twin studies

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pages: 741 words: 199,502

Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class by Charles Murray

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, basic income, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, publication bias, quantitative hedge fund, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, school vouchers, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, universal basic income, working-age population

The more competitive the industry and the more cognitively demanding the job, the less influence family wealth has. The Polderman Meta-Analysis of Twin Studies The generality of Proposition #8 is most economically established with a single source, a meta-analysis of twin studies published in 2015. The study was conducted by a team of seven Dutch, Australian, and American scholars. It was conceived and led by Danielle Posthuma, head of the Department of Complex Trait Genetics at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. First author was Tinca J. C. Polderman.12 It was a mammoth undertaking, effectively covering all twin studies from 1958 to 2012. The article reporting the results, “Meta-analysis of the Heritability of Human Traits Based on Fifty Years of Twin Studies,” involved 2,748 publications and 14,558,903 twin pairs that explored 17,804 traits. The authors found that the ACE model, which is limited to additive genetic variance, is usually appropriate.

Some Basics About the Role of the Environment Will Be Better Understood Soon It will be a long time before the details are fully understood, but the introduction of genomic data will answer some of the most basic questions about the respective roles of genes and environment quickly, for two reasons. First, genomic data can answer questions about genetic nurture (discussed in chapter 13) that twin studies cannot. In twin studies, the shared environment is the same for both twins, which raises difficult technical problems when there is no variation around the family mean (for example, as in the case of divorce, which is by definition completely shared by both MZ and DZ twins).34 Analyses using polygenic scores or GCTA are not constrained to twins and thereby escape that problem. The broader advantage of genomic analyses in this regard is that the complexities of genetic nurture can be unraveled. “Although twin studies have reported for decades that most environments are nearly as heritable as behaviors, this work has been limited to twin-specific environments,” write Maciej Trzaskowski and Robert Plomin.

The range of environments in which separated twins are raised is narrow—adoption agencies don’t knowingly place infants with impoverished or dysfunctional parents.16 In contrast, it is not difficult to assemble large samples of twins who have been raised together. Their home environments span the range. The Validity of Twin Studies The ACE model makes a strong claim: It can disentangle the roles of nature and nurture. You will not be surprised to learn that many challenges to the validity of that model have been mounted. The logic I have just presented entails five primary assumptions. Three of them, discussed in the note, involve fewer problematic issues.[17] Two of the assumptions are at center stage in the debate over the validity of twin studies: Humans mate randomly (no assortative mating). DZ and MZ twins experience their common environments equally, known in the literature as the equal environments assumption (EEA). The Random Mating Assumption The Falconer equations assume that DZ twins share on average 50 percent of their genes, which in turn depends on their parents having mated randomly for any given trait.


pages: 824 words: 218,333

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Benoit Mandelbrot, butterfly effect, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical residency, moral hazard, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

Galton was on the right track—except for a crucial flaw: he had not distinguished between identical twins, who are truly genetically identical, and fraternal twins, who are merely genetic siblings (identical twins are derived from the splitting of a single fertilized egg, thereby resulting in twins with identical genomes, while fraternal twins are derived from the simultaneous fertilization of two eggs by two sperm, thereby resulting in twins with nonidentical genomes). Early twin studies were thus confounded by this confusion, leading to inconclusive results. In 1924, Hermann Werner Siemens, the German eugenicist and Nazi sympathizer, proposed a twin study that advanced Galton’s proposal by meticulously separating identical twins from fraternal twins.III A dermatologist by training, Siemens was a student of Ploetz’s and a vociferous early proponent of racial hygiene. Like Ploetz, Siemens realized that genetic cleansing could be justified only if scientists could first establish heredity: you could justify sterilizing a blind man only if you could establish that his blindness was inherited. For traits such as hemophilia, this was straightforward: one hardly needed twin studies to establish heredity. But for more complex traits, such as intelligence or mental illness, the establishment of heredity was vastly more complex.

By the mid-twentieth century, the gene—or the denial of its existence—had already emerged as a potent political and cultural tool. It had become one of the most dangerous ideas in history. Junk science props up totalitarian regimes. And totalitarian regimes produce junk science. Did the Nazi geneticists make any real contributions to the science of genetics? Amid the voluminous chaff, two contributions stand out. The first was methodological: Nazi scientists advanced the “twin study”—although, characteristically, they soon morphed it into a ghastly form. Twin studies had originated in Francis Galton’s work in the 1890s. Having coined the phrase nature versus nurture, Galton had wondered how a scientist might discern the influence of one over the other. How could one determine if any particular feature—height or intelligence, say—was the product of nature or nurture? How could one unbraid heredity and environment?

Another psychologist, entering a research program at Yale University in the 1970s to study human behaviors, was bewildered by the dogmatic stance against genetics in his new department: “Whatever back-porch wisdom we might have brought to New Haven about inherited traits [driving and influencing human behaviors] was the kind of bunk that we were paying Yale to purge.” The environment was all about environments. The return of the native—the emergence of the gene as a major driver for psychological impulses—was not as easy to orchestrate. In part, it required a fundamental reinvention of that classic workhorse of human genetics: the much maligned, much misunderstood twin study. Twin studies had been around since the Nazis—recall Mengele’s macabre preoccupation with Zwillinge—but they had reached a conceptual gridlock. The problem with studying identical twins from the same family, geneticists knew, was the impossibility of unbraiding the twisted strands of nature and nurture. Reared in the same home, by the same parents, often schooled in the same classrooms by the same teachers, dressed, fed, and nurtured identically, these twins offered no self-evident way to separate the effects of genes versus the environment.


pages: 382 words: 115,172

The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat by Tim Spector

biofilm, British Empire, Colonization of Mars, cuban missile crisis, David Strachan, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, hygiene hypothesis, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, Steve Jobs, twin studies

Scientists like me with a genetics background often believe that genes are important for everything in our bodies that is biologically useful. Not everyone agrees. Non-geneticists say that the remarkable diversity between humans suggests that it is the random effects of our surroundings and of the food we eat that are the major determinant. Two earlier twins studies in the US produced no conclusive evidence of a genetic influence. But when I heard microbiome expert and future collaborator Ruth Ley present the results at a meeting I thought the studies were too small, and that we could answer the question properly with my cohort of 11,000 twins. I had spent twenty-odd years performing twins studies on hundreds of different traits, from religious beliefs and sexual preferences to vitamin D and body-fat levels, in order to determine whether characteristics or diseases were mainly influenced by genes or by environment. The design is simple: you compare the similarity of identical twins with the similarity of non-identical or fraternal twins.

Although most studies show a reduction in cancers (up to 40 per cent in the latest fifteen-year follow-up) and 20 per cent in heart disease, this is balanced by increases in other diseases like strokes and little or no reductions in total mortality.15 16 There is also a suggestion that British vegetarians are somehow less healthy than vegetarian Americans, which may be due to differences in culture, lifestyle, lack of religious beliefs, or to other not so healthy components of the British vegetarian diet such as baked beans, crisps or extra sugar. Identical-twin studies are a great way to adjust for cultural and genetic factors and explore meat eating without many of the biases of observational studies. We looked closely in our TwinsUK study at our 122 British identical twin pairs who differed in their meat-eating habits, one being vegetarian or vegan and the other a meat eater. Remarkably, there was only a small difference in obesity within the twins as measured by BMI. The vegetarian was slightly slimmer by an average of just 1.3 kg (although the range went up to a 40-kg difference in one pair). This compares with much larger differences of about 4–5 kg in the Adventist studies, showing the significant effects of genes and culture which are hard to account for in non-twin studies. Intriguingly, in our study we found that even if you were a regular meat eater, having a sister who was vegetarian made you healthier than the average UK twin, in that you’d be slimmer and less likely to smoke.

They also seemed to gain the fat in the same places as their twin, around the belly or more unhealthily around the intestines and liver – what is called visceral fat. This classic study, in which the students were overfed like lab rats, might now have trouble getting ethical approval (though we don’t protect actors like Bradley Cooper who gained 40 lb for the film American Sniper and was paid millions of dollars for his role in it). The twins study unequivocally shows that much of how quickly we use energy or store fat and so gain weight is clearly down to our genes. My studies of thousands of twins in the UK and other studies around the world have consistently shown that identical twins – who, as mentioned earlier, are genetic clones – are much more similar to each other in body weight and fat than are fraternal twins, who share only half the same genes.


pages: 1,261 words: 294,715

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

., “Etiology of the Impulsivity/Aggression Relationship: Genes or Environment?” Psychiatry Res 86 (1999): 41; E. Coccaro et al., “Heritability of Aggression and Irritability: A Twin Study of the Buss-Durkee Aggression Scales in Adult Male Subjects,” BP 41 (1997): 273. 21. E. Hayden, “Taboo Genetics,” Nat 502 (2013): 26. 22. Some strong criticisms of twin and adoption approaches: R. Rose, “Genes and Human Behavior,” Ann Rev Psych 467 (1995): 625; J. Joseph, “Twin Studies in Psychiatry and Psychology: Science or Pseudoscience?” Psychiatric Quarterly 73 (2002): 71; K. Richardson and S. Norgate, “The Equal Environments Assumption of Classical Twin Studies May Not Hold,” Brit J Educational Psych 75 (2005): 339; R. Fosse et al., “A Critical Assessment of the Equal-Environment Assumption of the Twin Method for Schizophrenia,” Front Psychiatry 6 (2015): 62; A.

Horwitz et al., “Rethinking Twins and Environments: Possible Social Sources for Assumed Genetic Influences in Twin Research,” J Health and Soc Behav 44 (2003): 111. 23. Work of some of the most prominent defenders of the approaches: Kenneth Kendler: K. S. Kendler, “Twin Studies of Psychiatric Illness: An Update,” AGP 58 (2001): 1005; K. S. Kendler et al., “A Test of the Equal-Environment Assumption in Twin Studies of Psychiatric Illness,” Behav Genetics 23 (1993): 21; K. S. Kendler and C. O. Gardner Jr., “Twin Studies of Adult Psychiatric and Substance Dependence Disorders: Are They Biased by Differences in the Environmental Experiences of Monozygotic and Dizygotic Twins in Childhood and Adolescence?” Psych Med 8 (1998): 625; K. S. Kendler et al., “A Novel Sibling-Based Design to Quantify Genetic and Shared Environmental Effects: Application to Drug Abuse, Alcohol Use Disorder and Criminal Behavior,” Psych Med 46 (2016): 1639; K.

., “Genetic and Environmental Influences on Individual Differences in Attitudes Toward Homosexuality: An Australian Twin Study,” Behav Genetics 38 (2008): 257. 18. K. Verweij et al., “Evidence for Genetic Variation in Human Mate Preferences for Sexually Dimorphic Physical Traits. PLoS ONE 7 (2012): e49294; K. Smith et al., “Biology, Ideology and Epistemology: How Do We Know Political Attitudes Are Inherited and Why Should We Care?” Am J Political Sci 56 (2012): 17; K. Arceneaux et al., “The Genetic Basis of Political Sophistication,” Twin Res and Hum Genetics 15 (2012): 34; J. Fowler and D. Schreiber, “Biology, Politics, and the Emerging Science of Human Nature,” Sci 322 (2008): 912. 19. J. Ray et al., “Heritability of Dental Fear,” J Dental Res 89 (2010): 297; G. Miller et al., “The Heritability and Genetic Correlates of Mobile Phone Use: Twin Study of Consumer Behavior,” Twin Res and Hum Genetics 15 (2012): 97. 20.


A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, bioinformatics, British Empire, colonial rule, dark matter, delayed gratification, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, sceptred isle, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

Out of thirty-three pairs, seven were discordant for tongue rolling – identical siblings one of whom could and the other couldn’t perform this tremendously important dark art. Alfred Sturtevant, one of the giants of genetics in the first half of the twentieth century, had first suggested tongue rolling as a Mendelian trait in 1940, a single allele bestowing the ability on its bearer or not. After the twin studies he, like a good scientist should, changed his mind, and said in 1965 that he was ‘embarrassed to see it listed in some current works as an established Mendelian case’. It is still taught in schools today. Twin studies also showed that identical siblings vary in the way they clasp their hands. Ear lobes are not either attached or not: some are, some aren’t, most people are in between. Elements of the genetics of eye colour are true. Brown is indeed dominant over blue, blue is a recessive condition and two blue-eyed parents cannot produce a brown-eyed child.

My wife’s sister is a strawberry blonde, and has two children by a very ginger-haired man, and they have the most glorious bright red hair you could imagine. So, what are the chances of this oh-so northern European trait going extinct? Roughly, somewhere between none and zero. Red hair appearing exclusively in beards is not uncommon, though we don’t really know why. Forgive us; it’s not really been a research priority over the last few decades. The ginger twin study showed that my mutation, Val60Leu, occurred most often in ‘fair/blonde and light brown’ hair, three things I emphatically am not. That again is typical for genetics – presence or absence of gene variants are rarely fully absent or fully present in populations. Such is the nature of human variation: we’re very variable. One version of the allele exists at a higher frequency in Irish redheads. One version has a slight association with a lower pain threshold.

