An examination of the association between DRD4 and DRD2 polymorphisms and personality traits

S. Alexandra Burt, Matt McGue, William Iacono, David Comings, James MacMurray

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19 Scopus citations


To date, evidence supporting a positive association between the 7-repeat allele of the D4 dopamine receptor (DRD4) exon III 48 bp polymorphism and Novelty Seeking (NS) has been mixed, with some studies confirming and others refuting the association. A positive association between NS and the minor Taq1 A allele (A1) of the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) has also been reported. In the present study, we sought to replicate the associations between the DRD4 and DRD2 polymorphisms and various personality traits, as measured by the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. The sample consisted of 137 families (n=348) assessed as part of the ongoing Minnesota Twin Family Study. The data were analyzed at both the individual-level, to maximize comparability with previous studies, and at the family-level, to control for population stratification. The DRD4 and DRD2 polymorphisms were not associated with MPQ measures related to NS, results that may cast doubt on the generalizability of previous positive findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-859
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 19 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded in part by USPHS Grant Nos. DA05147, AA09367, and AA00175. S.A. Burt was supported by the NIMH Training Grant 2T32 MH17069-18.


  • DRD2
  • DRD4
  • MPQ
  • Molecular
  • Personality


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