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).  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)

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).  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)

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)

Merge in human behavior genetics[edit]

Any takers? tim bates? The behavior genetics page as it is now is pretty thin. If anyone is aware of an analogous "animal behavioral genetics" page that would also be a great candidate to pull in here.

Better to expand the other article. There is plenty of material that can be added here and there, and some of the sources are already cited in earlier talk page discussion. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (Watch my talk, How I edit) 21:20, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
They should be merged, it is fundamentally one topic. Pete.Hurd (talk) 22:51, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Pete.Hurd I respect your opinions on issues like this very much, but the article here, Behavioural genetics, includes all the work on model organisms like fruit flies and mice and dogs, and there are whole books (mentioned by another participant in these talk page discussions) that provide good sourcing for that aspect of the research. So I think this article serves as a good place to give an overview of all behavioural genetics research, while the other article can provide the more specific discussion of human research. Perhaps some bold edits here (and there) will show what is possible. Knowing that you and another informed participant in this discussion are looking on provides a prompt to prioritize an expansion I've been thinking about off-wiki for a long time. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (Watch my talk, How I edit) 13:38, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
WeijiBaikeBianji is that who I think it is? We first met reading Richard Nisbett's book for a journal club seminar led by a wonderful prof at a university that will be unamed. That was the first time you sat in on the seminar. Ring a bell? You may not remember me -- I was one of said prof's grad students. Let's merge the articles. Although honestly I don't know what that entails because I've made a bout a dozen edits to wikipedia, but the existence of a separate human behavioral genetics page is very odd. The human page should be merged in along with (hopefully) some overview of BG animal work. Vrie0006 (talk) 07:40, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Why rush to merge the articles? Because of how Wikipedia technology works, merging is somewhat inherently disruptive. They will eventually have to be unmerged anyway, as Wikipedia grows articles about every genuinely encyclopedic topic, and articles about many topics that are not encyclopedic besides. How many of the sources do you have at hand? (P.S., yes, I have an inference about who you might be in real life based on what you wrote about meeting in real life.) Welcome aboard Wikipedia. I think most Wikipedia articles about human behavior genetics and IQ testing and such deserve rather to be expanded than to be compressed. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (Watch my talk, How I edit) 13:33, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
WeijiBaikeBianji I thought so. Hope all is well. Perhaps merge isn't appropriate. Perhaps it is. I'll defer to others who are more involved in these activities. I'm (hopefully) going to expand the BG page to include some human work, because that's what I know best. ust a few sentences here, a few there. Major issues and findings in the field. I'll ignore the human behavioral genetics page. J Vrie0006 (talk) 19:21, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Not sure a merger is a good idea. Neither article is very good at the moment and both are too much slanted towards human work. There's a lot of animal behavior genetics out there that is not covered anywhere. My advice would be to expand and improve both articles, avoiding overlap as much as possible (Galton, for example). Historically, animal behavior genetics was much more important than human behavior genetics. The latter has been IMHO a rather sterile field for a long time (mainly interested in ways to partition variance and estimating heritabilities, as if that tells you something worth while...) and only recently do we see the field moving towards identifying genes and even (gasp!) some of the underlying biological processes (sometimes it seems like most human behavior geneticists have never heard of the brain...) The amount of animal behavior genetics published nowadays is still vastly larger than human behavior genetics, but it's not always very visible as such, because most animal behavior geneticists have "gone mainstream" and call themselves (behavioral) neuroscientists. Look at Eric Kandel's work, for example, or Susumu Tonegawa's. All about genes and behavior, but nobody calls it behavior genetics anymore... --Randykitty (talk) 14:43, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
  • In the same spirit as above, I have to say that I don't think the article is currently moving in the right direction. The section on "Nature of environmental influence" that was just added, for example, is only about human behaviour genetics. This article should be a balanced view of the whole field, not just a part of it. We don't discuss research with, say, diallel crosses or knockout mice here either. (Nor do I think we should). --Randykitty (talk) 08:31, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I totally agree that it would be wonderful to have a better representation of animal BG research on this page and an ultimate goal is to avoid a page that is dominated by human work. Animal research has been such an integral part of the field that is in many ways far more advanced than human work, especially perhaps in understanding biological mechanisms in between the DNA and phenotype (?). Unfortunately, no one with expertise in that area seems to be actively contributing to the page. Since the page has been languishing for years, with few contributors and little useful information, my hope is that folks with expert content knowledge can contribute what they know as time goes by, regardless of how the page is balanced at any given time, with the ultimate goal that human and non-human work is sufficiently covered in the end. Hopefully some people who know about major methods and results from animal BG work will contribute and link to other relevant pages. (Maybe the overly-human content will motivate them!) I can't do that, unfortunately, because I don't know that work well enough. But I'd hate to stop contributing the encyclopedic knowledge I have about BG as I wait for someone else to contribute animal work and balance the page, as that person may not show up! How can we get some animal content in here without stymieing additions about human work? Vrie0006 (talk) 13:16, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I certainly am not suggesting that you should stop expanding on human stuff! But I think it would be better to add things like the section on "Nature of environmental influence" to the article on human behaviour genetics than here. I would keep this article as given a bird's eye view of the field, putting all the more specialized stuff in separate articles. Otherwise this article would become way too unwieldy once animal geneticists start filling in their stuff. As for the latter, I agree that it would be desirable if people would start doing that, kind of in parallel with your efforts, but it is not really necessary. It'll happen sooner or later, there's no deadline. --Randykitty (talk) 15:32, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Dab hatnote[edit]

