Talk:Behavioural genetics

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Started methods section[edit]

This article really needs to be fleshed out. Such an important and controversial field and yet it had nothing on its methods.. Let's expand this..--Babank (talk) 23:05, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Go for it! Looie496 (talk) 15:41, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The methods section is terribly limited, as if behavior genetics only concerns human research. Animal behavior genetics uses a plethora of additional methods... (now if only I had time to add all that...) --Crusio (talk) 16:44, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
There's a fair bit that can be borrowed from heritability (they get a little into animal work) and twin study. Though the overlap makes one wonder which article the methods woudl best live in. I hope if we all chip away at this it will grow.
I think we can summarize the techniques from twin study and such articles and then make a main link to those articles in the respective sections.--Babank (talk) 16:05, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

I added a bit to the methods section and tried to clean up what was already thereZzaffuto118 (talk) 21:20, 26 December 2011 (UTC


I added a sentence which simply repeats what is reported in the Galton article, so does not need another citation. What is the problem? His work Hereditary Genius, devotes much space to asserting that "genius" runs in families and should be encouraged, an argument that ends by discouraging the reproduction of lesser mortals. The path leads directly to eugenics. I will revert the deletion.Peterlewis (talk) 19:37, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

I have removed your edit again. You can't cite Galton to back up the statement that Galton's work is controversial and led to eugenics. Nor can you cite the Wikipedia article about Galton -- Wikipedia articles are not considered a useful reference for other Wikipedia articles. Looie496 (talk) 21:23, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
  • @Peterlewis: And by re-reverting again, you have violated WP:3RR. Please stop edit-warring and provide sources before adding statements. --Crusio (talk) 09:34, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Added the eugenic fact that @Peterlewis was trying to add. I cited an outside source to back up the claim. Zzaffuto118 (talk) 21:42, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

needs to first establish a connection between bahavior and genes[edit]

IF there be no connection it should be presented as pure thoery — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:11, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

  • ??? That was done about 100 years ago. And I think you need to read up on the meaning of the word "theory"... --Guillaume2303 (talk) 04:57, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Useful source[edit]

The standard textbook by Plomin and DeFries,

Plomin, Robert; DeFries, John C.; Knopik, Valerie S.; Jenae M. Neiderhiser (24 September 2012). Behavioral Genetics. Shaun Purcell (Appendix: Statistical Methods in Behaviorial Genetics). Worth Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4292-4215-8. Retrieved 4 September 2013. Lay summary (4 September 2013). 

amazingly is not cited to its current edition yet in this Wikipedia article. This source would be a good source for thorough updates of this article. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 13:27, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

It is, although it is limited in it's strong focus on quantitative human genetics (unless the latest edition differs enormously from the previous ones - I have all editions except the last one). --Randykitty (talk) 13:48, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
DeFries of course did a lot of mouse genetics, and many animal studies and their findings are described in (especially) one chapter of the book. Other sources would be useful for more on the non-human animal side of research; this new book does a lot meanwhile to update most of what is in the Wikipedia article at the moment. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:00, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Most of DeFries animal work is rather old, of course. The more recent stuff was basically Jon Flint using his mice. Most animal stuff covered in Behavior Genetics, Molecular Psychiatry, Genes, Brain and Behavior, or the Journal of Neurogenetics never was adequately covered in the book. It also ignores most of what happens in between genes and behavior. Of course, the last ones to do this were basically Fuller and Thompson, I'm not sure you could nowadays produce a single volume textbook covering all of BG. --Randykitty (talk) 14:47, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
There are a lot of citations to the newer authors in the extensive references in the current sixth edition of the textbook. Of course if there are other behavior genetics sources that are also comprehensive, current reviews of the literature, those may be cited in the article too. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:56, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
That's part of the issue I have with that book: the "newer authors". A lot of animal BG was done continuously from the early studies in the early 1900s on the Drosophila gene yellow until nowadays. If you read this book, you get the impression that animal work was abandoned somewhere in the 70s and only re-started recently... Anyway, you're right of course that other references can (and should) be included in this article, too. And the article obviously needs a lot of work and expansion, it's way too short... Now only if I had time to do more than carping... :-) --Randykitty (talk) 15:17, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I used to use Plomin, but switched to Flint et al. [1] and like teaching with it a lot more. Pete.Hurd (talk) 00:52, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
No clue how that one escaped me up till now, thanks for bringing it to my attention Pete! With Ralph and Ken as co-authors, this must adequately cover animal and psychiatric genetics, too (and underlying causal mechanisms, of course), although from the TOC it looks to be a bit light on human quantitative BG. --Randykitty (talk) 08:59, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the bibliographic information about the Flint textbook. I have just requested it by interlibrary loan. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 15:59, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The helpful source tips above led me to other books, which are beginning to arrive by interlibrary loan. I'll list them here so that interested readers can look them up as the article goes through more updating.

