Genetic and environmental influences on human psychological differences

Thomas J. Bouchard, Matt McGue

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • 428 Citations

Abstract

Psychological researchers typically distinguish five major domains of individual differences in human behavior: cognitive abilities, personality, social attitudes, psychological interests, and psychopathology (Lubinski, 2000). In this article we: discuss a number of methodological errors commonly found in research on human individual differences; introduce a broad framework for interpreting findings from contemporary behavioral genetic studies; briefly outline the basic quantitative methods used in human behavioral genetic research; review the major criticisms of behavior genetic designs, with particular emphasis on the twin and adoption methods; describe the major or dominant theoretical scheme in each domain; and review behavioral genetic findings in all five domains. We conclude that there is now strong evidence that virtually all individual psychological differences, when reliably measured, are moderately to substantially heritable.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages4-45
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

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Behavioral Genetics
Individuality
Psychology
Behavioral Research
Genetic Research
Aptitude
Medical Genetics
Psychopathology
Personality
Research Personnel
Research

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • Attitudes
  • Behavior genetics
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Genetics
  • Heritability
  • Personality
  • Psychological interests
  • Psychopathology
  • Twins

MeSH PubMed subject areas

  • Journal Article
  • Review

Cite this

Genetic and environmental influences on human psychological differences. / Bouchard, Thomas J.; McGue, Matt.

In: Journal of Neurobiology, Vol. 54, No. 1, 01.01.2003, p. 4-45.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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