That assumption was born out of a misunderstanding similar to the one that made us wager on a vastly inflated number of genes at the inception of the genomic age. It didn’t turn out that way. So many of the genetic skylines that emerged out of the ongoing era of the GWAS did not come out as the high clear peaks of Manhattan, or even London, but the low skyline of Oxford or Cambridge. Diseases that we know from family histories and twin studies which have a strong measurable heritable component gave up few major skyscrapers that revealed a key faulty gene. Instead, we got dozens or even hundreds of small peaks, many not qualifying as being statistically robust alone, but frequent enough to stand out a little. Many of the variations seen in people with a disease under investigation were known to us, but appeared to play no biologically relevant role in the disease aetiology.


pages: 504 words: 147,660

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction by Gabor Mate, Peter A. Levine

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, corporate governance, epigenetics, ghettoisation, impulse control, longitudinal study, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, phenotype, placebo effect, Rat Park, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), source of truth, twin studies, Yogi Berra

“If I get out of this alive, I’ll stop using coke,” she told me a few days before her death—but she never did quit; almost to her last moments she begged people to smuggle cocaine to her hospital room. “On her best friend Bev’s advice, we will have cupcakes and grape soda following the service,” said the announcement for her memorial event. APPENDIX I Adoption and Twin Study Fallacies The weighted emphasis on genetic causation in medical literature, particularly when it comes to mental dysfunctions and addictions, is astonishing given the shaky logic on which the supporting studies are based. As one review stated: A critical analysis of the assumptions of any adoption or twin study, coupled with the succession of retractions of the genetic linkage studies indicates that the evidence for the genetic basis of mental illnesses is far from overwhelming.1 The two assumptions on which the heavily gene-based estimates in addiction medicine rely are not sustainable if we examine them closely.

Furthermore, if a child spent the first months of his or her life—and possibly the first three years—under such circumstances, it would mean that by the time he was adopted, his attachment-reward, incentive-motivation and self-regulation systems would have been significantly impaired, along with his stress-response mechanisms. Such a study can tell us nothing about genetic effects. Similar objections, and a wide range of others, could be made—and have been made—to the other adoption studies.6 Twin studies are accepted to be the gold standard of genetic surveys of human populations. Many genetic researchers believe that we can separate the effects of genes from those of the environment by comparing identical with fraternal twin pairs. The underlying belief is that identical and fraternal twin pairs both share the same environment to the same degree. As a geneticist who has done many twin studies admits, “our twin models assume that the exposure to relevant environmental factors was similar in monozygotic and dizygotic*37 twins.”7 As we will now see, this is a completely unwarranted assumption.

Imagining an Enlightened Social Policy on Drugs 28. A Necessary Small Step: Harm Reduction PART VII: THE ECOLOGY OF HEALING 29. The Power of Compassionate Curiosity 30. The Internal Climate 31. The Four Steps, Plus One 32. Sobriety and the External Milieu 33. A Word to Families, Friends and Caregivers 34. There Is Nothing Lost Memories and Miracles: An Epilogue Postscript APPENDICES I: Adoption and Twin Study Fallacies II: A Close Link: Attention Deficit Disorder and Addiction III: The Prevention of Addiction IV: The Twelve Steps Endnotes Acknowledgments Permissions About the Author Praise for In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Copyright To beloved Rae, my wife and dearest friend, who has lived these pages with me for forty years through thick and thin, for better or worse, and always for the best.


pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

active measures, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, twin studies, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor

Studies of twins provide one way of sorting through the contribution of genes and environment to any condition. Identical twins are identical genetically, but they also share environments. Fraternal twins share half their genes, on average, but also share environments. Twin studies suggest that obesity is 50–90 per cent heritable – a big genetic component.14 But note: twin studies are, in general, performed in a restricted range of environments. The assumption that fraternal twins share environments to the same extent as identical twins could also be questioned. But that is not my main point here. It is: how do we reconcile the results of twin studies with results from other types of studies? I have been interested in the health of migrants to the UK from the Indian subcontinent. A study in West London of men of South Asian background showed a mean body mass index (BMI) of 28.

That is enormous. Unless the Punjabi men with a genetic predisposition to put on weight were more likely to become immigrants, which seems unlikely, the men in the Punjab and the men in London of Punjabi origin are likely to be similar genetically. Which means that, in this case, overweight is chiefly environmental. A standoff. Twin studies say it is predominantly genetic. Migrant studies say it is predominantly environmental. The environmentalists can criticise the twin studies as understating the environmental component, as I have done; the geneticists can criticise the migrant studies as not controlling the genetic component adequately, and they do. The point should be that if there is a restricted range of environmental exposure, all the variation will be genetic. If there is the environmental equivalent of a tsunami, individual differences in susceptibility, genetically determined, will make less difference – the environment predominates.

In other words, in a given environment where most people have good nutrition, genetic differences will play a big part in determining why one person is taller than another. Where there is marked environmental variation, over 140 years in the Netherlands for example, genetic differences will not tell us why there has been such spectacular growth in average height. The same principles apply to early child development. In twin studies, for example, genetic variations are important for IQ and a range of other characteristics. If the environment is largely controlled – twins come from the same family – what else is there but genes? Twin studies do not address the question of why you and your partner, both with university education, are more likely to have children who go to university than is a couple neither of whom graduated from high school. Genes may play a role here, too, but so may the kinds of input that I review above. When we turn to differences among countries, those in Figure 4.3 for example, let alone differences between those OECD countries and countries of South Asia, Africa and Latin America, it is very unlikely that we can explain differences in early child development on the basis of genetic variation.


Psychopathy: An Introduction to Biological Findings and Their Implications by Andrea L. Glenn, Adrian Raine

epigenetics, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), statistical model, theory of mind, twin studies

Behavioral genetics studies have begun to answer these questions and Genetics >> 21 others. Before outlining evidence from these studies, the methodologies used in the field of behavioral genetics are first briefly outlined. Behavioral Genetics Methodology Behavioral genetics studies usually involve twin or adoption studies. Since there are currently no adoption studies of psychopathy, we focus on the twin methodology. Twin studies typically compare samples of monozygotic (MZ) or “identical” twins, who share 100 percent of their genes, to dizygotic (DZ) “fraternal” twins, who share approximately 50 percent of their genes. It should be noted that when we say 50 percent, we are actually referring to only the genes that can vary across individuals; all humans share about 99 percent of their genes, but the remaining 1 percent varies, and it is this portion that is of interest in genetics studies.

Rijsdijsk et al. (2010) found that gray matter concentrations in two areas of a part of the brain called the cingulate gyrus—the posterior cingulate (the part of the cingulate closer to the back of the brain) and the right dorsal anterior cingulate (the part of the cingulate closer to the front and top of the brain)—demonstrated moderate heritability. The gray matter concentration in these regions had previously been found to be reduced in individuals with psychopathic traits. The second step was to establish whether common genetic factors were associated with reduced gray matter concentrations in these regions and with psychopathic traits. Using twin study methodology, the authors found that in the posterior cingulate, nearly half of the genetic influences between gray matter concentration and psychopathic traits overlapped, suggesting that a subset of genes may confer risk for psychopathic traits via their effects on gray matter concentrations in this region. Common genetic factors were also observed for the right 32 << Genetics dorsal anterior cingulate.

Colledge, R. A. Leonard, J. H. Shine, L. K. Murray, and D. I. Perrett. 2004. “Reduced sensitivity to others’ fearful expressions in psychopathic individuals.” Personality and Individual Differences 37 (6):1111–22. Blake, P. Y., J. H. Pincus, and C. Buckner. 1995. “Neurologic abnormalities in murderers.” Neurology 45:1641–47. Blonigen, D. M., S. R. Carlson, R. F. Krueger, and C. J. Patrick. 2003. “A twin study of self-reported psychopathic personality traits.” Personality and Individual Differences 35:179–97. Blonigen, D. M., B. M. Hicks, R. F. Krueger, C. J. Patrick, and W. G. Iacono. 2005. “Psychopathic personality traits: Heritability and genetic overlap with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology.” Psychological Medicine 35:637–48. Blum, K., E. P. Noble, P. J. Sheridan, O. Finley, A. Montgomery, and T.


Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking by Cecilia Heyes

Asperger Syndrome, complexity theory, epigenetics, intermodal, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, phenotype, social intelligence, the built environment, theory of mind, twin studies

For example, are children whose mothers have talked to them often about thoughts and feelings—who have had many opportunities for cultural learning about the mind—better able to infer beliefs, or to recognize emotions, than children whose mothers have talked to them relatively little about mental states (Taumoepeau and Ruffman, 2006; 2008)? If the answer is no, we have evidence of poverty, and if the answer is yes, we have evidence of wealth. The “twin studies” used in behavioral genetics fall into this category. In a typical twin study, a cognitive ability is measured at one time-point in a large number of children who are either monozygotic (identical) or dizygotic (fraternal) twins. Using the fact that monozygotic twins have identical genotypes, whereas dizygotic twins have an average of 50 percent of their genes in common, these studies compare variation in cognitive ability within monozygotic pairs with variation within dizygotic pairs to calculate the extent to which development of the cognitive trait is based on genetically inherited information, rather than information derived from the environment (Plomin, DeFries, McClearn, and McGuffin, 2001).

It is far from easy to parse cognitive development—to identify the contributions of nature, nurture, and culture to the formation of a cognitive mechanism—and each of the methods outlined above is highly fallible. When learning opportunity A (for example, talking with a parent about mental states) correlates with cognitive ability B (mindreading), it could be because a hidden factor C (linguistic skill) is influencing both A and B, not because A is causing B. Likewise, twin studies may indicate a relatively large genetic contribution to development simply because the people included in the study happen to have grown up in very similar environments, and, in cross-species comparisons, convergent evolution can be mistaken for a strong influence of learning on development. Given these risks, in this area of science, as in most others, we have to place more trust in research that includes effective control procedures, and to look for convergent evidence—for signs that studies using different samples and methods are pointing to the same conclusion.

See also Genetic inheritance Genetic inheritance, 39; attentional biases, 53, 60–66; cognitive instincts, 12, 66–67, 78; cognitive traits, 46, 73–74; developmental disorders, 149–150; executive function, 73–74; “genetic starter kit,” 52, 54–57, 75; human cognition mechanisms, 3, 52–76, 163; inherited information, 27–29, 45–51, 66–67, 171–172, 172–173; language, 171–175, 174f, 178, 180; mindreading, 163; selective social learning, 92, 99; social motivation, 56–57, 140; twin studies, 47–48, 151–152, 207–208. See also Genetic evolution “Genetic starter kit,” 52, 54–57, 75 Genetics vs. environment. See Nature vs. nurture Gestures: facial, 123f, 124–125, 132; group bonding, 125, 208, 209; imitation, adults, 132; imitation, infants, 128 Godfrey-Smith, P., 112 “Gradualist” genetic theories of language, 174–175, 174f Grammar: artificial learning, 185–187, 195–196; education and knowledge levels, 189; human language diversity, 178–180; as language acquisition device, 45–46, 65, 164–165, 170, 171–175, 176, 179–180, 181; Universal, 170, 171–175, 174f, 188, 190–191, 196 Grapheme-phoneme reading routes, 21f, 38–39 Grasping, 124 Gricean communication, 166–167 Group behavior, cooperative, 141–142, 202–203, 209.


The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease by Lanius, Ruth A.; Vermetten, Eric; Pain, Clare

conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, epigenetics, false memory syndrome, impulse control, intermodal, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, p-value, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, theory of mind, twin studies, yellow journalism

According to this model, environmental stressors were considered triggering agents that had the potential to activate disease processes in genetically vulnerable subjects. In order to quantify the extent of genetic vulnerability for a given disorder, the term “heritability” was coined. In statistical genetics, heritability refers to the proportion of variation in a trait that is directly explained by genetic factors. Since the early twentieth century, researchers have used twin studies to ascertain the heritability of schizophrenia and major affective disorders, and these studies have established a firm genetic basis for these syndromes. Several twin studies focusing on Vietnam War veterans have shown that genetic factors play a significant role in PTSD as well. True et al. [52] found that heritability accounted for 32% of the variance in liability for PTSD symptoms in 4042 twin pairs who served in the Vietnam era. In a smaller civilian sample, Stein et al. [53] found an overall heritability estimate for PTSD of 38%.

International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 16, 261–270. Zubin, J. and Spring, B. (1977). Vulnerability:€A new view of schizophrenia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 86, 103–126. True, W. R., Rice, J., Eisen, S. A. et al. (1993). A twin study of genetic and environmental contributions to liability for posttraumatic stress symptoms. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 257–264. Stein, M. B., Jang, K. L., Taylor, S., Vernon, P. A. and Livesley, W. J. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms:€A twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 1675–1681. Comings, D. E., Muhleman, D. and Gysin, R. (1996). Dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene and susceptibility to posttraumatic stress disorder:€A study and repliÂ� cation. Biological Psychiatry, 40, 368–372.

