10. Behavior Genetics

  1. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic3,
  2. Sophie von Stumm4 and
  3. Adrian Furnham5
  1. Frank M. Spinath1 and
  2. Wendy Johnson2

Published Online: 12 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444343120.ch10

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Individual Differences

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Individual Differences

How to Cite

Spinath, F. M. and Johnson, W. (2011) Behavior Genetics, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Individual Differences (eds T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. von Stumm and A. Furnham), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444343120.ch10

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

  2. 4

    University of Chichester, UK

  3. 5

    University College London, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Saarland University, USA

  2. 2

    University of Edinburgh, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334388

Online ISBN: 9781444343120



  • biological causes of individual differences - and behavior genetics;
  • behavior genetics, study of genetic and environmental origins of individual differences in behavior;
  • genetic and environmental influences - individual differences, quantitative and molecular genetic methodologies;
  • formation of behavior genetics - field influenced by Charles Darwin and Francis Galton;
  • classical twin study, comparing phenotypic resemblances - of identical or monozygotic (MZ) and fraternal or dizygotic (DZ) twins;
  • individual psychological differences and behavior, heritable - genetic and environmental influences on intelligence, focus of behavioral genetic studies;
  • motivation, interest in non-cognitive factors - predicting academic achievement;
  • Loehlin and Nichols's landmark study - personality traits, showing moderate genetic influence;
  • researchers, puzzled in behavior genetics - a seeming absence of shared environmental influences;
  • genome-wide association studies (GWAS) strategy - identification of reliable links between SNPs and phenotypes


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • The Twin Method, Its Underlying Assumptions, and a Cautionary Note

  • Individual Psychological Differences and Behavior Are Heritable

  • New Developments

  • Molecular Genetics

  • Conclusions and Future Directions

  • References