7. Behavioral Genetics II



(April 14, 2010) Robert Sapolsky continues his series addressing the link between behavior and genetics. He covers the complex endeavor of gene isolation and variability and heritability and wrongly eliminated environmental influences in heritability tests — finding that genes and environment are infinitely interconnected and co-dependent on each other.

Stanford University

Stanford University

Stanford Department of Biology
http://biology.stanford.edu/

Stanford University Channel on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/stanford

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25 thoughts on “7. Behavioral Genetics II

  1. Huh. That's interesting. For engineers, you do have to design for the environment – it's inherited in the job. A Ford and a Chevy are two different cars, but they both have to operate in the same environment. On the other hand, they can't go where a Jeep can go.
    And yes, data are plural.

  2. His Humor is so well-timed and intelligent that sometimes people pass up a chance to laugh because the important information is just around the corner – what a genius way of captivating the audience !

  3. If I were taking this class back in the day, I would’ve needed this lecture recorded. It is SO rich in content, I’d want to listen to it multiple times.

  4. Sapolsky is wrong here on so many levels.
    1. Having more environment/gene tests will not necessarily invalidate genetic effects since there could be an additional confounding variable (Iceland doesn't have much use for math skills in tech, it's a resource-based economy so men are less inclined to learn math or to continue to higher education + on small scales it's easy to get artifacts or fake data. Having lived there for several years, I wouldn't trust their data).
    2. When you run your experiments AS LONG as they fit your political ideology you are no longer a scientist. There is no reason to believe evolution is a PC snowflake that has no distinctions between race, gender and other attributes.
    3. Even when you have differences between different environments, still you can not conclude that "changing" the environment to the more "correct" one will yield the result (even w/o a confound) since correlation doesn't imply causation.

  5. Don't know about big effects but my family: me, my two sisters, mother and father are or were totally free of addictions. Nothing gets addictive in us. My older sister got two child by an alcoholist. Now the older one is showing that she is free of addictions also but the younger one is not. She's so scared of this that she' a teetotaler and very scared of medicines.

  6. About girls being better in math in Iceland: In Finland more girls go to universities than boys. There has been studies why this is so and one found that the highschool is more stressfull to a boy than to a girl. So because highschool scores are main ranking thing into universities that has an effect. It seems that as a social mammal puberty is more stressfull to males than females.

  7. interesting – according to Jordan Peterson Scandinavian countries didn't end up having smaller gender differences in STEM fields (as a consequence of much greater gender equality in their societies) but quite the opposite. I'd love to see some references as these are quite opposite results/conclusions. Anyone?

  8. Did they compare the male results to each other among the 40 countries too? Because it might be that girls' results increased as equality was achieved, but perhaps male ones decreased dramatically compared to the ones achieved in masculinity and competition driven countries, where females ostracize low achievement. Prof. Sapolsky, I expected better from you than to disregard checking that

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