The tendency for males to show evidence for more adverse brain development than females while showing similar levels of childhood psychopathology may be a marker for future antisocial behavior. Since child neglect is associated with adolescent and adult antisocial behavior, this is another area of neurobiological study that warrants examination. Genetics and child neglect Recently, researchers have examined genetic variables and early life stress to understand the contribution of each variable to child outcomes. In a large-scale twin study of 1116 monozygotic and dizygotic 5-year-old twin pairs, domestic violence, a form of neglect, was associated with a negative effect on IQ in a �dose-dependent fashion [85]. Children exposed Chapter 12: Neurobiology of child neglect to high levels of domestic violence had IQ scores eight points lower than children who were not exposed. This effect did not differ by gender and persisted after controlling for other maltreatment.


Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century by James R. Flynn

Flynn Effect, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, popular electronics, twin studies

The Great Depression would have worsened nutrition but the scientiic spectacles and modern world factors would have been humming away. During World War II, father 51 Are We Getting Smarter? absence would have lowered the ratio of adults to children in the home but women expanded their horizons and industrialization proceeded apace. A multiplicity of factors is at work, and moderate luctuations of one factor do not count for much. In passing, there is a debate about whether or not twin studies show that the effects of family environment on IQ fade away by adulthood, at least in the developed world (Jensen, 1998). Those who believe that they do will ind it hard to defend early childhood nutrition as an important inluence on IQ. Differences in nutrition would be primarily between middle-class families and poor families. If the impact of nutrition persists to adulthood, the effects of family environment would have to persist as well.

The only way out of this bind seemed to be the concept of a ridiculous factor X. There would have to be an environmental factor that varied between groups but that was utterly uniform within groups. It would have to be a sort of blindfold that afflicted every black equally and was totally absent among 167 Are We Getting Smarter? whites. Then it could explain the IQ gap between black and white but would not register in twin studies. Whenever two black families raised black twins, there would never be a case in which one of them did not impose the handicap. Whenever two white families raised white twins, there would never be a case in which one of them did impose the handicap. How absurd! The Dickens–Flynn model added a sociological dimension. Having described it in detail in the past (Flynn, 2009c), I will be brief here.

Although raised apart, both will tend to play basketball often, make their gradeschool team, make their high-school team, and get professional coaching. If their identical genes accessed identical basketball environments, they would have the same BAQ (basketball ability quotient) when they reach 18. And even though environmental factors are very powerful (imagine the effect on two short twins of getting no practice, no team play, no coaching), their potency would be missed in twin studies. Heritability is estimated purely on the basis of the tendency of the twins to get the same IQ, ignoring the fact that their identical genes for intelligence have allowed them to beneit from environments for intelligence whose quality is highly similar. The potency of doing homework, getting good feedback, liking school, getting into an honors stream, getting the best teachers is entirely missed.


pages: 350 words: 96,803

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Columbine, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, impulse control, life extension, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Turing test, twin studies

This gave tremendous ammunition to other critics, such as psychologist Leon Kamin, who argued that “there exist no data which should lead a prudent man to accept the hypothesis that IQ test scores are in any degree heritable.”25 He, along with Richard Lewontin and Steven Rose, went on to make a broad-based attack against the entire field of behavior genetics, which they regarded as a pseudoscience.26 Unfortunately, the idea that g refers to something real in the brain and that it has a genetic basis was not so easy to kill on methodological grounds alone. Later researchers, going back over Burt’s work, demonstrated that the charges of deliberate fabrication were themselves fabricated.27 In any event, Burt’s studies were not the only ones of monozygotic twins that showed a high degree of heritability; there have been a number of others, including the 1990 Minnesota twin study, whose results are very similar to Burt’s. A serious and complex debate continues unabated among psychologists over the existence and nature of Spearman’s g, with highly credible scholars making arguments on both sides.28 From the moment it was first articulated in 1904, Spearman’s theory that intelligence was a single thing has been attacked by those who believe that intelligence is in fact a collection of related abilities, each of which can vary within the same individual.

Any number of studies of monozygotic twins raised apart or nonrelatives raised together have produced correlations between genes and criminal behavior.35 One particularly large study, based on a sample of 3,586 twins from the Danish Twin Register, showed that monozygotic twins had a 50 percent chance of sharing criminal behavior versus 21 percent for dizygotic (nonidentical) twins.36 A large adoption study, again based on Danish data, compared monozygotic twins raised in households with criminal and noncriminal parents, against nonrelated siblings raised with and without criminal parents. The study showed that the criminality of a biological parent was a stronger predictor of criminal behavior in the child than the criminality of an adoptive parent, suggesting some form of genetic transmission of criminal propensities. Academic critics of genetic theories of crime have made many of the same criticisms as with intelligence.37 Twin studies often fail to detect subtle aspects of shared environment, fail to control for non-genetic factors that might be influencing correlations, or rely on surveys with small sample sizes. Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson have argued that because crime is a socially constructed category, it cannot have biological origins.38 That is, what one society counts as a crime is not necessarily illegal in another; how then can one speak of someone having a “gene for” date rape or loitering?

Chapter 2 noted Murray and Herrnstein’s assertion in The Bell Curve that as much as 70 percent of the variance in IQs is due to heredity rather than environment. Lewontin and his colleagues have argued that the actual figure is significantly lower than this, to the point that hereditary factors, for them, ultimately play a very small role in determining IQ.7 This is an empirical issue, and one where Lewontin appears to be wrong: the consensus of the discipline of psychology, relying on twin studies, maintains that though the figure is lower than the Murray-Herrnstein estimate, it is still in the range of 40 to 50 percent. The degree to which a trait or behavior is heritable will vary greatly; preferences in music are almost entirely shaped by environment, which has almost no effect on a genetic disease like Huntington’s chorea. Knowing the degree of heritability of a specific trait is very important if the trait is a significant one like IQ: those individuals in the area above curve I but below curve II were presumably put there not by nature but by their environment.


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The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

coherent worldview, crack epidemic, delayed gratification, feminist movement, hedonic treadmill, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Singer: altruism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, stem cell, telemarketer, the scientific method, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

But whenever I hear about correlations between mother and child, I'm skeptical. Twin studies almost always show that personality traits are due more to genetics than to parenting.16 Maybe it's just that happy w o m e n , those who won the cortical lottery, are warm and loving, and they p a s s on their happy genes to their children, who then show up as securely attached. Or maybe the correlation runs in reverse: Children do have stable inborn temperaments17—sunny, cranky, or anxious—and the sunny ones are just so much fun that their mothers want to be more responsive. My skepticism is bolstered by the fact that studies done after Ainsworth's h o m e study have generally found only small correlations between mothers' responsiveness and,the attachment style of their children.18 On the other hand, twin studies have found that genes play only a small role in determining attachment style.19 So now we have a real puzzle, a trait that correlates weakly with mothering and weakly with genes.

Fraternal twins don't end up being 50 percent similar to each other; they end up with radically different brains, and therefore radically different personalities—almost as different as people from unrelated families.27 Daphne and Barbara c a m e to be known as the "giggle twins." Both have sunny personalities and a habit of bursting into laughter in mid-sentence. I'hey won the cortical lottery—their brains were preconfigured to s e e good in the world. Other pairs of twins, however, were born to look on the dark side. In fact, happiness is one of the most highly heritable aspects of personality. Twin studies generally show that from 50 percent to 80 percent of nil the variance a m o n g people in their average levels of happiness c a n be explained by d i f f e r e n c e s in their genes rather than in their life experiences.28 (Particular episodes of joy or depression, however, m u s t usually be understood by looking at how life events interact with a person's emotional predisposition.) A person's average or typical level of happiness is that person's "affective style."

Psychologists since Freud had shared a nearly religious devotion to the idea that personality is shaped primarily by childhood environment. This axiom was taken on faith: T h e evidence for it consisted almost entirely of correlations—usually small o n e s — b e t w e e n what parents did and how their children turned out, and anyone who suggested that these correlations were c a u s e d by genes was dismissed as a reductionist. But as twin studies revealed the a w e s o m e reach of genes and the relative unim-portance of the family environment that siblings share,30 the ancient happiness hypothesis grew ever more plausible. M a y b e there really is a set point31 fixed into every brain, like a thermostat set forever to 58 degrees Fahrenheit (for depressives) or 75 degrees (for happy people)? Maybe the only way to find happiness therefore is to change one's own internal setting (for example, through meditation, Prozac, or cognitive therapy) instead of changing one's environment?


pages: 473 words: 130,141

The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution by Richard Wrangham

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Defenestration of Prague, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, impulse control, income inequality, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, twin studies, ultimatum game

The twenty-year Minnesota Twin Family Study, which collected data from 1936 to 1955, followed by decades of publication, led the way by being particularly effective at finding that kind of rare cases: twins reared apart. The researchers found that gene similarities influenced many characteristics, from intelligence, religiosity, and happiness to the way children hold their bodies when they stand.44 A 2015 survey of all available twin studies of aggressiveness, of which there had been forty in the preceding five years alone, found that the genetic heritability of aggressive behavior was typically in the range of 39 to 60 percent, averaging 50 percent. This means that, in those environments, genetic and socialization influences were roughly equally important in shaping individuals’ aggression. Interestingly, the same does not apply to some closely similar behaviors, such as rule breaking.

This study’s conclusion that genetic heritability was somewhat higher for proactive than reactive aggression is the latest of several that have found similar results. Based on this early work, proactive aggression might therefore prove to be more strongly influenced by genes than reactive aggression, but for the moment all we can say is that both types show important genetic influences.47 Twin studies show the strength of genetic heritability, but they do not identify which genes are important. For the most part, despite extensive research effort, we know little about the influences of specific genes for aggression. This is not surprising. Genetic contributions have their effects through multiple biological systems, such as the stress response, the anxiety circuit, the serotonin-neurotransmitter pathway, and the dynamics of sexual differentiation.

He decided he was lucky to have been nudged into his path as a researcher. He could easily have been a criminal. Genes can influence behavior; they rarely determine it.50 * * * — Aggressive behavior is influenced by genes; proactive and reactive aggression are controlled by different neural pathways and have different scores of heritability; and certain genes promote reactive but not proactive aggression. In the future, we can expect that twin studies, adoption studies, and studies of the genes themselves will increasingly specify separate risk factors for reactive and proactive aggression. For the moment, we can say that the two kinds of aggressive behavior represent sufficiently contrasting emotional and cognitive reactions that they are subject to different biological underpinnings. Reactive and proactive aggression are therefore expected to be capable of evolving separately from each other.


She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, friendly fire, Gary Taubes, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies

If a trait is more similar in identical twins than fraternal twins, genes can be the only explanation. Scientists can’t know that for sure, however, because twins grow up in the wilds of real life, not in a terrarium. Some critics raised the possibility that parents treat identical twins differently from fraternal ones. Since fraternal twins look different, parents might treat them more like ordinary siblings. Scientists developed twin studies as a way to study human DNA in an age when it was impossible to examine it directly. Once it became possible to read genetic markers in people’s genomes, new ways emerged to measure heritability. Peter Visscher and his colleagues found that pairs of siblings can vary tremendously in their genetic similarity, sharing as little as 30 percent of their genetic variants in common to as much as 64 percent.

Yet their repeated failures simply led them to redouble their efforts, and journal editors to publish more of their papers. To Génin and Clerget-Darpoux, it seemed as if geneticists had become trapped in a game they couldn’t stop playing. “Unfortunately, genetics is a clear loser,” they concluded. Other critics say that missing heritability reveals our profound ignorance about heritability itself. Some attacked twin studies, claiming they lead to estimates of heritability that are much too high. Others argued that heritability studies miss the way some mutations make the effects of other mutations stronger. One plus one, in the world of heredity, may be far more than two. Some critics went even further, arguing that missing heritability is hiding beyond genes, in some other form of heredity scientists have yet to grasp

Their different upbringing could play only a small part in that difference, Burt declared. “The superior proficiency at Intelligence tests on the part of the boys of superior parentage was inborn,” he wrote. Burt’s scandal stained all of twin research, leading many to dismiss it as bad science. Yet just because a field attracts a fraudster doesn’t make all the discipline’s findings wrong. Hundreds of well-designed twin studies have come to the same conclusion: Identical twins have closer intelligence test scores than fraternal twins. Even when identical twins are raised apart, their intelligence test scores stay more similar than siblings raised together. These studies have led scientists to estimate the heritability of intelligence test scores as roughly 50 percent. That’s substantially lower than Burt’s claim of 80 percent, but it still indicates that heredity has an important role to play in intelligence that should not be dismissed.


