Introduction

by Joseph McInerney and Mark Rothstein

What is behavioral genetics?

Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) was the first scientist to study heredity and human behavior systematically. The term "genetics" did not even appear until 1909, only 2 years before Galton's death. With or without a formal name, the study of heredity always has been, at its core, the study of biological variation. Human behavioral genetics, a relatively new field, seeks to understand both the genetic and environmental contributions to individual variations in human behavior. This is not an easy task, for the following reasons.

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