How much does genetics influence behavior?

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"Blueprint" is the title of the controversial book of Robert Plomin explaining in detail the result of his studies with identical twins for more than ten years - Identical siblings in their genetic sequence ... it happens in 30/1000 births.

The reason these are such important studies is because allow you to “isolate” the environment variable and whose impact, according to what traits, is considered the main variable. We refer to the fundamentally psychological characteristics that have become in the recent field of study of "behavioral genetics" or behavioral genetics and which offers solid results. According to the study, identical twins have 55% more similarity in verbal ability than twin brothers; a 32% more in spatial capacity, a 62% more in processing speed and a 52% more in memory -> Genetics play a fundamental role.

The book is aimed at the general public and great previous knowledge about genetics is not necessary, but a certain capacity for mathematical comprehension is necessary to understand the fundamental concept of the book; the importance of our genes in our "personality" and the key concept of "Heritability"

So that you you can get an idea, then we leave you with a graph that explains the % of heritability for different traits - compared to what 5000 Brits think about it. The conclusion is clear, we tend to think that the influence of genes is less in most of the traits, only when they are diseases (breast cancer) do we think they have a greater influence (and it is just the opposite) - Now, To understand this graph, it is important to explain the concept of heritability

Heritability is a measure of how well differences in people's genes explain differences in their traits. Traits can include characteristics such as height, eye color, and the intelligence,as well as disorders such as schizophrenia  and spectrum disorder autistic. In scientific terms, heritability is a statistical concept (represented as h2) that describes how much of the variation in a given trait can be attributed to genetic variation. An estimate of the heritability of a trait is specific to a population in an environment, and can change over time as circumstances change.

Heritability estimates range from zero to one. Heritability close to zero indicates that almost all variability in a trait between people is due to environmental factors, with very little influence from genetic differences. Traits such as religion, spoken language, and political preference have zero heritability because they are not under genetic control. Heritability close to one indicates that almost all variability in a trait comes from genetic differences, with very little contribution from environmental factors.

Heritability has historically been estimated from twin studies. LIdentical twins have almost no differences in their DNAwhile fraternal twins share, on average, 50 percent of their DNA. If a trait appears to be more similar in identical twins than in fraternal twins (when they were raised together in the same environment), genetic factors likely play a role in determining that trait. By comparing a trait in identical twins versus fraternal twins, researchers can calculate an estimate of its heritability.

Heritability can be difficult to understand, so there are many misconceptions about what it can and cannot tell us about a given trait - The most common and important mistake to clarify is:

  • Heritability it does not indicate what proportion of a trait is determined by genes and what proportion is determined by the environment. Therefore, a heritability of 0.7 does not mean that a trait is 70% caused by genetic factors; means that the 70% of variability in the trait in a population is due to genetic differences between people.

At ADNTRO we have replicated the results of these studies to predict your personality in different dimensions. Some of these variables have a high statistical relevance (as may be the case of Introverts vs. Extroverts, and others with a lower relevance.

It is important to clarify that with this information only a genetic predisposition can be predicted, and not capture the complexity involved in the meaning of the word “personality”; but this is precisely the most beautiful angle in genetics - a horizon to explore - En ADNTRO we have developed an algorithm (In short, and not to pretend to appear unnecessary complexity, an algorithm is nothing more than a mathematical operation) that, using the personality of the founding team itself, as well as the different participants and the markers identified in Robert Plomin's studies , allows to obtain a more or less accurate classification, called MBTI for its acronym in English (Myers briggs) - You can do the "real" test, for free, and check your results and help us improve ADNTRO of the algorithm.

Greetings from the team ADNTRO.

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