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A note on the generalized effects of assortative mating


Several twin studies of multiple abilities and educational and socioeconomic variables suggest that a single common factor underlies the contribution of mate selection and cultural inheritance to the covariation of such measures. Theoretical analysis shows that this finding is consistent with a mechanism of mate selection in which specific abilities are merely components of a composite latent variable for which there is assortative mating. We question how far measures of specific abilities reflect behavioral traits of independent adaptive significance.

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This work was supported by grants GM30250 and HL28922 from the National Institutes of Health.

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Eaves, L.J., Heath, A.C. & Martin, N.G. A note on the generalized effects of assortative mating. Behav Genet 14, 371–376 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01080048

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Key Words

  • assortative mating
  • cultural inheritance
  • trait correlation