Twin And Adoption Studies, Complex Genetics, Animal Models, Alcoholism In Humans, Twin Studies Of Alcoholism
What is behavior? A dictionary definition reveals that behavior consists of our activities and actions, especially actions toward one another. As such definitions suggest, many behavioral terms have meaning only in social comparisons: We identify others as contentious, courteous, or conscientious only by their actions in social contexts. A long-standing question in science and in everyday affairs inquires about the causes of individual differences in behavior: Why are some people gregarious extroverts and others timid, shy introverts?
Behavior genetics is a hybrid area of science, at the intersection of human genetics and psychology. Its focus is on how genes and environments contribute to differences in behavior. It is a young discipline. A book that gave the field its name was published in 1960, and a decade later the Behavior Genetics Association was founded. For a time, most behavior genetics research was an effort to show that the term was not itself an oxymoron—that variations in genes do contribute to individual differences in behavior. Now, as a result of that research, the relevance and importance of genetic variation to individual differences in behavior are widely accepted, and the challenging task is to identify specific gene-behavior pathways. In this entry, we will review the methods used to identify such pathways and then focus on one set of behaviors, use and abuse of alcohol, as a model for the study of genetic and environmental influences.
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- Balanced Polymorphism
- Behavior - Twin And Adoption Studies
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- Behavior - Animal Models
- Behavior - Alcoholism In Humans
- Behavior - Twin Studies Of Alcoholism
- Behavior - Complex Behaviors, Complex Causes
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