ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 827-836.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00827

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Two Approaches of Behavioral Genetic Research of Personality

WANG Shenlian;GUO Benyu   

  1. (School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, 210097, China)
  • Received:2012-11-07 Online:2013-05-15 Published:2013-05-15
  • Contact: GUO Benyu

Abstract: With the decline of behaviorism and the development of biological technology, the behavioral genetic research of personality, which had been once disfavored for quite a long time, has been becoming more and more popular in recent years. It has been moved to the molecular genetic approach from the quantitative genetic approach. The quantitative genetic approach advocates estimating the contribution rate of heredity to the variance of personality phenotype in a population by means of some designs such as twin study and adoption study. It has done many researches on personality trait, personality disorder, attitude and preference, and so on. The molecular genetic approach aims to identify specific genes and examine the effects of them on personality phenotypes at the DNA level. It has mainly investigated the associations of genes from three specific neurotransmitter pathways (dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline) with personality. In the future, we should add identifying directly the specific genotype into quantitative genetic designs, pay attention to the effective integration of multi-disciplines and multi-paradigms, and expand the study of positive personality traits of healthy people. Moreover, we should explore further the deep mechanism of gene’s action on personality and emphasize the intervention research on personality at the level of molecular medicine.

Key words: behavioral genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular genetics, gene, personality