The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin, Richard Panek

Asperger Syndrome, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, double helix, ghettoisation, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, impulse control, Khan Academy, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, neurotypical, pattern recognition, phenotype, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, twin studies

., “The Long-Range Interaction Landscape of Gene Promoters,” Nature 489 (September 6, 2012): 109–13. [>] the first study of autism in twins: S. Folstein and M. Rutter, “Infantile Autism: A Genetic Study of 21 Twin Pairs,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 18, no. 4 (September 1977): 297–321. [>] A follow-up study: A. Bailey et al., “Autism as a Strongly Genetic Disorder: Evidence from a British Twin Study,” Psychological Medicine 25, no. 1 (January 1995): 63–77. [>] Autism Genome Project, or AGP: http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/initiatives/autism-genome-project/first-findings. [>] came to an end: http://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us/press-releases/autism-speaks-and-worlds-leading-autism-experts-announce-publication-autism-. [>] a paper in Nature Genetics: Peter Szatmari et al., “Mapping Autism Risk Loci Using Genetic Linkage and Chromosomal Rearrangements,” Nature Genetics 39, no. 3 (March 2007): 319–28. [>] a 2007 study: Jonathan Sebat et al., “Strong Association of De Novo Copy Number Mutations with Autism,” Science 316, no. 5823 (April 20, 2007): 445–49. [>] an end, in 2010: http://www.autismspeaks.org/about-us/press-releases/new-autism-genes-discovered-autism-speaks-and-worlds-leading-autism-experts. [>] “We found many”: http://geschwindlab.neurology.ucla.edu/index.php/in-the-news/16-news/88-dna-scan-for-familial-autism-finds-variants-that-disrupt-gene-activity-in-autistic-kids-. [>] an article in Science: Matthew W.

See also self-reporting in research Feynman, Richard, [>], [>] Fienberg, John, [>]–[>] Fleischmann, Arthur, [>] Fleischmann, Carly, [>]–[>], [>] flipper bridge, [>], [>] Foldit (online game), [>] fractals, [>], 152–[>] fractional anisotropy (FA), [>] fragile X syndrome, [>] Franklin Pierce College, [>], [>], [>]–[>] Freud, Sigmund, [>], [>]–[>] Fried, Itzhak, [>]–[>] frontal cortex, [>], [>] Frontiers in Neuroscience (journal), [>], [>] functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), [>]–[>], [>]–[>] biomarkers for autism and, [>]–[>] sound sensitivity and, [>] TG and, [>] Galileo, [>] Gates, Bill, [>] genetics of autism, [>]–[>] AGP data and, [>]–[>] directions for research in, [>] environmental triggers and, [>]–[>] fathers and, [>], [>] junk DNA and, [>]–[>] mothers and, [>], [>]–[>], [>] multiple-hit hypothesis and, [>]–[>] mutation studies and, [>]–[>] predisposition and, [>], [>]–[>] treatments for individuals and, [>] twin studies and, [>]–[>] genotype, [>] Gladwell, Malcolm, [>], [>] golden ratio, [>]–[>] Google, [>] grain-resolution test, [>]–[>] Grandin, Temple architectural drawings by, [>], [>] associative thinking and, [>]–[>], [>] bottom-up thinking and, [>]–[>] brain asymmetries and, [>]–[>], [>] brain plasticity and, [>]–[>] cerebellum size, [>], [>], [>] creative thinking and, [>]–[>], [>] diagnosis of autism in, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] livestock handling designs and, [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>] neuroimaging studies of, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] picture thinking and, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] sensory problems and, [>], [>]–[>], [>] visual-spatial testing and, [>]–[>] grey matter.

See pattern thinking; strengths of autistic brain; three-kinds-of-minds approach; verbal (word-fact) thinking; visual (picture) thinking Thinking in Pictures (Grandin), [>]–[>], [>], [>] Thinking Outside the Brick exercise, [>]–[>] “thinking self,” [>]–[>], [>] [>]-D drawing tools, [>] [>]-D printers, [>] three-kinds-of-minds approach, [>]. See also pattern thinking; picture thinking; verbal (word-fact) thinking; visual (picture) thinking education and, [>]–[>] employment and, [>]–[>] touch sensitivity, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] TPJ. See temporoparietal junction (TPJ) triad model, in DSM-IV, [>]–[>] Triplett, Donald, [>], [>] tuberous sclerosis, [>] twin studies, [>]–[>] underconnectivity theory, [>]–[>] underresponsiveness to sensation, [>], [>] Université de Caen and Université René-Descartes, France, [>] universities, free courses from, [>] University of Amsterdam, [>]–[>] University of California, San Diego, [>] University of Louisville, [>] University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill infant study, [>] University of Pittsburgh, [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] University of Utah, [>], [>], [>] University of Washington, [>] vaccination, and autism, [>]–[>] van Dalen, J.


Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley Phd

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Barry Marshall: ulcers, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, impulse control, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Norbert Wiener, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, prisoner's dilemma, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, union organizing, Y2K

Let's say that you randomly gather a group of older children of normal intelligence who are poor readers. If you analyze the group carefully, you might find that some kids have a poor home environment or have disadvantaged schooling. Based on the twin studies, you would probably find that there was also evidence of a slight genetic component. Fig. 2.1. But now let's say you asked your poor readers to read and answer the simple question: “Do the words fruit and boot rhyme?” You'd find that the kids would automatically sort themselves into two groups, irrespective of schooling. One group of kids would answer the question easily, while the other group would struggle. If you then analyzed each of these groups separately by drawing on the twin studies, you would find something very different from your first analysis. The children who easily understood that fruit and boot rhyme would probably show that their reading ability was substantially influenced by their environment.

And seeing the differences between psychopathic and normal neurological processes is a crucial step in allowing us to begin to understand the underpinnings of some types of Machiavellian behavior. As we shall discover, understanding the “why” of Machiavellian behavior will also help us to understand why there are Machiavellians at all—and why some of them are so successful. * * * a.Since Plomin's comments, a twin study has shown that a tendency toward being religious does indeed appear to be moderately heritable. Such a tendency, it seems, is strongly influenced by the environment during adolescence. However, by adulthood, religiousness seems to slip away somewhat unless you've got genes that predispose you toward religion. b.Okay, if you really wanted to be picky here, you could say “problematic alleles,” or even “quantitative trait loci that have been affiliated with specific personality disorders,” with the caveat that environment can often play an important accompanying role in those with a genome that has set them at risk.

c.Indeed, since the first edition of Evil Genes, a study by researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has demonstrated a tentative link between ruthless behavior and variations in a gene that produces vasopressin receptors. For this study, roughly two hundred students had their DNA sampled and were then asked to play a game that (unbeknownst to the students) was called the Dictator Game. Students with shorter versions of the vasopressin receptor gene (AVPR1a) were more likely to behave selfishly. d.Twin studies show that if one identical twin has full-blown borderline personality disorder, there is a 35% chance the other has it, while fraternal twins have only an 8% chance of sharing the disorder. Subclinical borderline personality disorder, on the other hand, showed a concordance of 38% for identical and 11% for fraternal twins. “In the beginning, there was nothing. And God said, ‘Let there be Light.’


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, twin studies, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

But in a Darwinian sense, twins compete for resources in the womb—as one fetus gets more nutrients from his mother, the other gets fewer—and so the twins don’t really have exactly the same pre-birth environmental experience.165 As you would expect, biologically related siblings have strongly correlated IQs because these siblings have similar genes and were raised in similar environments. In childhood, adopted children also have IQs similar to each other’s, but this similarity vanishes by the time the children reach age eighteen.166 Economist Bryan Caplan writes that “a large [amount of] scientific literature finds that parents have little or no long-run effect on their children’s intelligence. Separated twin studies, regular twin studies, and adoption studies all point in the same direction.”167 Some IQ researchers, however, think that being raised in poverty permanently reduces a person’s IQ.168 The best evidence, as of this writing, for the significant link between IQ and genes comes from a DNA study of 3511 adults.169 This study located gene “snippets” explaining at least 40 percent of the differences in intelligence between these adults.

., 68 crime and low scores, 70, 74 criminality, poor health, chronic unemployment and low scores, 85, 155 culture-specific knowledge, measures something other than, 67 dental care and high scores, 66 digital span and high score, 67 disease burden lowers, 71 economic growth and high scores, 70, 155 economic policies and high scores, 70 economic success and high scores, 68–69 efficient, honest bureaucracies and high scores, 70 embryo selection to eliminate below-average IQs, 85 fertility clinics to select for higher child’s IQ, 86 fewer accidents and high scores, 66 “Flynn Effect,” 67, 76 genes play a role in correlations of, 66 genetics determines between 50 and 80 percent of, 71 good government and high scores, 70 health, future-orientedness, attractiveness, and lack of criminality and high scores, 90 high-IQ children, creating extremely, 126 human egg marketing and, 86–87 identical twins study of, 71–72 intelligence, as meaningful measure of, 73 job performance, as best predictor of, 68 life expectancy and high scores, 66 long-term investments and high scores, 70 long-term orientation and high scores, 70 National Football League and high scores, 90 national growth rate and the nation’s average, 74 neglectful parents and low scores, 71 noncognitive ability and wage variations, 68 parents have little or no effect on children’s, 72 parents select for extremely high-IQ child, 90 physical attractiveness and high scores, 66 of poor nations, 70 positive traits, correlated to, 63, 90 poverty and low scores, 72 professions, high IQ, 98 reaction time and, 74 reading enjoyment and high scores, 71 success, best predictor of, 65 super-geniuses are autistic, not all, 91–92 tests are highly g-loaded, 64 trust and high scores, 70 wage income and, 74 “win-win” opportunities and high scores, 70 “IQ War,” 68 iterated embryo selection, 98–99 J James Bond villains, 203 The Jetsons (TV show), 210 Jobs, Steve, 207 Jones, Garett, 64–65 K Kahneman, Daniel, 205–6 Kasparov, Gary, 4, 132 Kennedy, John F., 124 Khan, Genghis, 22, 24, 77–78 Khrushchev, Nikita, 220 Kling, Arnold, 107 Kool-Aid, 38 Korean study on autism, 91 Krishna (Hindu God), 3 Kurzweil, Ray billions of nanobots in our brains will record real-time data on how our brains work, 11 computing power, limits to exponential growth in, 6 computing speed, exponential improvements in, 4 Cryonics Institute, 214 on exponential growth, 1 Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, 179 humans will be fantastically productive and earn higher wages, 189 investor and Singularity writer, 35 mankind will colonize the universe at maximum speed allowed by the laws of physics, 9 merger of man and machine, 188 quote, 164 resources of the solar system, mankind will use significant percentage of, 9 rocks, reorganization of, x Singularity by 2045, 200 Singularity by a steady merger of man and machines, 23 The Singularity is Near, 3, 207 Singularity will probably be utopian, 179 Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever, 179 ultimate laptop computer operations per second, 6 Kurzweilian Merger babysitters, earnings of, 134–35 dangers of, 21 human brains will provide starter software for a Singularity, 8–10 opportunities to correct mistakes, 22 property rights expectations, 190 rate of return expectations, 190 savings, cumulative effect on, 190 wealth expectations, 190 Kurzweilian scenario, 189 L landed aristocracy, 147 landowning nobility, 137 land resale value, 181–82 language processing skills, 64–65 laser rifle, 204 lawn mower, perfect, 24 Legg, Shane, 13 Lesbian feminists, 195 libertarian AI, 41 libertarian government, ideal, 41 libertarianism, 40–41 libertarian ultra-intelligent ruler, 40–41 life span, 180, 212 life span of products, 183 liquid nitrogen preserved body, 139.


Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes by Richard C. Francis

agricultural Revolution, cellular automata, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, experimental subject, longitudinal study, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, stem cell, twin studies

“CD34+ hematopoietic stem-progenitor cell microRNA expression and function: A circuit diagram of differentiation control.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104(8): 2750–2755. Gibson, G. (2007). “Human evolution: thrifty genes and the Dairy Queen.” Curr Biol 17(8): R295–R296. Gilbert, S. F. (1991). Developmental biology, 3rd ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer. Gilbert, S. F., and S. Sarkar (2000). “Embracing complexity: Organicism for the 21st century.” Dev Dyn 219(1): 1–9. Goldberg, J., W. R. True, et al. (1990). “A twin study of the effects of the Vietnam War on posttraumatic stress disorder.” JAMA 263(9): 1227–1232. Grace, K. S., and K. D. Sinclair (2009). “Assisted reproductive technology, epigenetics, and long-term health: A developmental time bomb still ticking.” Semin Reprod Med 27(5): 409–416. Greenfield, E. A., and N. F. Marks (2010). “Identifying experiences of physical and psychological violence in childhood that jeopardize mental health in adulthood.”

“Genomic imprinting in Turner syndrome: Effects on response to growth hormone and on risk of sensorineural hearing loss.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 91(8): 3002–3010. Hannes, R.-P., D. Franck, et al. (1984). “Effects of rank-order fights on whole-body and blood concentrations of androgens and corticosteroids in the male swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri).” Z Tierpsychol 65: 53–65. Haque, F. N., Gottesman, I. I., et al. (2009). “Not really identical: Epigenetic differences in monozygotic twins and implications for twin studies in psychiatry.” Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 151C(2): 136–141. Harlow, H. F., M. K. Harlow, et al. (1971). “From thought to therapy: Lessons from a primate laboratory.” Am Sci 50: 538–549. Harlow, H. F., and R. R. Zimmerman (1959). “Affectional responses in the infant monkey.” Science 136: 421–431. Hatchwell, E., and J. M. Greally (2007). “The potential role of epigenomic dysregulation in complex human disease.”