Goldman, David (2012). Our Genes, Our Choices: How Genotype and Gene Interactions Affect Behavior. Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-396952-1. OCLC 773025118. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 

-- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 20:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Sources for updates of article--thanks for previous suggestions of sources[edit]

Wikipedia has a lot of interesting articles based on the ongoing research in behavior genetics, both in humans and in nonhuman animals. I've been reading university textbooks on genetics "for fun" since the 1980s, and for even longer I've been visiting my state flagship university's vast BioMedical Library to look up topics on human medicine and health care policy. That university has long been a center of research on human behavior genetics, being the site of a major study of monozygotic twins reared apart. On the hypothesis that better sources build better articles as all of us here collaborate to build an encyclopedia, I thought I would suggest some sources for updating the articles on behavior genetics and related topics. The Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources in medicine provide a helpful framework for evaluating sources.

The guidelines on reliable sources for medicine remind editors that "it is vital that the biomedical information in all types of articles be based on reliable, third-party, published sources and accurately reflect current medical knowledge."

Ideal sources for such content includes literature reviews or systematic reviews published in reputable medical journals, academic and professional books written by experts in the relevant field and from a respected publisher, and medical guidelines or position statements from nationally or internationally recognised expert bodies.

The guidelines, consistent with the general Wikipedia guidelines on reliable sources, remind us that all "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources" (emphasis in original). They helpfully define a primary source in medicine as one in which the authors directly participated in the research or documented their personal experiences. By contrast, a secondary source summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources, usually to provide an overview of the current understanding of a medical topic. The general Wikipedia guidelines let us know that "Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper. When relying on primary sources, extreme caution is advised: Wikipedians should never interpret the content of primary sources for themselves."

Other Wikipedians who watch this Behavioural genetics article did all of us a great favor on the article talk page by suggesting helpful sources. In particular, User:Pete.Hurd suggested an authoritative textbook on behavior genetics, covering both the human and the animal research, and following up on his suggestion led me to several other helpful sources with similar subject cataloging in libraries.

Noting that Behavioural genetics is listed as a start-class, high-importance article by the WikiProjects for both genetics and psychology, I will start a workpage of an article update draft in my user space, relying on the sources recommended on the article talk page and on others listed here (in approximate order of date of publication, which is also almost but not exactly the order in which I have read them over the last few years):

  • Bazzett, Terence J. (2008). An Introduction to Behavior Genetics. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer. pp. 241–242. ISBN 978-0-87893-049-4. Lay summary (23 October 2010). Taken together, these findings suggest that about 50% of the variation seen in IQ scores is accounted for by genetics and a nearly equal percentage is accounted for by environment. 
  • Anholt, Robert R. H.; Mackay, Trudy F. C. (2010). Principles of behavioral genetics. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-372575-2. Lay summary (16 October 2010). 
  • Plomin, Robert; DeFries, John C.; Knopik, Valerie S.; Jenae M. Neiderhiser (24 September 2012). Behavioral Genetics. Shaun Purcell (Appendix: Statistical Methods in Behaviorial Genetics). Worth Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4292-4215-8. Retrieved 4 September 2013. Lay summary (4 September 2013). 

There are many useful review articles and overview news stories from peer-reviewed scientific journals that meet the WP:MEDRS guidelines and are very useful sources for updating articles about behavior genetics (and I encourage Wikipedians to suggest others besides those listed here).

Some more general reference books about genetics or behavior also touch on behavior genetics issues through book chapters.

  • Spinath, Frank M.; Johnson, Wendy (2011). "Chapter 10: Behavior Genetics". In Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; von Stumm, Sophie; Furnham, Adrian. The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Individual Differences. United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. doi:10.1002/9781444343120. ISBN 978-1-4443-3438-8. Lay summary (10 July 2013). 
  • Maxson, Stephen C. (10 October 2012). "Chapter 1: Behavioral Genetics". In Weiner, Irving B.; Nelson, Randy J.; Mizumori, Sheri. Handbook of Psychology (PDF). Volume 3: Behavioral Neuroscience. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-89059-2. Archived from the original on 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 

There are, of course, still more good sources on the very important topic of this article. Feel free to reply here to suggest more. I'll be looking for some of the Annual Reviews publications on my next library run, and typing up citations for some more review articles I have printouts of in my office. Enjoy. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 03:50, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Excellent! Your first Turkheimer reference reminded me of:
  • Crusio, Wim E. (2011). "Estimating heritabilities in quantitative behavior genetics: A station passed". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13: 127. doi:10.1017/S0140525X00077876. , recently revisited in:
  • Crusio, Wim E. (2012). "Heritability estimates in behavior genetics: Wasn't that station passed long ago?". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (5): 361. doi:10.1017/S0140525X12000970. 
And here are two more books, providing secondary sources. They are more for researchers or late-stage grad students than course books, though:
Another book that contains a lot of BG-relevant stuff is:
Hope this helps. --Randykitty (talk) 08:08, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow! That's great stuff. Many thanks. I'll be looking those up on my next library run. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 00:22, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Recent merges[edit]

