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Chapter eight - Behavior Genetic Research Methods

Testing Quasi-Causal Hypotheses Using Multivariate Twin Data

from Part two - Procedural Possibilities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Harry T. Reis
Affiliation:
University of Rochester, New York
Charles M. Judd
Affiliation:
University of Colorado Boulder
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Summary

Research methods in both behavioral genetics and personality are currently at a crossroads. This chapter examines the disagreement about the genetics of behavior by reformulating its methodological foundation of twin and family studies. It applies the reformulation of older methods to gain realistic understanding of the newer ones that capitalize on the availability of measured DNA. The chapter highlights a particularly problematic aspect of scientific inference in the human behavioral sciences: the inference of causality from nonexperimental data. Religiosity was measured using four items (rated on four-point or five-point ordinal scale) assessing importance of religion, frequency of prayer, attendance at religious services, and attendance at youth groups. Random effects model was estimated in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs using PROC MIXED in SAS. Linkage analysis has been the earliest molecular method to be adopted in the study of behavior because it requires minimal knowledge of actual genetic sequence.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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