Behavior Genetics of Personality

S. C. South, Robert Krueger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Personality is influenced by genetic and environmental factors, a statement that could be made only after decades of research demonstrating genetic influence on the variation in personality traits. Having established the importance of both nature and nurture in the development of human personality, approaches in behavior genetics have gone beyond simple estimates of genetic and environmental influence to examine the different forms of gene-environment interplay - that is, how genetic and environmental factors interact and correlate-on the etiology of personality. This work has the potential to stimulate research in molecular genetics, which has so far been plagued by difficult to replicate results linking measured genes to personality domains. In this article, we briefly review research using twin samples and adoption studies to estimate genetic and environmental influences on personality. We also illustrate how methods of behavior genetics hold the potential for deepening our understanding of personality structure, personality development over time, and links between personality and psychopathology. Finally, we address how newer biometrical moderation models hold the potential for elucidating both specific environmental influences on personality, and how those environmental influences interact with inherited liabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780123750006
ISBN (Print)9780080961804
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Behavior genetics
  • Environment
  • Gene-environment correlation
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Genes
  • Heritability
  • Individual differences
  • Personality
  • Twins


Dive into the research topics of 'Behavior Genetics of Personality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this