Re this edit: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines "Genetic psychology" (as a term introduced by Franz Brentano) as follows: "Genetic psychology studies psychological phenomena from a third-person point of view. It involves the use of empirical experiments and thus satisfies the scientific standards we nowadays expect of an empirical science." A Google Books search reveals that the term "Genetic psychology" in the context of the history of the philosophy of mind is much discussed in recent academic publications. WP:DLINKS says:" disambiguation links should be placed at the top of an article, where they are most visible. For alternatives that are related to the article but are not a source of ambiguity, the 'See also' section at the end of the article is more appropriate." Brentano's concept of genetic psychology is not an alternative to behavioural genetics; it is something very different from the actual topic of the behavioural genetics article. Thus, we need a hatnote to indicate an entirely different and notable use of the same term. --Omnipaedista (talk) 19:25, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

History of numbers of papers published[edit]

Interesting addition, hadn't seen that article yet (but then, I rarely look at "in press" articles, I wait until they are in a regular issue :-). However, I'm not sure that the way this is currently presented is ideal. For one, the table is not found in the reference given (I guess you took it from the Excel file linked in the last sentence of the article - not sure as I have trouble opening it). A second problem is that the table singles out Behavior Genetics, which I think is undue. Why not also add other journals from this field (see "journals" section)? I actually think that instead of this table, we should copy figure 1 from the article in BG (we can do this because at the end the article notes that it is published under a CC-BY license, so we can copy anything we want over to Commons). Fig. 2 would be a good fit for our article on human BG and Fig 3 could eventually go into an article on animal BG, if ever we get one. The figures do a much better job than the table in conveying the enormous growth of this field. Of course (and this is a criticism of the BG article), what would be really interesting would be to know whether this growth is larger than how all scientific output has been growing. --Randykitty (talk) 14:36, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

The graphs would be great, although maybe a little hard to read as a thumbnail. I like including the journal behavior genetics because it was the first journal in the modern era devoted to behavioral genetic research, is a significant part of the the formation of the Behavior Genetics Association, which was central to the resurgance of BG. Nature Genetics and the other journals (afaik) don't have that king of longstanding historical relationship with BG. Also, and you may like this, initially had lots of human and non-human content. I plan to continue expanding the history section to include some of this historical content, at least very briefly, so I think having the behavior genetics journal make sense. I don't feel super strongly though, by any means. Vrie0006 (talk) 21:42, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
If people are interested in a graph, all they need do is click it and they'll see an enlarged version. I maintain that the graphs are clearer. I don't agree with your reasoning for including BG to the exclusion of every other journal. BG and the BGA are not the only journals/organizations in this field, there is also Genes, Brain and Behavior/IBANGS. G2B has had a larger IF than BG since it got its first one and consistently publishes more articles than BG does. In addition, it looks like the table is (inadmissible) original research, because it cannot be found in this form in the publication cited. As an aside (and this is not something that can be used in the article, as this is my OR :-) I am a bit critical of the Ayorech et al. article. They used articles published in BG to "train" their search criteria. I am sure that this will have caused a tremendous underestimation of animal work, as BG has traditionally been very weak in, for example, KO/transgenic studies or gene-expression studies. Of course, most people doing that type of work don't see themselves as behavior geneticists and thus don't submit to a journal named "Behavior Genetics". As Sandra Scarr once wrote, behavior genetics has won "the war" (i.e. recognition that genes can influence behavior) but in the process has lost its identity as the study of genetic effects on behavior has gone mainstream. Just look at any neuroscience journal (especially behavioral neuroscience journals) and see the vast number of studies reporting the behavioral effects of knocking out some gene... Anyway, to come back to our original point, I think that the table should go and be replaced with Fig 2. --Randykitty (talk) 14:40, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
PS: I finally managed to open that database and cannot find the numbers of papers published by Behavior Genetics, although you'd probably be able to tease it out of that huge amount of data. So that makes this table not only undue, but also inadmissible original research. And I did some test searches of their database: as I suspected, by "training" on Behavior Genetics and then only using PsycINFO, they miss probably around half or more of all animal behavior genetics... --Randykitty (talk) 13:40, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
Are you willing to put in the figures? Vrie0006 (talk) 06:21, 2 June 2016 (UTC) Any chance you'd be willing to put in the figures from that paper? Otherwise, I'd like to see the table reverted, even without the journal Behavioral Genetics. Vrie0006 (talk) 06:19, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