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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Joan Didion, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

His argument in The Blank Slate is that intellectual life in the West, and much of our social and political policy, was increasingly dominated through the twentieth century by a view of human nature that is fundamentally flawed; that this domination has been backed by something that amounts to academic terrorism (he does not put it quite so strongly): and that we would benefit substantially from a more realistic view. Pinker’s exposition is thoroughly readable and of enviable clarity. His explanation of such a difficult technical matter as the analysis of variance and regression in twin studies, for example, would be very hard to better. He is not afraid of using strong language…in addition, parts of the book are delightfully funny.” —John R. G. Turner, The Times Literary Supplement “Anyone who has read Pinker’s earlier books—including How the Mind Works and The Language Instinct— will rightly guess that his latest effort is similarly sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, richly footnoted and fun to read.

Ernst Mayr, one of the founders of the modern theory of evolution, wisely anticipated nearly four decades of debate when he wrote in 1963: Equality in spite of evident nonidentity is a somewhat sophisticated concept and requires a moral stature of which many individuals seem to be incapable. They rather deny human variability and equate equality with identity. Or they claim that the human species is exceptional in the organic world in that only morphological characters are controlled by genes and all other traits of the mind or character are due to “conditioning” or other nongenetic factors. Such authors conveniently ignore the results of twin studies and of the genetic analysis of nonmorphological traits in animals. An ideology based on such obviously wrong premises can only lead to disaster. Its championship of human equality is based on a claim of identity. As soon as it is proved that the latter does not exist, the support of equality is likewise lost.13 Noam Chomsky made the same point in an article entitled “Psychology and Ideology.”

As the behavioral geneticist Matt McGue noted of a recent mathematical model that tried to use prenatal effects to push down heritability estimates as much as possible, “That the IQ debate now centers on whether IQ is 50% or 70% heritable is a remarkable indication of how the nature-nurture debate has shifted over the past two decades.”16 In any case, studies comparing adoptees with biological siblings don’t look at twins at all, and they come to the same conclusions as the twin studies, so no peculiarity of twinhood is likely to overturn the First Law. Behavioral genetic methods do have three built-in limitations. First, studies of twins, siblings, and adoptees can help explain what makes people different, but they cannot explain what people have in common, that is, universal human nature. To say that the heritability of intelligence is .5, for example, does not imply that half of a person’s intelligence is inherited (whatever that would mean); it implies only that half of the variation among people is inherited.


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The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

Albert Einstein, estate planning, long peace, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, twin studies

Researchers use a number that is double the difference between the identical twin correlation and the fraternal twin correlation to indicate the amount of variation thought to be accounted for by genetic factors. This number is referred to as the trait's “heritability,” and studies on twins have shown that personality features determined by questionnaires (such as extraversion, neuroticism, authoritarianism, empathy, and so forth) have a heritability of between 35 and 50 percent. In other words, twin studies indicate that most measurable aspects of our personalities are 35 to 50 percent innate. Heritability studies contain important information about sociopathy. A number of such studies have included the “Psychopathic Deviate” (Pd) scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (the MMPI). The Pd scale of the MMPI consists of multiple-choice questions that have been statistically formulated to sort out people with sociopathic personality traits from other groups of people.

Overy, Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945 (New York: Viking Penguin, 2001), p. 373. Chapter 7. The Etiology of Guiltlessness: What Causes Sociopathy? studies on twins have shown that personality features: For a detailed discussion of such findings, see L. Eaves, H. Eysenck, and N. Martin, Genes, Culture and Personality (New York: Academic Press, 1989). A number of such studies have included the “Psychopathic Deviate” (Pd) scale: For a review of twin studies that have used the Pd scale, see H. Goldsmith and I. Gottesman, “Heritable Variability and Variable Heritability in Developmental Psychopathology,” in Frontiers in Developmental Psychopathology, eds. M. Lenzenweger and J. Haugaard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). In 1995, a major longitudinal study: M. Lyons et al., “Differential Heritability of Adult and Juvenile Antisocial Traits,” Archives of General Psychiatry 52 (1995): 906–915.


pages: 266 words: 76,299

Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, correlation coefficient, Drosophila, European colonialism, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Scientific racism, sexual politics, the scientific method, twin studies

To a geneticist, “inherited” refers to an estimate of similarity between related individuals based on genes held in common. It carries no implications of inevitability or of immutable entities beyond the reach of environmental influence. Eyeglasses correct a variety of inherited problems in vision; insulin can check diabetes. Jensen insists that IQ is 80 percent heritable. Princeton psychologist Leon J. Kamin has done the dog-work of meticulously checking through details of the twin studies that form the basis of this estimate. He has found an astonishing number of inconsistencies and downright inaccuracies. For example, the late Sir Cyril Burt, who generated the largest body of data on identical twins reared apart, pursued his studies of intelligence for more than forty years. Although he increased his sample sizes in a variety of “improved” versions, some of his correlation coefficients remain unchanged to the third decimal place—a statistically impossible situation.5 IQ depends in part upon sex and age; and other studies did not standardize properly for them.

For where else will I ever have the opportunity to pay tribute to the man who ranks second only to my father for sheer volume of attention during my youth; he and the Yankees brought me so much pleasure (I even own a ball that DiMaggio fouled off one day). 4 | A friend has since pointed out that Alberich, a rather small man himself, would only wield the whip with a fraction of the force we could exert—so things might not have been quite so bad for his underlings. Chapter 31 5 | I wrote this essay in 1974. Since then, the case against Sir Cyril has progressed from an inference of carelessness to a spectacular (and well-founded) suspicion of fraud. Reporters for the London Times have discovered, for example, that Sir Cyril’s coauthors (for the infamous twin studies) apparently did not exist outside his imagination. In the light of Kamin’s discoveries, one must suspect that the data have an equal claim to reality. OTHER TITLES BY STEPHEN JAY GOULD PUBLISHED BY W. W. NORTON & COMPANY The Panda’s Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History The Flamingo’s Smile: Reflections in Natural History Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors (with R.


pages: 411 words: 140,110

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly, Margaret Lazarus Dean

clean water, dark matter, game design, inventory management, low earth orbit, Skype, the scientific method, twin studies, Y2K

Aidyn sleeps in the habitation module of the Soyuz they will be going home on. Near the end of Andy’s ten-day stay, he remarks, “Boy, do I need a vacation.” “You know what?” I say. “You’re complaining to the wrong guy.” He gets it and laughs at himself. A few days later, I give myself a flu shot, the first one administered in space. We are safe from infectious illness up here, so the shot isn’t to protect me; instead it’s part of the Twins Study comparing Mark and me. He will be injected with the same serum at the same time—in fact, he insists on injecting himself as well—and then our immunological responses will be compared. When we both tweet about our flu shots, the response is surprising. I even get retweeted by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Just the fact that I injected myself seems to be the subject of fascination.

I mentioned something we hadn’t previously discussed: Mark would be a perfect control to study throughout the year. It turns out my mentioning this had enormous ramifications. Because NASA was my employer, it would be illegal for them to ask me for my genetic information. But once I had suggested it, the possibilities of studying the genetic effects of spaceflight transformed the research. The Twins Study became an important aspect of the research being done on station. A lot of people have assumed that I was chosen for this mission because I have an identical twin, but that was just serendipitous. The yearlong mission was announced in November 2012, with Misha and me as the crew. — THE IDEA of leaving the Earth for a year didn’t feel especially vivid until a couple of months before I was to go.

But it’s something I’m glad to have gained and hope to keep. — I TOLD my flight surgeon Steve I felt well enough to get right to work immediately upon returning from space, and I did, but within a few days I felt much worse. This is what it means to have allowed my body to be used for science. I will continue to be a test subject for the rest of my life. A few months later, I felt distinctly better. I will continue to participate in the Twins Study as Mark and I age. Science is a slow-moving process, and it may be years before any great understanding or breakthrough is reached from the data. Sometimes the questions science asks are answered by other questions. This doesn’t particularly bother me—I will leave the science up to the scientists. For me, it’s worth it to have contributed to advancing human knowledge, even if it’s only a step on a much longer journey.


pages: 420 words: 130,714

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist by Richard Dawkins

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Google Earth, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, Necker cube, nuclear winter, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, place-making, placebo effect, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, twin studies

*17 I made the same point with reference to Rose’s Marxist co-author Richard Lewontin in an earlier footnote to this essay (see above). *18 Twin studies constitute a powerful and easily understood technique for estimating the contribution of genes to variance. Measure something (anything you like) in pairs of monozygotic twins (who are known to be genetically identical). Compare their similarity (to each other) with the similarity (to each other) of dizygotic twins (who are no more likely to share genes than ordinary siblings). If the pairs of monozygotic twins resemble each other significantly more than the pairs of dizygotic twins in, for example, intelligence, you can conclude that genes are responsible. The twin-study technique is especially persuasive in those rare – and much studied – cases where monozygotic twins happen to be separated at birth and brought up apart

There has certainly been an evolutionary trend towards increased brain size: it is one of the more dramatic evolutionary trends in the vertebrate fossil record. Evolutionary trends cannot happen unless there is genetic variation in the characteristics concerned – in this case brain size and presumably intelligence. So, there was genetic variation in intelligence in our ancestors. It is just possible that there isn’t any longer, but such an exceptional circumstance would be bizarre. Even if the evidence from twin studies*18 did not support it – which it does – we could safely draw the conclusion, from evolutionary logic alone, that we have genetic variance in intelligence, intelligence being defined in terms of whatever separates us from our ape ancestors. Using the same definition, we could, if we wanted to, use artificial selective breeding to continue the same evolutionary trend. I would need little persuading that such a eugenic policy would be politically and morally wrong,*19 but we must be absolutely clear that such a value judgement is the right reason to refrain from it.


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The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, future of work, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, hive mind, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, market bubble, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, profit maximization, publication bias, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, school choice, selection bias, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, twin studies, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

In developed countries, nature doesn’t merely dwarf nurture on physical traits like height, weight, and longevity; nature also dwarfs nurture on psychosocial traits like intelligence, happiness, personality, education, and income.61 The genes your parents give you at conception have a much larger effect on your success than all the advantages your parents give you after conception. Behavioral geneticists have isolated the effects of upbringing on years of education, grades, and income.62 Both adoption and twin studies typically find that being raised by an adoptive parent with an extra year of education boosts your education by about five weeks.63 In other words, each generational ripple shrinks by a factor of ten. Similar studies find zero effect of upbringing on grades.64 Scholastic performance runs in families because performance hinges on students’ talents, attitudes, and behavior, all of which revolve around genes. Adoption and twin studies also surprisingly find upbringing has an even tinier effect on income than education. Growing up in a family with 10% higher income raises your adult income by somewhere between 0% and 1%.65 In light of all this evidence, a reasonable guess is that whatever raises your income by 10% will raise each of your children’s income by 0.5%, with near-zero effect on later descendants.

Melly, Blaise. 2005. “Public-Private Sector Wage Differentials in Germany: Evidence from Quantile Regression.” Empirical Economics 30 (2): 505–20. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2015. Accessed November 15, 2015. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 2003. 11th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. Miller, Paul, Charles Mulvey, and Nick Martin. 1995. “What Do Twins Studies Reveal about the Economic Returns to Education? A Comparison of Australian and US Findings.” America Economic Review 85 (3): 586–99. ———. 2001. “Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Educational Attainment in Australia.” Economics of Education Review 20 (3): 211–24. Mincer, Jacob. 1974. Schooling, Experience, and Earnings. New York: Columbia University Press. Moe, Terry. 2011. Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools.


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Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality by Richard G. Wilkinson

attribution theory, business cycle, clean water, correlation coefficient, experimental subject, full employment, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, land reform, longitudinal study, means of production, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, twin studies, upwardly mobile

Basically they are taller because they have escaped some of the emotional trauma 200 How society kills and psychological stress (often resulting from family conflict) which other children have suffered, and they are more likely to be upwardly mobile during their working lives because they are in better emotional and psychological shape than shorter people. Their greater emotional security probably means that they fit in better and function better. The use of parental height to control for genetic influences on height is important. Twin studies suggest that in developed societies genes explain a much larger proportion of the differences in height than they do of most other important developmental and health variables. As much as 80 per cent of the variations in height may be due to genetic inheritance. If this were all we knew, it would seem likely that the part of social mobility which is selective for height would amount to a form of genetic selection.

Lastly, it should caution people against taking the relationship between measures of mental ability in childhood and achieved social mobility in adult life as evidence that social mobility is a reflection of innate intelligence (Saunders 1996). The fact that childhood influences on later life are important does not of course mean that the lives people lead as adults, and the circumstances in which they live, do not also exert a powerful influence on health. We saw plenty of examples in the last chapter of the health impact of psychosocial circumstances in adult life. The Japanese twin study shows that there is plenty of room (unexplained variance) for influences from circumstances experienced later in life. Regardless of whether a society is supportive or not, those who succumb to its various difficulties will usually be the most vulnerable. That it is frequently possible to find evidence of individual vulnerability among those who fair least well does not mean that the numbers failing will not be dramatically influenced by the rigours or supportivness of the socioeconomic environment.


