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Studying Human BehaviorHow Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality$
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Helen E. Longino

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226492872

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226921822.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Quantitative Behavioral Genetics

Quantitative Behavioral Genetics

(p.21) 2 Quantitative Behavioral Genetics
Studying Human Behavior

Helen E. Longino

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the quantitative behavioral genetics approach to understanding human behavior, covering methods, scope, and assumptions. Quantitative behavioral genetics is a study of phenotypic variation in populations, which aims to distinguish the (biologically) heritable portion from the nonheritable (or nonbiologically heritable) portion of that variation. This research approach has been controversial. While it can apportion the variance in expression of a trait in a population between biological and environmental variation, a number of criticisms reveal vulnerabilities in the program. These concern the overextension of heritability conclusions and assumptions about the accessibility of relevant variation in the environment to the observation methods of the behavioral genetic approach.

Keywords:   research approaches, phenotypic variation, populations, heritability, human behavior, behavioral research

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