upgrade to "C" status on WP:Psychology[edit]

It's been 5 years since the BG page was reviewed by wikiproject psychology. I think we have enough good content to upgrade to "C" status, instead of "Start" status, at least according to the definitions of "C" and "Start"! So I'm making that change :) Vrie0006 (talk) 21:42, 21 April 2016 (UTC) P.S.: I'm also upgrading us on the other wikiproject pages from "Start" to "C" as applicable... Vrie0006 (talk) 03:19, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

unsourced list[edit]

Moving this here as it is all unsourced. The category that is linked is all we need, in any case.

Notable behavioural geneticists
Main category: Behavior geneticists

Notable behavioural geneticists include Dorret Boomsma, Thomas Bouchard, Wim Crusio (the founding editor of the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior), John DeFries, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Lindon Eaves, David Fulker, Irving Gottesman, John K. Hewitt, Jerry Hirsch, Kenneth Kendler, John C. Loehlin, Nick Martin, Matt McGue, Gerald McClearn, Nancy Pedersen, Robert Plomin, Theodore Reich (a pioneer in psychiatric genetics), Sandra Scarr, Hans van Abeelen, and Steven G. Vandenberg (the founding editor of the journal Behavior Genetics).

-- Jytdog (talk) 03:11, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Nominate for "good article" status?[edit]

What do folks think of nominating the article to Good Article status? The process might be helpful in guiding the page. I guess the one glaring omission I see is expansion of the section on animal behavioral genetics. Vrie0006 (talk) 05:05, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Went for it. Vrie0006 (talk) 03:00, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh this article is so far away from being ready for GAN. Jytdog (talk) 03:44, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
oh no! -- you had commented before that it wasn't so bad, so I took that s a good sign. Should I remove the nomination? Vrie0006 (talk) 03:46, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
User:Vrie0006 I just noticed that you nominated this for GA. Yes please withdraw that nomination. The article is full of statements that are basically unsourced. This for example:
Behaviour genetics, per se, gained recognition as a research discipline with the publication in 1960 of the textbook Behavior Genetics by John L. Fuller and William Robert (Bob) Thompson (then Chair of the Department of Psychology at Queen's University, Canada).[1] Nowadays, it is widely accepted that most behaviours in animals and humans are under some degree of genetic influence.[2]


  1. ^ Fuller JL, Thompson WR (1960). Behavior Genetics. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 
  2. ^ Plomin, Robert (1989). "Behavioral Genetics". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 177 (10): 645. doi:10.1097/00005053-198910000-00020. 
The textbook itself cannot be a source for the fact that the field gained recognition via the textbook. That is pure OR. The "nowadays" violates WP:RELTIME and is in any case sourced to paper published in 1989 - 27 years ago. (and that paper is not even in pubmed - why not use PMID 2183351 at least? It is a review published in Science in 1990 by the same guy) The article is full of this kind of poor editing. -- Jytdog (talk) 17:03, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Article improvements in response to Good Article nomination.[edit]