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The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong by Barry Glassner

Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Gary Taubes, haute cuisine, income inequality, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, twin studies, urban sprawl, working poor

The obesity epidemic materialized over a couple of decades, whereas genes take at least a couple of generations to change, they correctly note, and from those facts, they wrongly 178 The Gospel of Food infer that the epidemic must have resulted from America’s “food-rich, activity-poor environment” and “a certain sin known as gluttony, which has somehow gotten a good name,” as author Greg Critser says in his book, Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World.8 To the extent that devotees of the fiscal model grant any role to inheritance, they favor the so-called thrifty gene hypothesis. Because our ancestors frequently faced food shortages and famine, that story goes, we evolved to eat and store energy. In an environment of easy access to cheap and appetizing calories, we’re programmed to gobble up and retain more than we need. The real surprise is that anyone stays thin in such an environment. Twin studies and actual patterns of obesity in the U.S. tell a different tale. There seems to be no species-wide tendency; rather, only a relatively small minority of people appear to be disposed to obesity. Jeffrey Friedman, a prominent obesity researcher at Rockefeller University, has shown that the obesity rate shot up not as a result of big increases in weight throughout the population, but rather because of a threshold effect.

Robert Pool, Fat: Fighting the Obesity Epidemic (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 153 (“food-rich” quote); Critser, Fat Land (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), p. 53. 9. Jeffrey M. Friedman, “A War on Obesity, Not the Obese,” Science 299 (2003): 856–58. See also Gregory S. Barsh, I. S. Farooqi, and S. O’Rahilly, “Genetics of Body-Weight Regulation,” Nature 404 (2000): 644–51; Karolin Schousboe: M. Visscher, et al., “Twin Study of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Adult Body Size, Shape and Composition,” International Journal of Obesity 28 (2004): 39–48; L. Qi, H. Larson, et al., “Gender-Specific Association of Perilipin Gene Haplotype with Obesity Risk in a White Population,” Obesity Research 12 (2004): 1758–65; Jeffrey M. Friedman, “Modern Science Versus the Stigma of Obesity,” Nature Medicine 10 (June 2004): 563–69. 10.


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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Dr. Paul Babiak, Dr. Robert Hare

business process, computer age, fixed income, greed is good, job satisfaction, laissez-faire capitalism, Norman Mailer, old-boy network, risk tolerance, twin studies

Are psychopathic features the product of nature or nurture? As with most other things human, the answer is that both are involved. A better question is "To what extent do nature and nurture influence the development of the traits and behaviors that define psychopathy?" The answer to this question is becoming much clearer with the application of behavioral genetics to the study of personality traits and behavioral dispositions. Several recent twin studies provide convincing evidence that genetic factors play at least as important a role in the development of the core features of psychopathy as do environmental factors and forces. Researchers Blonigen, Carlson, Krueger & Patrick stated that the results of their study of 271 adult twin pairs provided "substantial evidence of genetic contributions to variance in the personality construct of psychopathy."

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: Author, 1994. 20 “A pioneer in the early years . . .” Cleckley, H. The Mask of Sanity, 5th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1976. 22 “He describes these efforts . . .” Hare, R. D. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. New York: Guilford Press, 1998. 24 “Nature? Nurture? Both!” Blonigen, D. M., Carlson, S. R., Krueger, R. F., & Patrick, C. J. A twin study of self-reported psychopathic personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(1), 179—197, 2003. 24 “Nature? Nurture? Both!” Larrson, H., Andershed, H., & Lichstenstien, P. A genetic factor explains most of the variation in the psychopathic personality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115(2), 221—230, 2006. 24 “Nature? Nurture? Both!” Viding, E., Blair, R. J. R., Moffitt, T. E., & Plomin, R.


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The Upside of Inequality by Edward Conard

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

But, you know, it isn’t.41 If further investments in education had a demonstrated ability to raise test scores and lead students to more productive behavior in adulthood, surely Krugman wouldn’t deride “rhetoric about [improving] education” by saying it “sounds serious. But . . . it isn’t.”42 Summers wouldn’t be describing it as little more than “whistling past the graveyard.”43 And Gates wouldn’t be saying “it’s easier to cure malaria.”44 It’s not surprising that large-scale programs have had limited effects on the outcomes of children. Several metastudies of nearly three thousand twin studies published by Nature finds that shared environment—the environment we control—currently accounts for less than 20 percent of the variation in cognitive and behavioral traits.45 That’s not to say that some as-yet-unidentified curriculum couldn’t have a larger effect on learning, only that modest improvements to current approaches, which have limited effects, will have a small impact. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw brings the dilemma into sharper focus.

Lawrence Summers, “The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: A Hamilton Project Policy Forum,” National Press Club, February 19, 2015, http://www.hamilton project.org/events/the_future_of_work_in_the_age_of_the_machine. 44. Schulzke, “Bill Gates Says Education Reform Is Tougher Than Eradicating Polio, Malaria or Tuberculosis.” 45. Tinca J. C. Polderman, Beben Benyamin, Christiaan A. de Leeuw, Patrick Sullivan, et al., “Meta-Analysis of the Heritability of Human Traits Based on Fifty Years of Twin Studies,” Nature Genetics 47 (2015): 702–9, http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v47/n7/full/ng.3285.html. Kaili Rimfeld, Yulia Kovas, Philip S. Dale, and Robert Plomin, “Pleiotropy Across Academic Subjects at the End of Compulsory Education,” Scientific Reports, 2015, http://www.nature.com/articles/srep11713. 46. Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, and Nicholas Turner, “Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity?


Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, assortative mating, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, iterative process, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, joint-stock company, land tenure, Laplace demon, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

Of course, again, some links can be severed by very strong cultural overlays, as in decoupling smiles from happiness (as happens in some cultures). Human personality structures are also likely universal. See R. R. McCrae and P. T. Costa Jr., “Personality Trait Structure as a Human Universal,” American Psychologist 52 (1997): 509–516; and S. Yamagata et al., “Is the Genetic Structure of Human Personality Universal? A Cross-Cultural Twin Study from North America, Europe, and Asia,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 90 (2006): 987–998. 26. C. Chen, C. Crivelli, O. G. B. Garrod, P. G. Schyns, J. M. Fernandez-Dols, and R. E. Jack, “Distinct Facial Expressions Represent Pain and Pleasure Across Cultures,” PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (2018): E10013–E10021. 27. N. Chomsky, Syntactic Structures (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1957); S.

See also D. M. Buss, “Sex Differences in Human Mate Preferences: Evolutionary Hypotheses Testing in 37 Cultures,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (1989): 1–49. 26. E. Turkheimer, “Three Laws of Behavior Genetics and What They Mean,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 9 (2000): 160–164. 27. T. J. C. Polderman et al., “Meta-Analysis of the Heritability of Human Traits Based on Fifty Years of Twin Studies,” Nature Genetics 47 (2015): 702–729. 28. J. Wu, H. Xiao, H. Sun, L. Zou, and L. Q. Zhu, “Role of Dopamine Receptors in ADHD: A Systematic Meta-Analysis,” Molecular Neurobiology 45 (2012): 605–620; C. Chen, M. Burton, E. Greenberger, and J. Dmitrieva, “Population Migration and the Variation of Dopamine D4 Receptor (DRD4) Allele Frequencies Around the Globe,” Evolution and Human Behavior 20 (1999): 309–324; R.

Hedrick and F. L. Black, “HLA and Mate Selection: No Evidence in South Amerindians,” American Journal of Human Genetics 61 (1997): 505–511. 61. T. Bereczkei, P. Gyuris, and G. E. Weiseld, “Sexual Imprinting in Human Mate Choice,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 271 (2004): 1129–1134. 62. T. J. C. Polderman et al., “Meta-Analysis of the Heritability of Human Traits Based on Fifty Years of Twin Studies,” Nature Genetics 47 (2015): 702–709. 63. R. S. Herz and M. Inzlicht, “Sex Differences in Response to Physical and Social Factors Involved in Human Mate Selection: The Importance of Smell for Women,” Evolution and Human Behavior 23 (2002): 359–364. 64. R. McDermott, D. Tingley, and P. K. Hatemi, “Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues,” American Journal of Political Science 58 (2014): 997–1005. 65.


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The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

You must be some kind of Nazi sympathiser! Powerless parents In 1993, Judith Rich Harris was drafting her textbook on developmental psychology and obediently repeating the blank-slate nostrums of the field, when she began to have doubts about the idea that parents’ actions were the source of their children’s personalities through the way they doled out reward and punishment. The evidence from twin studies seemed to show that genes played a large part in determining personality; the evidence from evolutionary psychology seemed to show that universal features of human minds made evolutionary sense; and the evidence from anthropology showed that ‘childrearing practices in traditional societies were nothing like what the current advice-givers were recommending, and yet the kids turned out okay’. Harris had already co-authored three editions of a textbook that hewed to the assumption that parents made personality, but she began to notice that the evidence just did not support the theory.

Instead, the truth is that personality unfolds from within, responding to the environment – so in a very literal sense of the word, it evolves. Intelligence from within So much for personality differences. What about intelligence? Thirty years ago it was still taboo in academia to suggest any role at all for genetics in IQ, though the person in the street had no such qualms. Today, everybody accepts the relentlessly consistent verdict of the twin studies and adoption studies: differences in intelligence owe a great deal to differences in genes. The debate is whether it is 30 per cent or 60 per cent, and whether it is mainly direct – genes creating an aptitude for learning, if you like – or indirect – genes creating an appetite for learning, and a tendency to spend time with books. As Professor Robert Plomin, probably the world expert on the genetics of intelligence, has said, there used to be a kneejerk reaction along the lines of ‘You can’t measure intelligence,’ or ‘It couldn’t possibly be genetic.’


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Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

This is partly because of what Robert Plomin has called the “nature of nurture,” meaning that genes and environment interact with each other and that how we select, modify, and create environments is also based on our genetic propensities. So even something like the amount of television watching that a child does—which used to be seen as the classic example of an environmental influence—turns out to be partly attributable to heritable traits too. Critics point to methodological problems with twin studies and the obvious influence of class and family background. But geneticists do not deny a substantial role for environment, nor that normal child development requires a basic level of responsible care. Seriously deprived or abusive environments are bound to have a negative impact on development, including intellectual development. Indeed, Plomin and other geneticists stress that cognitive function is only about 50 percent inherited and point out that the principle of “reversion to the mean” means that very clever people often have only averagely clever children.I It is also a commonplace among geneticists and intelligence researchers to claim that high IQ is associated not only with measures of socioeconomic status—education, occupational prestige, and income—but health and longevity too.

Susskind), 261–62, 298 A World Without Work, 244, 268 Sutton Trust, 18 Sweden, 81, 83, 206, 213, 222, 229 Switzerland, 213 Syed, Matthew, Rebel Ideas, 282 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 97, 260 Teach First (UK), 151 Teach for America (US), 151 teaching, 151, 218, 226, 228, 232, 294 Terman, Lewis, 64, 65 Thatcher, Margaret, 106 Thiel, Peter, 297 time-use data, 242–43, 246–47 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 43 trade unions: activism of, 158 apprenticeships, 47 demarcation disputes, 122–23 membership declines, 139–40 Trump, Donald: as anti-system politician, 169, 171 election in 2016, 32, 154–55, 159, 161, 169, 214–15, 220 Executive Order to expand apprenticeships (2017), 112–13 immigration policy, 162 populism of, 161, 220, 279 power of direct language and, 178 Turner, Adair, 241, 272–74, 286, 288 Capitalism in the Age of Robots, 272–74 Turner, Frederick Jackson, 52 Twenge, Jean, 281 twin studies, of cognitive aptitude, 72–73, 74 Tyndale, William, 181 unions, see trade unions United Kingdom (UK): A levels, 35, 46, 57–60, 95–96, 98, 105, 108–10, 124, 192 adult social care and, 239–41, 242 Anywhere-Somewhere divide and, 13–20 apprenticeships and, 15, 40, 47, 57–58, 106, 109–14, 119, 170–71, 200–201 civil service reform, 31, 41 Education Acts, 43–44, 46, 98, 100 family and gender policy, 27 family breakdown in, 221–22 free education, 43–44, 46 further education (FE) colleges (UK), 105–6, 108–10, 115 geographic mobility and, 17, 288, 289–90 globalization and, 111–17 “graduatization”/income divergence of the labor market, 133–52 higher education system, 41–53, 80–81, 100–107, 113–17, 120, 125–31, 262–63 industrialization and urbanization in, 33–34, 51–52 IQ-type tests, 65 mental well-being in, 222–23 migration premium and, 18 Northcote-Trevelyan Report and, 31, 41 Oxford/Cambridge duopoly and, 41–42, 44–52, 84, 97–98, 101–2, 156, 172–73, 263, 264 polytechnics/“new universities” (UK), 98, 100–102, 105–8, 115, 119, 263 professions/professional exams and, 42–43 “redbrick” universities, 45–46, 47, 49, 51 rise of cognitive class in, 32, 33–35, 41–42, 76–78 social mobility trends in, 75–78, 80–81, 126–31 technical and vocational training, 15, 40, 42, 46–47, 50, 97–98, 100–102, 105–8, 198, 265 training/retraining failure and, 111–17 see also Brexit Britain United States (US): Anywhere-Somewhere divide and, 13–20 apprenticeships and, 112–13 correlation between intelligence and socioeconomic status, 78–82, 83–84 family and gender policy, 27 family breakdown in, 220 free public education, 43–44, 50 geographic mobility and, 17–19 GI Bill, 43–44, 66, 96, 115 globalization and, 111–17 “graduatization”/income divergence of the labor market, 133–52 higher education system, 43–44, 48–50, 52–53, 66, 80, 96, 112–17, 264 immigration and, 52, 162 IQ-type tests, 65–66 labor shortage and, 50 land and western frontier, 52 professions/professional exams, 43 social mobility trends, 78–84 technical and vocational training, 49, 50, 114, 115 training/retraining failure and, 111–17 US Army, large-scale intelligence testing, 64–65 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 225, 241–42, 273 US Department of Justice, 6n US General Social Survey, 222 Universal Basic Income (UBI), 288 universities, see college/university education urbanization, 10, 33–34, 37, 51–52, 221, 273–74, 288 values: cognitive improvement technology, 280–81 crisis of meaning of Heart (care) vs.


