behavioural genetics


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behavioural genetics

A field that studies the genetic basis of behaviour, by singling out the nature from the nature-nurture debate.

Tools of behavioural genetics
Twin studies, adoption studies.

Progress of behavioural genetics to scientific legitimacy has been hampered by reports linking specific chromosomal defects to certain diseases, which are disproven with subsequent studies. Examples include alleged association of an extra Y chromosome with increased aggression in men, schizophrenia to a gene on chromosome 5, psychosis to chromosome 11, manic-depressive (bipolar) disorderto chromosomes 11 and X, and dyslexia to chromosome 15. The data of behavioural genetics research is criticised for the misuse of statistical methods, failure to properly define the trait being studied, bias in selection of cases and controls and inadequate sample size.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lead author Robert Plomin, an expert in behavioural genetics, said that people immediately think of schools if children differ in their GCSE scores, but if schools accounted for all the variance, then children in one classroom would all be the same.
Behavioural genetics research is showing that things people previously attributed to socialisation weren't due to socialisation at all, he maintained.
An honorary Doctorate of Science will be awarded to Prof Kenneth S Kendler, also a graduate of Birmingham University and now the Director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioural Genetics.

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