I'm not happy at all about the recent merges to this article, much as I appreciate the hard work that it represents. It would have been better to discuss such a drastic thing first on the talk pages. I think that this has resulted in a very unbalanced article, giving very undue weight to human behavioural genetics. The contemporary section, for example, is now solely about human research. Also, psychiatric genetics is important enough to require a separate article and really is much different from the main field of human behaviour genetics (in many respects being much closer to much of the current animal behaviour genetics work). For one thing, our psychiatric genetics colleagues seem to think the brain (or other biological factors) has something to do with behaviour, believe it or not, a revolutionary idea that's only very slowly gaining ground among mainstream human behaviour geneticists. In any case, psychiatric genetics is to behaviour genetics what medicine is to biology. Doing away with a separate article on human BG is a bad idea, too. Human BG uses very different methods from animal or psychiatric work. It needs to be mentioned in this article, obviously, but with a hatnote in that section directing readers to the main article, which should have remained as it is. As a final note, I find it rather weird to "merge" talk pages. I have restored the talk pages at human BG and PG, but have not reverted here, as meanwhile some of them have been archived here (improperly, I'd say), so it's getting too much work to undo that mess. --Randykitty (talk) 12:04, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

  • PS: I have undone the talk page merge, but the new archive still exists. --Randykitty (talk) 12:07, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I self-reverted all. User:WeijiBaikeBianji was also unhappy with the merges.Jytdog (talk) 12:48, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
btw, as you can imagine, i think the merges i did were a dramatic improvement. All three of these articles were full of unsourced OR and contained lots of overlapping content. Together - and with much of the unsourced/or content edited out, they make a decent base from which to think about where to go next and present something reasonable to readers while we think. The three articles that were merged were Human behavior genetics, Psychiatric genetics, and this one. The article after my work is visible here. 14:47, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Jytdog, I agree with you that the current articles are not very good and need cleanup/expansion/sources/etc. However, I also think that having three separate articles is better than one, because there is much that can be added to these articles and one single article would be too large. In current practice, there is not much interaction between human behaviour geneticists on the one hand and animal behaviour geneticists and psychiatric geneticists on the other. Even if that were not the case, I think it is good to have one article on behaviour genetics as a field and one on psychiatric genetics, which is not really a subfield of BG but the intersection of BG with psychiatry. Although I am all for bold editing, I think you just went a bit fast here. As for the talk pages, I've never seen those merged and, in fact, WP:MERGE doesn't say anything about it while WP:MERGETEXT seems to implicitly say not to do it. Anyway, the merge has been undone and we should discuss on how to go forward from here. --Randykitty (talk) 15:11, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the Talk-page merge thing is a bit surprising as well, but in the context of a different set of articles somebody made some strong arguments that if you merge content you should merge Talk so all the discussion about all the content is together. Made sense to me so I do it now. But I do see what you mean about how WP:MERGETEXT seems to implicitly say not to do it.. perhaps I will not do it going forward. thanks for pointing that out. apparently User:WeijiBaikeBianji has some new scheme worked out for these pages. since i undid the merge i am waiting to see what his/her plan is. Jytdog (talk) 15:21, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Jytdog, for coming here to discuss with us. I appreciate your willingness to help clean up a situation that you correctly called a "mess" over on the other talk page. You and Randykitty have both seen the source lists I've posted recently, of course, and it seems to me that there are ample sources for a substantial article expansion of this Behavioural genetics article, which would very logically then link to an expanded subarticle Human behavior genetics. You and I are both wrapping our minds around what to do next over at the article that I call Nature and nurture (which is recently titled Nature versus nurture) and how it relates to the numerous articles that link to it all over Wikipedia, and I'd be delighted to hear Randykitty's input on that. I promise today that I will keep you informed about my plans on article talk pages or project talk pages or both. I plan to edit user space drafts (and I will let each of you see those, if you like, and in any event they will from time to time show up in my contribs list) to meticulously expand this article and also Human behavior genetics with an aim to getting both of those articles into shape for good article submission. I previously noticed that the main article Human genetics is also remarkably short and lacking in sources for such an important topic, so that article is on my list too to be expanded. In general, I am currently hunting up articles within the scope of those identified by either WikiProject Psychology or WikiProject Genetics as "start-class, high-importance" articles to apply sources to those for major expansions. I don't see a great need for article mergers among the articles I watch, as any of these articles will get up comfortably close to the recommended Wikipedia article size limit if only they are thoroughly sourced. I agree that Nature and nurture is an especially puzzling article to plan for in this context, because it is so multidisciplinary and so wikilinked to so many other articles, but again I think that reliable sources will show the way forward. I'll be doing some further reading additions to several articles that have long been on my watchlist today, and also updating my source lists over this weekend. My weekend plans also include a lengthy university library visit to gather more sources, including the sources kindly mentioned by Randykitty. I will make best efforts to stay in communication with all of you interested editors about what I expect to do next in what order. See you on the wiki, and best wishes for a very happy new year that I hope includes warmer weather than the weather expected in my city. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 17:02, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I am outta here. This kind of interaction - seemingly collaborative but holding things back - is not my cup of tea. Unwatching. Good luck with this. Jytdog (talk) 17:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

British Versus American Spelling[edit]

According to Wikipedia guidelines, rhe British spelling, 'behavioural' is just as acceptable as the American spelling, and should not be changed.JRicker,PhD (talk) 03:43, 12 August 2015 (UTC)