Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines recent advances in the genetics of social cognition, discussing evidence from twin studies that confirm the relevancy of genetic hard wiring in understanding many social phenotypes, with important implications for the social sciences and for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that may identify specific genes contributing to a wide range of social phenotypes, genoeconomics, and individual and social decision making. Stressing the importance of phenotype definition and precise measurement as key to success in GWAS, the authors argue that laboratory-based behavioral economic paradigms using ethnically homogenous student populations generate the best prospects for successful GWAS. Also discussed are the neurochemical/neurogenetic architecture of behavioral economic games that measure individual and social decision making and the considerable progress made in unraveling the neurogenetics of human parenting and the beginning of a political attitudes neuroscience. The authors’ own GWAS is used to present a set of guidelines for future research directions.
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