Advertisement

Political Behavior

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 383–408 | Cite as

OLS is AOK for ACE: A Regression-Based Approach to Synthesizing Political Science and Behavioral Genetics Models

  • Kevin B. Smith
  • Peter K. Hatemi
Original Paper

Abstract

There is a growing interest in empirically exploring the biological underpinnings of political attitudes and behavior. Heritability studies are a primary vehicle for conducting such investigations and data sets rich in political phenotypes are becoming broadly accessible. A bottleneck exists, however, in exploiting these opportunities because they involve a statistical re-tooling for political scientists and require a conceptual shift that has substantial implications for the field’s traditional theoretical models. Methodologically, most twin studies rely on structural equation models unfamiliar to political scientists. We show this methodological bottleneck is easily navigable; it is the lesser discussed shift in theoretical assumptions poses the larger problem to integrating biological elements into the study of political attitudes and behavior. To address these issues we provide a detailed introduction to a regression-based method for analyzing genetic influence on political attitudes and behaviors that will be methodologically intuitive to political scientists with even minimum quantitative training. In doing so, we provide a platform for bridging important conceptual divides between political science and behavioral genetics.

Keywords

Biology Political behavior Genetic research 

References

  1. Alford, J. R., Funk, C. L., & Hibbing, J. R. (2005). Are political orientations genetically transmitted? American Political Science Review, 99(2), 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alford, J. R., Hatemi, P. K., Hibbing, J. R., Martin, N. G., & Eaves, L. J. (2011). The politics of mate choice. Journal of Politics, 73(2), 362–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amodio, D. M., Jost, J. T., Master, S. L., & Yee, C. M. (2007). Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism. Nature Neuroscience, 10(9 September), 1246–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beaver, K., Eagle Shutt, J., Boutwell, B., Ratchford, M., Kathleen, R., & Barnes, J. C. (2009). Genetic and environmental influences on levels of self-control and delinquent peer affiliation. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36, 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beckwith, J., & Morris, C. (2008). Twin studies of political behavior: Untenable assumptions? Perspectives on Politics, 6, 785–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boardman, J., Onge, J. S., Haberstick, B., Timberlake, D., & Hewitt, J. (2008). Do schools moderate the genetic determinants of smoking? Behavior Genetics, 38, 234–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bouchard, T., & McGue, M. (2003). Genetic and environmental influences on human psychological differences. Journal of Neurobiology, 54, 4–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, A., Converse, P., Miller, W., & Stokes, D. (1960). The American voter. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Carey, G. (2003). Human genetics for the social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  10. Charney, E. (2008). Genes and ideologies. Perspectives on Politics, 6, 299–319.Google Scholar
  11. Cherny, S. S., DeFries, J. C., & Fulker, D. W. (1992a). Multiple regression analysis of twin data: A model-fitting approach. Behavior Genetics, 22, 289–497.Google Scholar
  12. Cherny, S. S., Cardon, L. R., Fulker, D. W., & DeFries, J. C. (1992b). Differential heritability across levels of cognitive ability. Behavior Genetics, 22, 162–1543.Google Scholar
  13. Dawes, C., & Fowler, J. (2009). Partisanship, voting, and the dopamine D2 receptor gene. Journal of Politics, 71, 1157–1171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DeFries, J. C., & Fulker, D. W. (1985). Multiple regression analysis of twin data. Behavior Genetics, 15, 467–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dreu, D., Carsten, L. G., Handgraaf, M. J. J., Shalvi, S., Van Kleef, G., Baas, M., et al. (2010). The neuropeptide oxytocin regulates parochial altruism in intergroup conflict among humans. Science, 328, 1408–1411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eaves, L. J., & Eysenck, H. J. (1974). Genetics and the development of social attitudes. Nature, 249, 288–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eaves, L. J., & Hatemi, P. K. (2008). Transmission of attitudes toward abortion and gay rights: parental socialization or potential mate selection? Behavior Genetics, 38, 247–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eaves, L. J., Last, K., Martin, N., & Jinks, J. (1977). A progressive approach to non-additivity and genotype–environment covariance in the analysis of human differences. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 30, 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Falconer, D. S. (1960). Introduction to quantitative genetics. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.Google Scholar
  20. Falconer, D. S. (1989). Introduction to quantitative genetics (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Fowler, J., & Dawes, C. (2008). Two genes predict voter turnout. Journal of Politics, 70, 579–594.Google Scholar
  22. Fowler, J., & Schreiber, D. (2008). Biology, politics, and the emerging science of human nature. Science, 322, 912–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hannagan, R. J., & Hatemi, P. K. (2008). The threat of genes: A comment on Evan Charney’s ‘Genes and Ideologies’. Perspectives on Politics, 6(2), 329–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hatemi, P. (2012). The intersection of behavioral genetics and political science: Introduction to the special issue. Twin Research and Human Genetics. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  25. Hatemi, P. K., Alford, J. R., Hibbing, J. R., Martin, N. G., & Eaves, L. J. (2009). Is there a party in your genes? Political Research Quarterly, 62(3), 584–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hatemi, P. K., Dawes, C. T., Frost-Keller, A., Settle, J. E., & Verhulst, B. (2011b). Integrating social science and genetics: News from the political front. Biodemography and Social Biology, 57(1), 67–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hatemi, P. K., Gillespie, N. A., Eaves, L. J., Maher, B. S., Webb, B. T., Heath, A. C., et al. (2010b). Genome-wide analysis of political attitudes. Journal of Politics, 73(1), 1–15.Google Scholar