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The Unpersuadables: Adventures With the Enemies of Science by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, full employment, George Santayana, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Simon Singh, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

And why, in the words of clinical psychologist and political strategist Professor Drew Westen, is ‘the biggest single predictor of party affiliation – and of the broader value systems associated with it – the party affiliations of our parents’? In preparation for my encounter with Lord Monckton, I spoke with Professor Jonathan Haidt about the source of our moral and political beliefs. ‘The place to begin is with these amazing twin studies in the 1980s,’ he told me. ‘They said that every aspect of your personality is partly heritable – what kind of music you like, what food you enjoy, everything. So if your identical twin is separated from you at birth, they will probably have the same politics as you forty years later, and how it works is to do with your genes. You have a particular genome which sets your initial direction – the first draft of your moral and political mind.

Holman Foundation 118 chemotherapy 35, 93 Chibnall, Albert 256, 257 chick-sexers 186–87 childhood abuse 165–72, 173–75, 176–78, 179 sexual 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 children 75 China 83 Christ Church, Oxford 200, 201 Christians 4, 6, 7, 133, 134 condemnation of homosexuality 14–15, 18 morality 15–16, 122 see also creationists Churchill, Winston 208, 235, 249, 250 Clancy, Susan 50 climate-change sceptics 200, 203–204, 216 Clinic for Dissociative Studies 171 Clinton, Hilary 118 Coan, Chris 166–67 Coan, Jim 166–67 cochlear implants 78 cognitive bias 85, 87–88, 90–91, 103–104, 111, 183, 186, 244, 272 see also confirmation bias cognitive dissonance 84–87, 96, 102, 181 coin toss tests 262 Colapinto, John 312 cold war 149, 212, 215 Coleman, Ron 136–37, 141, 146, 148, 157, 162, 186, 306 colour, perception of 80 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) 275 Communists 212, 222, 249–50 con artists 107 concentration camps 220–21, 224, 230, 245 confabulation 189–90, 192–96, 203, 207, 218, 253, 307, 315 confirmation bias 85, 87, 96, 181, 182, 188, 221, 243, 246, 312 consciousness 267–68 as Hero-Maker 306 conviction, unconscious 33 Conway, Martin 201 Cooper, Alice 275 Copenhagen Climate Conference 204 Copenhagen Treaty 2009 216 core beliefs 183 cows, sacred 40 Creation Research 5 Creation Science Foundation 12 creationists 2–10, 13–19, 20, 26, 30, 100, 162, 261, 308, 310 Crick, Francis 258, 268 CSICOP see Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal culture, power of 211, 302 ‘culture heroes’ 311 ‘culture wars’ 30, 309 Daily Mail (newspaper) 225, 228, 232 Daily Telegraph (newspaper) 243–44, 263 Dali, Salvador 275 Darwin, Charles 2, 10, 11, 94 Davenas, Elisabeth 110–11 Dawkins, Richard 2, 6, 10, 19, 94, 142, 259, 261, 271, 272, 287, 290, 308 DDT 211 de-individuation 69 deafness 78, 82 decision-making 181, 267 and emotion 184–85, 189 dehumanization 69–70 delusions 103–104, 130, 178–79, 182, 272 finding evidence for 135 and Morgellons 120 of parasitosis (DOP) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 democracy, end of 216 Demon-Marker function 308–309 depression 33, 43, 45, 128, 141, 148 Dermatologic Therapy (journal) 128 development factors 183 Devil, Australia see Gympie Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 143, 144 dialogue-ing 149, 151–52 Diana, Princess of Wales 286 diazepam (Valium) 42 dinosaurs 13, 19 Dog World (magazine) 293–94 dogma 106–107, 258 domestic abusers 89 DOP (delusions of parasitosis) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 dopamine 155, 196 doubt 133, 257 sensitivity to 261 dragons 13 dreaming 193, 195 lucid 76 drunkenness, cultural determinants of 83–84 DSM see Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Eagleman, David 74, 79, 80, 185, 186, 192, 193, 268–69 eccentricity 310 Economist, The (weekly publications) 312 Eden 14 Eden, Anthony 208 Edward V111 208 ‘effectance motive’ 184 ego 224 dream 195 ego-bolstering, unconscious 96, 103, 181 egoists 88, 196 Eichmann, Adolf 245 Einstein, Albert 201, 285 Eliade, Mircea 302 emotions 183, 184–85, 187, 194, 305 and beliefs 188, 189, 196–97 culturally unique 83 and decision-making 184, 185, 187 see also anger; happiness energy clean 25 Enfield Gazette (newspaper) 280 Enfield Poltergeist case 280 Enlightenment 255 envy 218 epinephrine 189–90 Epley, Nicholas 88 escapology 273–74 ESP see extrasensory perception Ethics Committee of the Federal Australian Medical Association 39 European Union (EU) 212 European Union Parliament House 234 Evans, Dylan 83 Evans, Richard 224 Eve 5, 12 Eve, Mitochondrial 73 Everett, Daniel 312 evidence, denial of 221, 261 evil psychology of 69–70, 307–308 ‘supremely good’ motivations for 89 evolution 73 arguments against 2–7, 10–13 arguments for 19–20, 100–101 experimental psychology 88, 101, 142, 316 extrasensory perception (ESP) 255, 266, 274, 294 alien 24 sense of ‘being stared at’ 254–55, 258, 262 facts and belief 183 inefficiency 26 fairies 83 faith, as journey 21, 134 false memories 156, 165–70, 173–74, 178, 194 familiar, the, attraction to 183 ‘fan death’ 83 Fate magazine 281 fear 203, 205, 206 Feinberg, Todd E. 82 Felstead, Anthony 160, 164 Felstead, David 159–60, 164, 171, 175, 176 Felstead, Joan 164 Felstead, Joseph 160, 161, 164, 165 Felstead, Kevin 160, 161, 164 Felstead, Richard 159–160, 164, 176–77 Felstead family 163, 165, 166, 168, 170, 176 Festinger, Leon 85, 188 Financial Service Act 214 First World War 231 Fisher, Fleur 161, 163, 165, 166, 176, 307 Flim Flam (Randi, 1982) 271, 279, 288, 295 Flood, biblical 14 fMRI see Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging foetal development 74 fossil record 10, 13–14, 19, 101 Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference 121–28 Fox, Kate 84 Franklin, Wilbur 282, 293 free will 193, 217, 307 as confabulation 193 French Assembly 204 French, Chris 50, 104, 108, 169, 173, 288, 315 French Revolution 204 Freud, Sigmund 171, 302 Frith, Chris 70, 77, 206, 315 Fromyhr, Liam 13 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) 71 fundamentalists 261 Garvey, James 203, 218 Gates, Bill 212 Gazzaniga, Michael 184, 190–92 Geertz, Clifford 75 Geller, Uri 99, 275, 280, 281, 287, 288, 290, 293 genes 221 genetic factors 205 and beliefs 221 and political attitude 205 and schizophrenia 145, 154 genome 205, 206 Genus Epidemicus 115 George, St, and the dragon 13 ghost-hunters 21 ghosts 104 Gilovich, Thomas 86 Gindis, Alec 277, 278 global financial crisis 213 global governance 216–217 global warming 203 gnomes 83 God 17, 202, 305 Catholic interpretations of 21 and creation 3, 4, 5–6, 10 creation of 26 Darwin’s arguments against the existence of 11 deference to 18 existence of as scientifically testable 11 knowableness of 11, 22 and morality 15 see also anti-God rhetoric Goebbels, Joseph 230, 232, 239, 245 Goenka, S.N. 57, 60, 61–63, 306 Goldacre, Ben 97 Göring, Hermann 232 Gottschall, Martin 25–26 Gottschall, Sheryl 26 governance, models of 217 Gray, Honourable Mr Justice 221, 223 Gray, John 81 Great Rift Valley 74 ‘greys’ (aliens) 23, 33 group psychology 69, 88, 197 conformity to group pressure 70, 72 and the production of evil 70 Guardian (newspaper) 6 Gururumba tribe 83 Gympie, Australia 2–7, 10, 14, 16, 22, 33–53 gympie-gympie tree 2, 19 Hahnemann, Samuel 96, 115 Haidt, Honathan 83, 184, 193, 194–95, 205, 216–17, 315 Hale, Rob 172 hallucinations 82 auditory 137, 139, 141, 144, 145 see also voice-hearing visual 152 halo effect 84 Ham, Ken 12 happiness, and religious belief 197 ‘hard problem, the’ 267 Harrow 209 Harvard University 28–29, 30, 50, 285 Hawthorne Effect 107 hearing, sense of 262 Hearing Voices Network (HVN) 137, 140–41, 154, 162 Hebard, Arthur 279, 280, 295 Hebb, Donald 266 herbal remedies 36 Hercules 302 hero, the, how your memory rebuilds you as 194, 231 hero narratives 302–303, 306–309, 311–13 parasite 307, 312 Hero-Maker 306–307, 310–311, 312, 314 Heydrich, Reinhard 245 Himmler, Heinrich 235 Himmler bunker 236, 245 Hitler, Adolf 228, 231, 238, 239, 242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 151–52 Hitler Youth 204 Hitler’s bunker 238 HIV 207 see also AIDS HMS Edinburgh (ship) 231 Hoefkens, Gemma 92–95, 96–97, 115–16, 141, 142, 181, 310 Holocaust denial 155, 221, 226, 229–30, 243, 244 Homeopathic Research Institute 109 homeopathy 94–102, 105–107, 109–121, 134, 181, 269, 277, 278 evidence for 106–114, 121, 134, 269 ‘overdose’ protest against 96, 99, 105, 108–109 ‘radionic’ method 115 Homerton Hospital 132 hominins 74 Homo sapiens 73 homophobia 188 homosexuality 137 Christian condemnation of 14–15, 18 Horsey, Richard 186 Horst Wessel Song (Nazi Party anthem) 239 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee 94 Hrab, George 108 Hume, David 203 Humphrey, Nicholas 43 Huntington’s disease testing 197 HVN see Hearing Voices Network hypnotherapy and false memory generation 166 and past-life regression 44–45, 47 hypnotism 189 ‘I’, sense of 194, 196, 258 IBS seeirritable bowel syndrome Iceland 83 identity 203 ideology 272 Illuminati 286–87, 288, 304 imitation 206 immigration 206, 223 Mexican 223 in-groups 84, 133 incest 168 information field 257, 266 INSERM 200 110 intelligence, and cognitive bias 224 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 216 International Academy of Classical Homeopathy 277 Internet 112 intuition 187, 216, 238 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 43 Irving, David 269, 307, 308, 209, 333–335, 344, 345 Irving, John 219, 221, 238, 244 Irving, Nicholas 243 itch disorders 117–119 see also Morgellons Jackson, Peter 312 James, William 106 James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) 99, 260, 275, 276, 290, 294 jealousy, sexual 64, 66, 104 Jesus 142 knowableness of 11 Jewish Chronicle (newspaper) 230 Jews 221, 230, 231, 244–51, 253, 309 see also Holocaust denial Josefstadt Prison, Vienna 220 Journal of the American Medical Association 41 Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 113–114 Journal of Philosophical Studies 182 JREF see James Randi Educational Foundation Jutland, Battle of 231 Kahneman, Daniel 184, 303 Kaku, Michio 27 Kaptchuk, Ted 43 Keegan, Sir John 243–44 Keen, Montague 284 Keen, Veronica 283–88, 304 Kerry, John 87 KGB 212, 215 Kilstein, Vered 44–51, 53, 168, 305–306 King’s Cross station 136 ‘koro’ 83 Krepel, Scott 78 Krippner, Stanley 288–89, 295 Krupp 233 Kuhn, Deanna 86 Los Angeles LA Times (newspaper) 118 LaBerge, Stephen 76, 195 Labour Party 210 Lancet (journal) 109, 113 Langham, Chris 171 Lawrence, Stephen 236 Lebanese people 223 left, political 204–207, 211, 215 Leitao, Mary 118 Leitao’s Morgellons Research Foundation 118 Lemoine, Patrick 42 Lennon, John 49 Letwin, Oliver 214 Leuchter, Fred 229 Leviticus 14 Lewis, Andy 109, 114 Lipstadt, Deborah 221, 224, 243, 246, 309 Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 210 Lo, Nathan 19–20, 22, 30, 100, 308 Loftus, Elizabeth 166, 173 love 44, 59 memories of 63, 