Genetic Predisposition to Survey Taking?

by jeeg 2. September 2010 22:59

A new study from North Carolina State is claiming that they have discovered a genetic predisposition to survey taking by comparing data from sets of identical and fraternal twins  As absurd as the premise of this study is on its face, it proves a classic example of the willingness to see a genetic predisposition to any and all human behaviors.  Perhaps most telling is the researchers claim in a press release that:

“Because all of the sets of twins were raised in the same household, the only distinguishing variable between identical and fraternal twin sets is the fact that identical twins are genetically identical and fraternal twins are not.”

And theres the problem.  While having value, there has been a wealth of data created over the years identifying the limitations of twin studies, such as false assumptions about similar environments.   Even under the best of circumstances, such studies (absent additional molecular genetics research) only estimate the heritability of a trait.  The sensationalism of these types of claims are dampened by the actual evidence, yet the public and policy makers tend to only hear the claims.   And the bankrolling of tenous genetic research continues.


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