Hi everyone, in response to the editor's statements re: good article status, I'm taking the opportunity to shape the page. I'm hopeful that others will weigh in esp if I'm removing material they think is essential to the page (like the stuff on Lee Ehrman I've removed -- it was good content but very much out of place and could have been sourced better). We may not have a chance of actually getting over the good article hurdle, but I'd like to at least make some small effort! Vrie0006 (talk) 05:10, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Adding historical account of "radical environmentalism" in psychology?[edit]

Just a note that one improvement to the History section might be an account of behavioral genetics as a response to (whether intentional or not) behavioral theories in the 50's, 60's and 70's that attributed behavior to learning and environmental experiences (the "schizophrenogenic mother", for example). Vrie0006 (talk) 15:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

  • That sounds like some SYNTH. Far as I know, BG was not a "response" to behaviorism and such, although of course they did respond and were criticized by that movement. --Randykitty (talk) 16:09, 1 December 2016 (UTC)


I appreciate the efforts going into the lead. However, as with so much in this article, it is biased towards human BG. There was significant animal BG research going on before and after WWII (some names: Tryon, Hall) and this research was hardly hampered by any association with eugenics. And animal BG has had a much smaller focus (if at all) on separating genetic from environmental effects (for the last 20 years, you'll be hard pressed to find the word "heritability" in most of the animal BG literature). (As an aside, the linked articles on behavioral epigenetics and neurogenetics have both been the victim of educational assignments and are seriously deficient). Selective breeding was popular in the early days, but my bet is that strain comparisons and cross-breeding studies (using classical and diallel crosses) were much more popular. GWAS has been important (again) for huma n studies, but for animal BG, it was the advent of transgenic and KO technology that opened up the field to many new researchers (who generally don't see themselves as behavior geneticists, but as neuroscientists). --Randykitty (talk) 22:08, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

societies and journals[edit]

The following two sections were unsourced. I may put them back in the article once they're sourced.


Behavioural geneticists are active in a variety of scientific disciplines including biology, medicine, pharmacology, psychiatry, and psychology; thus, behavioural-genetic research is published in a variety of scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Genetics, and Science. Journals that specifically publish research in behavioural genetics include Behavior Genetics, Genes, Brain and Behavior, Journal of Neurogenetics, Molecular Psychiatry, Psychiatric Genetics, and Twin Research and Human Genetics.[citation needed]


There exist several learned societies in the broader area of behavioural genetics:


I'm sorry, but far as I can see, going for GA is very premature here. This article is still extremely unbalanced, with giving animal research just a few lines and then concentrating on human work. The "broad conclusions" only draw on human work. In my eyes, this is not even close to becoming a GA. --Randykitty (talk) 18:13, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Moving from my talk:

Didn't you see my comment on the talk page? No way that an unbalanced article like this is GA. 4 lines on animal research which represents at least half of all research on behavior genetics is absolutely insufficient. Just look at the tables of contents of the major journals in the field (Behavior Genetics (journal) and Genes, Brain and Behavior). Even the part on humans is not really balanced. From the article it seems like quantitative genetics is the major approach, even for psychiatric disorders. This is incorrect. While it is true for BG research on normal human behavior, there's a huge amount of research on the genetics of psychiatric disorders that doesn't even mention heritabilities (see the contents of journals like Molecular Psychiatry or American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics). Sorry to be so negative. I do appreciate all the work that has been done and the article is better than it was before. It's just not representative of the field, neither past nor present. --Randykitty (talk) 09:58, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

I saw that you had edited the article, Randykitty, I presumed your concerns of December 12 were addressed. Keep in mind that GA is not FA; there is a difference between "Broad in its coverage; it addresses the main aspects of the topic" (GA criteria) and "comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context" (FA Criteria). The article is not ready for FAC, but it meets the GA criteria. That said, there is nothing stopping anyone from making further improvements and I encourage them to do so. Montanabw(talk) 10:31, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
An "undue" tag on this article would certainly be justified, because it gives the (incorrect) impression that BG research mainly concerns human quantitative genetic modelling. If that is compatible with this being GA, so be it. --Randykitty (talk) 10:40, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
How about just expanding the article yourself? You have been editing it, you could have put up a tag two months ago and raised these concerns then too. I'd encourage you to be part of the solution and work with the other editor. Montanabw(talk) 11:47, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Look through this talk page and you'll see that I voiced these concerns multiple times. And for several reasons I don't feel like contributing significantly to this page, sorry. While unfortunate, I don't think that invalidates my criticisms. --Randykitty (talk) 12:12, 11 February 2017 (UTC)