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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As a field, behavior genetics has a long and often underappreciated focus on environmental and situational factors. This chapter describes the methodological details and empirical findings of this line of work, as well as what situation research can gain from behavior genetics and vice versa. Genetically informative designs offer tools to quantify the extent to which people actively create their situational experiences as opposed to randomly encountering them, and novel advances in situation research have the potential to clarify the scattered history of environmental variables in behavioral genetics. Current progress in personality psychology will be highlighted. Parallels between behavior genetics and personality work can be found both in terms of mechanisms (e.g., gene-environment correlation and gene × environment interaction contrasting with selection effects and person × situation effects) and explanatory pitfalls. Researchers interested in delineating the pathways from situations to behavior would do well to draw from and build upon work in behavior genetics.

Keywords: behavior genetics, situational factors, personality, gene-environment correlation, gene × environment interaction, selection effects, person × situation effects

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