1948 (age 64–65)
|Fields||Psychology, behavioral genetics|
|Institutions||University of Colorado at Boulder, Pennsylvania State University, King's College London|
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Doctoral advisor||Arnold Buss|
|Known for||Twins Early Development Study|
|Notable awards||Dobzhansky Memorial Award (2002; Behavior Genetics Association), William James Fellow Award (2004; Association for Psychological Science)|
Plomin earned a B.A. in psychology from DePaul University in 1970 and a Ph.D. in psychology in 1974 from the University of Texas, Austin under personality psychologist Arnold Buss. He then worked at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. From 1986 until 1994 he worked at Pennsylvania State University, studying elderly twins reared apart and twins reared together to study aging and is currently at the Institute of Psychiatry (King's College London). He has been president of the Behavior Genetics Association, which in 2002 awarded him the Dobzhansky Memorial Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Scholarship in Behavior Genetics. He was awarded the William James Fellow Award by the Association for Psychological Science in 2004. Plomin was ranked among the 100 most eminent psychologists in the history of science.
Plomin has shown the importance of non-shared environment, a term that he coined to refer to the environmental reasons why children growing up in the same family are so different. In addition, he has shown that many environmental measures in psychology show genetic influence and that genetic factors can mediate associations between environmental measures and developmental outcomes.
Plomin currently conducts the Twins Early Development Study of all twins born in England from 1994 to 1996, focusing on developmental delays in early childhood, their association with behavioural problems and educational attainment.
In 1994 he was one of 52 signatories on "Mainstream Science on Intelligence", an editorial written by Linda Gottfredson and published in the Wall Street Journal, which declared the consensus of the signing scholars on issues related to intelligence research following the publication of the book The Bell Curve.
His most recent books are Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era (Washington, DC: APA Books, 2003) and Behavioral Genetics (6th edition, New York: Worth Publishers, 2012).
- Behavioral Genetics: A Primer, together with John C. DeFries, Gerald E. McClearn, WH Freeman & Co, 1989, ISBN 978-0716720560
- Separate Lives: Why Siblings Are So Different, together with Judy Dunn, Basic Books, 1992, ISBN 978-0465076895
- Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era, together with John C. DeFries, Peter McGuffin, Ian W. Craig, American Psychological Association, 2002, ISBN 978-1557989260
- The Relationship Code: Deciphering Genetic and Social Influences on Adolescent Development (Adolescent Lives), together with David Reiss, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, E. Mavis Hetherington, Harvard University Press, 2003, ISBN 978-0674011267
- Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence, together with John C. DeFries, Stephen A. Petrill, John K. Hewitt, Oxford University Press, 2003, ISBN 978-0195157475
- Nature And Nurture: An Introduction To Human Behavioral Genetics, Wadsworth Publishing, 2004, ISBN 978-0534651121
- Nature and Nurture during Infancy and Early Childhood, together with John C. DeFries, David Fulker, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0521034241
- Behavioral Genetics, together with John C. DeFries, Peter McGuffin, Gerald E. McClearn, Worth Publishers; 5th edition, 2008, ISBN 978-1429205771
- Behavioral Genetics, together with John C. DeFries, Valerie S Knopik, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Worth Publishers; 6th edition, 2012, ISBN 978-1429242158
- Haggbloom, S. J. et al. (2002). "The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century". Review of General Psychology 6 (2): 139–152. doi:10.1037/1089-26184.108.40.206.
- Ghosh, Pallab (8 August 2000). Genius of genes. BBC News
- Gottfredson, Linda (December 13, 1994). Mainstream Science on Intelligence. Wall Street Journal, p A18.