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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1988 Dec;55(6):950-7.

Neuroticism, extraversion, and related traits in adult twins reared apart and reared together.

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Department of Environmental Hygiene, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The relative importance of genetic and environmental factors for neuroticism, extraversion, impulsivity, and monotony avoidance were estimated in a sample of 99 monozygotic and 229 dizygotic pairs of twins reared apart (TRA) and a matched sample of 160 monozygotic and 212 dizygotic pairs of twins reared together (TRT). The average age was 58.6 (SD = 13.6); 72% of the twins were 50 or older. Model-fitting analyses verified the importance of genetic factors for all four measures; from 23% to 45% of the total variation was attributable to genetic sources. There was considerable evidence that these factors were operating in a nonadditive manner for extraversion and impulsivity. Shared environment accounted for less than 10% of the variance; some evidence for selective placement was found for neuroticism.

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