Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci. 2017 Jan;8(1-2). doi: 10.1002/wcs.1400. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

The heritability fallacy.

Author information

1
Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA.
2
DeLTA Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Abstract

The term 'heritability,' as it is used today in human behavioral genetics, is one of the most misleading in the history of science. Contrary to popular belief, the measurable heritability of a trait does not tell us how 'genetically inheritable' that trait is. Further, it does not inform us about what causes a trait, the relative influence of genes in the development of a trait, or the relative influence of the environment in the development of a trait. Because we already know that genetic factors have significant influence on the development of all human traits, measures of heritability are of little value, except in very rare cases. We, therefore, suggest that continued use of the term does enormous damage to the public understanding of how human beings develop their individual traits and identities. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1400. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1400 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

PMID:
27906501
DOI:
10.1002/wcs.1400
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center