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Keywords:

  • personality;
  • genetics;
  • genotype;
  • questionnaire;
  • association study;
  • meta-analysis;
  • DRD4;
  • NS

Abstract

Studies of the association between polymorphisms within and near the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene and novelty seeking (NS) have produced inconsistent results, raising questions about the strength of the relationship and the methodological conditions under which the relationship holds. We conducted three meta-analyses of existing studies to provide formal statistical measures of the strength of the DRD4-NS relationship. Results provided no support for a relationship between NS and the presence of the 7-repeat allele of the VNTR polymorphism. A small positive effect, however, was found for long repeats of the same polymorphism. The most promising findings were obtained for the relationship with the −521 C/T promoter polymorphism, for which the analysis showed an effect size of 0.32. The positive findings are consistent with a polygenic model of influence on fundamental personality dimensions. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.