 7 issue of Science Magazine is a gold mine of articles on genetics and behavior. He mentions that some believe that psychology is the last frontier of genetic analysis. Of particular interest, there is a story on the strengths and shortcomings of genetic studies of personality. Also, Bownds discusses on his blog (here) a gene that is associated with risk-taking.

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