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Twin and Adoption Studies

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What have twin studies and adoption taught us about the role of inheritance in human intelligence?

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This solution examines what twin studies and adoption taught us about the role of inheritance in human intelligence. Last updated on June 24, 2009.

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LAST UPDATED: JUNE 24, 2009

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6. What have twin studies and adoption taught us about the role of inheritance in human intelligence?

Twin studies are valuable to researchers because identical twins share 100% of their genes and fraternal twins share, on average, 50% of their genes. Both identical and fraternal twins share certain aspects of their environment (e.g. religious practices in the home). This allows researchers to estimate the heritability of certain traits, including human intelligence.

The role of genes and environment (nature vs. nurture) in determining IQ is reviewed in Plomin et al. (2001, 2003). For example, twin studies and adoption studies have taught us the degree to which the roles of inheritance plays in human intelligence. For example, the degree to which genetic variation contributes to observed variation in a trait is measured by a statistic called heritability. Heritability scores range from 0 to 1, and can ...

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