Hermann (1908) said of psychology that it had a long past, but only a short history. The same may be said of behavior genetics. One cannot specify an exact date at which behavior genetics came to be regarded as a distinct scientific discipline, but for convenience let us say 1960, the publication date of Fuller and Thompson’s textbook of that title.

This chapter considers both the long past and some aspects of the short history of behavior genetics. We begin with the long past: the recognition since antiquity that behavioral traits are in part inherited, and the controversy concerning the extent to which this is so, a discussion often going under the label of the nature–nurture controversy.


Short History Behavior Genetic 27th Yearbook Murder Rate Bell Curve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brewer, D. J., Clark, T., & Phillips, A. (2001). Dogs in antiquity. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips.Google Scholar
  2. Burks, B. S. (1928). The relative influence of nature and nurture upon mental development: A comparative study of foster parent-foster child resemblance and true parent-true child resemblance. In 27th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part 1, pp. 219–316.Google Scholar
  3. Burt, C. (1961). Intelligence and social mobility. British Journal of Statistical Psychology, 14, 3–24.Google Scholar
  4. Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  5. Darwin, C. (1871). The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  6. Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: John Murray.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ebbinghaus, H. (1908). Psychology: An elementary textbook (M. F. Meyer, Trans.). Boston: D. C. Heath.Google Scholar
  8. Flynn, J. R. (1980). Race, IQ and Jensen. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  9. Freeman, F. N., Holzinger, K. J., & Mitchell, B. C. (1928). The influence of environment on the intelligence, school achievement, and conduct of foster children. In 27th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part 1, pp. 103–217.Google Scholar
  10. Fuller, J. L., & Thompson, W. R. (1960). Behavior genetics. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Galton, F. (1869). Hereditary genius: An inquiry into its laws and consequences. London: Collins.Google Scholar
  12. Galton, F. (1883). Inquiries into human faculty and its development. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  13. Graves, J. L., Jr. (2001). The emperor’s new clothes: Biological theories of race at the millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Heath, A. C. (1995). Secretary’s report: The 25th annual meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association, Richmond, Virginia. Behavior Genetics, 25, 589–590.Google Scholar
  15. Heath, A. C. (1996). Secretary’s report: The 26th annual meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association, Richmond, Virginia [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]. Behavior Genetics, 26, 605–606.Google Scholar
  16. Herrnstein, R. J. (1971). I.Q. Atlantic Monthly 228(3), 43–64.Google Scholar
  17. Herrnstein, R. J. (1973). I.Q. in the meritocracy. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  18. Herrnstein, R. J., & Murray, C. (1994). The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in American life. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  19. Homer. (n.d./1909). The Odyssey (S. H. Butcher & A. Lang, Trans.). New York: Collier.Google Scholar
  20. Hunt, M. (1999). The new know-nothings. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  21. Jensen, A. R. (1969). How much can we boost IQ and scholastic achievement? Harvard Educational Review, 39, 1–123.Google Scholar
  22. Jencks, C., & Phillips, M. (Eds.) (1998). The Black-White test score gap. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  23. Lewontin, R. C. (1970). Race and intelligence. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 26(3), 2–8.Google Scholar
  24. Locke, J. (1690/1975). An essay concerning human understanding (P. H. Nidditch, Ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  25. Locke, J. (1693/1913). Some thoughts concerning education (R. H. Quick, Ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Loehlin, J. C. (2000). Group differences in intelligence. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of intelligence (pp. 176–193). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Loehlin, J. C., Lindzey, G., & Spuhler, J. N. (1975). Race differences in intelligence. San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  28. Mill, J. S. (1873). Autobiography. London: Longmans.Google Scholar
  29. Morey, D. F. (1994). The early evolution of the domestic dog. American Scientist, 82, 336–347.Google Scholar
  30. National Society for the Study of Education (1928). 27th yearbook: Nature and nurture. Bloomington. IL: Public School Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. Pearson, R. (1991). Race, intelligence and bias in academe. Washington, DC: Scott-Townsend.Google Scholar
  32. Pearson, R. (1995). The concept of heredity in the history of Western culture: Part One. The Mankind Quarterly, 35, 229–266.Google Scholar
  33. Pinker, S. (2002). The blank slate: The modern denial of human nature. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  34. Plato (n.d./1901). The Republic (B. Jowett, Trans.). New York: Willey Book Co.Google Scholar
  35. Porter, N. (1887). Marginalia Locke-a-na. New Englander and Yale Review, 11, 33–49.Google Scholar
  36. Reynolds, C. R., Chastain, R. L., Kaufman, A. S., & McLean, J. T. (1987). Demographic characteristics and IQ among adults: Analysis of the WAIS-R standardization sample as a function of the stratification variables. . Journal of School Psychology, 25, 323–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rowe, D. C., Vesterdal, W. J., & Rodgers, J. L. (1998). Herrnstein’s syllogism: Genetic and shared environmental influences on IQ, education, and income. Intelligence, 26, 405–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rushton, J. P., & Jensen, A. R. (2005). Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11, 235–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Savolainen, P., Zhang, Y., Luo, J., Lundeberg, J., & Leitner, T. (2002). Genetic evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs. Science, 298, 1610–1613.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Summers, L. H. (2005). Remarks at NBER conference on diversifying science & engineering workforce. Retrieved September 18, 2005, from
  41. Tambs, K., Sundet, J. M., Magnus, P., & Berg, K. (1989). Genetic and environmental contributions to the covariance between occupational status, educational attainment, and IQ: A study of twins. Behavior Genetics, 19, 209–222.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vandenberg, S. G., & DeFries, J. C. (1970). Our hopes for behavior genetics. Behavior Genetics, 1, 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Watson, J. B. (1925). Behaviorism. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  44. Whitney, G. (1995). Twenty-five years of behavior genetics. Mankind Quarterly, 35, 328–342.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Loehlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations