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Scholify Essay ID Essay 2

Scholify Essay ID Essay 2

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Published by jamiemack89
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Published by: jamiemack89 on Sep 24, 2010
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How is heritability measured?

If intelligence or personality were highly inherited what effects might this have on the distribution of scores in human populations?

Heritability can be defined as the fraction of the variance of a certain measure in a population caused by differences in genetic endowment (Dickens & Flynn, 2001). Heritability is often thought of as being something which is stable over time; it is often assumed that heritability can be measured once and that from this one can extrapolate to any population at any different point. It should, however, be acknowledged that heritability is not a permanent construct; indeed, an estimate of heritability is only applicable to a given population at a given time. There are various ways to measure heritability, most notably through kinship studies, twin studies and adoption studies. Whilst these methodologies do have some flaws, one can gain some sort of estimate of heritability using a combination of these techniques. If through using these methods, one did establish that a construct such as intelligence or personality were highly inherited, this would have certain effects on the distribution of scores in human populations, for instance through assortative mating. However, other more directly environmental elements could also play a role.

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