  28. Hatemi, P. K., Hibbing, J., Medland, S., Keller, M., Alford, J., & Smith, K. B. (2010a). Not by twins alone: Using the extended family design to investigate genetic influence on political beliefs. American Journal of Political Science, 54, 798–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hatemi, P. K., & McDermott, R. (2011). The normative implications of biological research. PS: Political Science Politics, 44, 325–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hatemi, P. K., McDermott, R., Bailey, J. M., & Martin, N. G. (2011a). The different effects of gender and sex on vote choice. Political Research Quarterly. doi: 10.1177/10659129103911475.
  31. Hatemi, P. K., Smith, K., Alford, J., Hibbing, J., & Martin, N. G. (2012). The genetics of politics, three new twin studies. Twin Research and Human Genetics. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  32. Hawke, J. L., Stallings, M. C., Wadsworth, S. J., & DeFries, J. C. (2008). DeFries–Fulker and Pearson–Aitken model-fitting analyses of reading performance data from selected and unselected twin pairs. Behavior Genetics, 38(2), 101–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hibbing, J. R., & Smith, K. B. (2008). The biology of political behavior. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 617, 6–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Holzinger, K. (1929). The relative effect of nature and nurture influences on twin differences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 20, 241–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jennings, M. K., & Niemi, R. (1968). The transmission of political values from parent to child. American Political Science Review, 62, 169–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jennings, M. K., & Niemi, R. (1975). Continuity and change in political orientations: A longitudinal study of two generations. American Political Science Review, 69, 1316–1335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Keller, M. C., Coventry, W. L., Heath, A. C., & Martin, N. G. (2005). Widespread evidence for non-additive genetic variation in the Cloninger and Eysenck personality dimensions using a twin plus sibling design. Behavior Genetics, 35, 707–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kohler, H.-P., & Rodgers, J. L. (2001). D–F analyses of heritability with double-entry twin data: asymptotic standard errors and efficient estimation. Behavior Genetics, 31, 179–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Klemmensen, R., Hobolt, S. B., & Noergaard, A. S. (2010). The determinants of political participation: Exploring the interaction between genes and the environment. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  40. LaBuda, M. C., DeFries, J. C., & Fulker, D. W. (1986). Multiple regression analysis of twin data obtained from selected samples. Genetic Epidemiology, 3, 425–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Littvay, L. (2012). Do heritability estimates of political phenotypes suffer from an equal environment assumption violation? Evidence from an empirical study. Twin Research and Human Genetics. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  42. Madsen, D. (1985). A biochemical property relating to power seeking in humans. American Political Science Review, 79, 448–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Martin, N. G., Eaves, L. J., Heath, A. C., Jardine, R., Feingold, L. M., & Eysenck, H. J. (1986). Transmission of social attitudes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 15(June), 4364–4368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Masters, R., Arnhart, L., Elshtain, J. B., Gruter, M., Kelly, C., Losco, J., et al. (1984). Human nature and political theory: Can biology contribute to the study of politics? Politics and the Life Sciences, 2, 120–150.Google Scholar
  45. Medland, S., & Hatemi, P. (2009). Political science, biometric theory, and twin studies: A methodological introduction. Political Analysis, 17, 191–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Neale, M. C., & Cardon, L. L. (1992). Methodology for genetic studies of twins and families. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oxley, D. R., Smith, K. B., Alford, J. R., Hibbing, M. V., Miller, J. L., Scalora, M., et al. (2008). Political attitudes vary with physiological traits. Science, 321, 1667–1670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Purcell, S., & Koenen, K. (2005). Environmental mediation and the twin design. Behavior Genetics, 35, 491–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rijsdijk, F., & Sham, P. (2002). Analytic approaches to twin data using structural equation models. Briefings in Bioinformatics, 3, 119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rodgers, J. L., & Kohler, H.-P. (2005). Reformulating and simplifying the DF analysis model. Behavior Genetics, 35, 211–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rodgers, J. L., & McGue, M. (1994). A simple algebraic demonstration of the validity of DeFries–Fulker analysis in unselected samples with multiple kinship levels. Behavior Genetics, 24, 259–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rodgers, J. L., Rowe, D. C., & Li, C. (1994). Beyond nature versus nurture: DF analysis of nonshared influences on problem behaviors. Developmental Psychology, 30, 374–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Smith, K., Alford, J., Hatemi, P., Eaves, L., Funk, C., & Hibbing, J. (2012). Biology, ideology and epistemology: How do we know political attitudes are inherited? American Journal of Political Science. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  54. Somit, A. (1972). Biopolitics. British Journal of Political Science, 2, 209–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tambs, K., Sundet, J. M., Magnus, P., & Berg, K. (1989). Genetic and environmental contributions to the covariance between occupational status, educational attainment, and IQ: A study of twins. Behavior Genetics, 19, 209–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Turkheimer, E., D’Onofrio, B., Maes, H., & Eaves, L. (2005). Analysis and interpretation of twin studies including measures of the shared environment. Child Development, 76, 1217–1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wilson, G. D., & Patterson, J. R. (1968). A new measure of social conservatism. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 7, 264–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zak, P., Kurzban, R., & Matzner, W. (2005). Oxytocin is associated with human trustworthiness. Hormones and Behavior, 48, 522–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nebraska–LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations