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Altruism and Genetics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2014

J.P. Rushton*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
D.W. Fulker
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, UK
M.C. Neale
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, UK
R.A. Blizard
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, UK
H.J. Eysenck
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, UK
*
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2.

Abstract

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Three questionnaires measuring altruistic tendencies were completed by 573 adult twin pairs from the University of London Institute of Psychiatry Volunteer Twin Register. The questionnaires consisted of a 20-item Self-Report Altruism Scale, a 33-item Empathy Scale, and a 16-item Nurturance Scale, all of which had previously been shown to have construct validity. For the three scales, the intra-class correlations for the 296 MZ pairs were 0.53, 0.54, and 0.49, and for the 179 same-sex DZ pairs were 0.25,020, and 0.14, giving rough estimates of broad heritability of 56%, 68%, and 72%, respectively. Maximum-likelihood model-fitting revealed about 50% of the variance on each scale to be associated with genetic effects, virtually 0% to be due to the twins' common environment, and the remaining 50% to be due to each twins' specific environment and/or error associated with the test.

Type
Behavior Genetic Analysis
Copyright
Copyright © The International Society for Twin Studies 1984

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