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Genetic Influence on Human Psychological Traits: A Survey

Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Vol. 13, No. 4 (Aug., 2004), pp. 148-151
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20182937
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Genetic Influence on Human Psychological Traits: A Survey
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Abstract

There is now a large body of evidence that supports the conclusion that individual differences in most, if not all, reliably measured psychological traits, normal and abnormal, are substantively influenced by genetic factors. This fact has important implications for research and theory building in psychology, as evidence of genetic influence unleashes a cascade of questions regarding the sources of variance in such traits. A brief list of those questions is provided, and representative findings regarding genetic and environmental influences are presented for the domains of personality, intelligence, psychological interests, psychiatric illnesses, and social attitudes. These findings are consistent with those reported for the traits of other species and for many human physical traits, suggesting that they may represent a general biological phenomenon.

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