Understanding Heritability: What it is and What it is Not Response

Wendy Johnson, Lars Penke, Frank M. Spinath

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract

Commentators generally found our exposition of the concept of heritability helpful for psychologists, suggesting that we largely accomplished our primary goal. Many provided supplemental and helpful perspectives on concepts we addressed. A few of the comments indicated that we may not have been completely successful in making clear our secondary goal, which was to outline how heritability estimates confound a plethora of influences. In this response, we thus emphasize that we do not claim that specific kinds of complexity, or, even worse, intractable complexity, pervade the genetics of behavioural traits. Rather, our claim is that genetics is riddled with complexity of many degrees and kinds, and heritability is a poor indicator of either degree or kind of underlying genetic complexity. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Volume25
Issue number4
Early online date26 Jul 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION
  • SHARED ENVIRONMENTAL-INFLUENCES
  • SWEDISH NATIONAL TWIN
  • MAJOR DEPRESSION
  • EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS
  • MISSING HERITABILITY
  • PERSONALITY-TRAITS
  • COGNITIVE-ABILITY
  • COMPLEX DISEASES
  • FAMILY DATA

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