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Additive and Nonadditive Genetic Patterns

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Additive and nonadditive genetic patterns are the subject of quantitative behavioral genetics, which focuses the relative importance of genetic variation on phenotypic variation.


An ongoing major challenge in the field of psychology and genetics is to understand how naturally occurring variation in the genotype causes variation in the phenotype. In the past century, genetic research consistently showed that genetic variation contributes substantially to individual differences in human behavior, which does not only apply to “proximal” characteristics and behavioral outcomes like height, health, cognitive ability, and personality but also includes more “distal” ones, such as education, demographic events, and indicators of social inequalities (e.g., Polderman et al. 2015; Turkheimer 2000). In other words, the role of genetic variation is ubiquitous, but less is known about the genetic architecture underlying phenotypic variation and the specific pathways from...


  • Quantitative Behavioral Genetics
  • Nonadditive Genetic Effects
  • Latent Variable Component
  • Narrow-sense Heritability
  • Classical Twin Design

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Correspondence to Elisabeth Hahn .

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Hahn, E. (2017). Additive and Nonadditive Genetic Patterns. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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