133 Lucifer 4 see also Satan McCain, John 118 McCullock, Kay 23–25 McDonald’s 67–68, 84 Mack, John E. 28–30, 51, 102–103, 142, 145, 272, 284–85 Mackay, Glennys 22–23, 30, 33 Mackay, John 1, 4–6, 1–11, 15–20, 30, 33, 53, 91, 100, 109, 182, 305, 306, 308 MacLeish, Eric 29 Maddox, Sir John 271, 287 magic-makers 7 magnetometers 279 Majdanek concentration camp 224, 230 Mameli, Matteo 182 manic depression 141 Mann, Nick 130–31, 134, 162 Marianna, Dame of Malta 208 Marshall, Michael ‘Marsh’ 105–109 Marxists 210 ‘matchbox sign’ 124 materialism 256, 257–58, 259, 260–1, 266, 268–69 May, Rufus 148–49, 156, 182, 196, 304 meditation, Buddhist 52–53, 62, 182, 196 Meffert, Jeffrey 120 Mein Kampf (Hitler) 232, 233, 242 memory autobiographical 194 fallibility of 201 see also false memories; recovered- memory therapy mental illness 137, 141, 146, 147, 165 as continuum 147 depression 33, 42–43, 45, 89, 100, 120, 148, 197 manic depression 141 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 obsessive compulsive disorder 128 sectioning 137, 140, 161 see also psychosis; schizophrenia mental models 76, 85, 87, 90, 102, 133, 142, 147, 183, 302, 303, 316 meta-analysis 112, 146, 157, 262, 267 Metzinger, Thomas 195 Mexican immigration 223 micro-stories 206 Milgram, Stanley 70–71 mind and the brain 255, 257–58, 266–67 as ‘out there’ 267 theory of 303 miners’ strike (mid-1980s) 212, 214–15 Mitchell, Joni 118 mites, tropical rat 132, 135 ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ 73 Moll, Albert 189 Monckton, Christopher Walter, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 200, 203–205, 207–16, 218, 304, 305, 309, 310 Monckton, Major General Gilbert, 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 208 morality 193, 202 Christian 15 Morgellons 118–35, 162, 307 see also Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference, Austin, Texas morphine 41 Mosley, Sir Oswald 232 Mragowo 233 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 murder, past-life 44, 48 murderers 89 Murray, Robin 183 Myers (formerly Felstead), Carole 159–61, 163–66, 168, 171–73, 176–80, 307 myoclonic jerk 195 myth 302, 304, 312–313 narratives hero 302–303, 306–14 master 206 nation state, end of 216 National Front 234, 305 National Health Service (NHS) 94, 148, 171 National Secular Society 5 National Union of Teachers 5 Native Americal tradition 186 Natural History Museum 132 natural selection 10 Nature (journal) 110–11, 257, 271, 287, 304 Nazi Party (German) 220, 239 Nazis 48, 89, 231, 239 Neanderthals 26 necrophilia 12, 18 neurological studies 87 neurons 74–75, 220, 253, 267 neuroscience 142 New Guinea 83 New Science of Life, A (Sheldrake) 256–57 New Scientist (journal) 257–266 New York Times (newspaper) 72, 120, 271, 272 New Yorker (magazine) 268, 312 Nix, Walte, Jr. 68 Noah 3, 5, 13, 14 Novella, Steven 107, 112, 120, 135, 272, 287, 309 Oaklander, Anne Louise 129–130 Oatley, Keith 303 Obama, Barack 118, 286 obedience studies 84 Observer (newspaper) 222, 257 obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 128, 147 Oedipus 302 Offer, Daniel 194 Ogborn, Louise 67–68, 70, 84 Olsen, Clarence W. 82 openness 205 Origin of Species, The (Darwin) 2, 4 original sin 3 Orkney 166 ‘other people’, judgement of 67 out-groups 69, 105 Oxford Union 203, 207, 218 paedophilia 15 pain perception of 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42–43 palm reading 105 paranoia 30, 64, 150, 154, 178, 180 parapsychology 261–62, 265–67, 269, 279, 280, 287 past-life regression (PLR) 44–45, 47, 53, 168, 170 Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust 31 Paul McKenna Show, The (TV show) 263 Pearson, Michele 119 penis ‘koro’ effect 83 phantom 82 Penn and Teller 271, 290 perception and the brain 72, 76 of pain 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42, 43 of reality 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81 see also extra-sensory perception peripeteia 303 Perkins, David 244 personality disorder 165 see also multiple personality disorder pesticides 211 Peter March’s Traveling Circus 274 Peters, Maarten 50 ‘phantom limbs’ 82 ‘Pagasus’ awards 260, 276, 288 Pirahã tribe 312 placebo effect 41–43, 45–46, 50–51, 53, 72, 107, 113, 134 and homeopathy 107, 113, 134 Playfair, Guy Lyon 280–82, 287, 293 political affiliation 205 political beliefs, and self-interest 217 political left 204, 206, 210, 211 political right 204, 205 Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw 219 poltergeists 280 Popoff, Peter 288 power, leftwing 211–12 Power, Joe 105, 106 ‘Pranayama’ (breath control) 32–36, 38, 40, 41, 45, 56, 134, 196 prefrontal cortex 73 prejudice 29, 53, 84, 86, 90, 100, 181, 248, 305 Pressman, Zev 280–82, 286, 288, 295 prophets 307 Prozac 42 psi phenomena 265–66 see also parapsychology psychiatry 28–29, 42, 71, 120, 130, 136, 137, 140–41, 142–43, 145–46, 150, 152, 162, 183, 189 psychic powers 253 animals with 258, 260, 261, 265, 266 testing 253, 258, 260, 263, 274, 279–80 psychics 98, 104 psychology of evil 69–70, 105, 243, 307 experimental 88, 101, 142, 316 parapsychology 261–62, 265, 266, 267, 269, 280, 287 situational 69 see also schizophrenia 157, 180, 310 Puthoff, Harold 279, 280 racism 104, 221, 223, 229, 305 radiotherapy 35, 401 Ramachandran, V.S. 75, 81, 82 Ramdev, Swami 31–41, 43, 134, 182, 306 Randi, Angela 291 Randi, James 98–99, 107, 108, 109–110, 112, 260–61, 269, 270, 271–98, 306, 309, 310, 312, 313 blindness to his own cognitive biases 272 childhood 273 death threats 275, 306 early adult life 274 emotional problems 292 homosexuality 292 interview with the author 291–98 psychic challenge prize 99, 260, 272, 276, 277, 278, 289 social Darwinism 296, 297 views on drug users 296–97 see also James Randi Educational Foundation Rank, Otto 302 Rasputin study 88, 103 rationalists, radicalised 9 reality, perceptions of 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81, 91 ‘reality monitoring’, errors in 50 reason 26 inefficacy of 26–27 as not enough 309 recovered-memory therapy (RMT) 166, 170, 173, 176 Rees, Laurence 311 ‘regression to the mean’ 45 religious belief, and happiness 197 religious conversion mechanisms of 8 repression 169 right, political 204–207 Robertson, Shorty Jangala 300 robots, alien 23, 33 Rogo, Scott 279 Romme, Marius 137, 140, 143–45, 148, 154, 155 Rosenbaum, Ron 245 Royal College of Psychiatry 154 Royal Free Hospital, Camden 136, 139 Royal Institute of Philosophy 203 Royal Society 5 saccades 79 sacredness, irrationality surrounding 217 Sagan, Carl 266 Santayana, George 209 Satan 18 see also Lucifer santanic abuse 165–66, 168–70, 174–75, 177, 180 Saucer Smear magazine 281 Savely, Ginger 126, 127, 130 Schizophrenia 51, 136–37, 140, 141, 143, 145, 148, 150, 154, 162, 169, 178, 183, 309 as salience disorder 183 Schlitz, Marilyn 262 Schmidt, Stefan 262, 265 Schwartz, Gary 287, 188–89 science 8–9, 95–96, 255–59, 268, 273, 310 scientific method 305 Scientologists 155 sectioning 137, 140 Secular Student Alliance 290 Seeman, Mary 120 Segal, Stanley S. 172 self ideal 148, 313 multiple selves model 147 senses 77–91, 190, 196, 258 sensory deprivation 78 sexism, unconscious 86 sexual abuse 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 sexual assault 145–46 sexual jeaoulsy 64, 66, 104, 212 Shang, Aijing 112, 113–14 Sheldrake, Rupert 255–61, 262–70, 272–73, 276–77, 287, 289, 293–94, 307 Shermer, Michael 102 Silent Spring, The (Carson) 211 sin 17–18, 61, 66, 189 original 2 Sinason, David 171, 175, 179 Sinason, Valerie 170, 171, 178, 180, 304 Singer, Peter 304 situational psychology 69 Skeptic, The (magazine) 104, 108, 169, 271, 288 Skeptics 9, 95–112, 115, 120–21, 134, 142, 162, 260, 265, 271–73, 276–79, 290–91, 298, 309–310, 313–14 and Morgellons 134 and psi phenomenon 265–66, 279 and Sheldrake 260 ‘The Amazing Meeting’ of 290 see also Randi, James sleep 195 smell, sense of 184 Smith, Greg 122, 124, 130, 131 social Darwinism 296, 297 social roles, and the production of evil 69–70, 105 socialism 212 Sorel, George 304 ‘source-monitoring error’ 50 South Koreans 83 Soviet Union 212 sprinal tumours 129 spirituality 26 ‘split-brain’ patients 190–92 spoon-benders 98 spotlight effect 89 Stalin, Joseph 234 Stanford Prison Experiment 69–70 Stern Review 310 Stipe, Catherine 6 storytelling 183, 188, 189, 192, 194, 302, 206, 207, 312 see also confabulation; narratives ‘strip-search scams’ 68–69, 84 stroke patients 82 suicidal ideation 147 suicide 144 and voice-hearing 151, 154 Summers, Donna 67 survival of the fittest 3, 296–97 taboo violation scenarios, harmless 194 Targ, Russel 279, 280 Tavris, Carol 84, 88, 194, 243 Tea Party movement 204204 telepathy 257–59, 266, 269, 280 terrorism 9 Thatcher, Margaret 174, 204, 208, 212, 215 theft 66, 104 theory of mind 303 therapy 45, 169 group 133 placebo effect 45 This American Life (US radio show) 78 Thyssen 233 Time magazine 102 Times, The (newspaper) 263 ‘tjukurpas’ (Aboriginal stories) 275 Toronto Evening Telegram (newspaper) 274 Toronto Star (newspaper) 293 totalitarianism 216 Tournier, Alexander 109, 112, 113 traumatic experience repression 166 and voice-hearing 137, 139–41, 143–45, 148–49, 150–58 tribalism 84–85, 133, 171, 196, 217 truth 218 coherence theory of 218 and group pressure 44–45 and storytelling 312–13 Turing, Alan 266 Turner, Trevor 154–57, 162, 169, 178 twin studies 205 UFOs 22–27, 29–30, 272, 308 UK Independence Party (UKIP) 204 Ullman, Dana 107, 112, 309 Ultimate Psychic Challenges, The (TV Show) 284 unconscious 33, 44, 58–59, 60, 41–42, 183–88, 194, 269–70, 304 United Nations (UN) 216, 304 US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 119 Vipassana Meditation Centre 52–53, 55, 57, 70 vision 79–80, 92–93, 96 Vithoulkas, George 99, 277–79, 295–96 voice-hearing 136–45, 148–59, 162, 169, 180 Wade, Kimberly 168–69 Warren, Jeff 76 Washington Post (newspaper) 120, 328, 344 water dreaming 300 Watson, Rebecca 107 ‘we mode’ 70 Wegner, Daniel 193, 331 welfare state 209–10 Western, Drew 87, 204, 206–7 Western medicine, disillusionment with 36, 39–40, 182, 306 Wexler, Bruce E. 75, 183, 185, 303 ‘wild pig, being a’ 83 Wilson, David Sloan 304 Wilson, Timothy D. 81 Wired (magazine) 271 Wiseman, Richard 259–66, 271–72, 287, 290, 335–37 Wolpert, Lewis 183–84, 189, 259, 313 Wootton, David 42 wormholes 27 Wymore, Randy 121–22, 124, 126, 128 yoga 31–39 Yuendumu 299–300 Zimbardo, Philip 68–70, 72, 104 WILL STORR is a novelist and longform journalist.


Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth by Stuart Ritchie

Albert Einstein, anesthesia awareness, Bayesian statistics, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Growth in a Time of Debt, Kenneth Rogoff, l'esprit de l'escalier, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, mouse model, New Journalism, p-value, phenotype, placebo effect, profit motive, publication bias, publish or perish, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Thomas Bayes, twin studies, University of East Anglia

., ‘Empirical Evaluation of Very Large Treatment Effects of Medical Interventions’, JAMA 308, no. 16 (24 Oct. 2012): 1676–84; https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2012.13444 51.  E.g. Gilles E. Gignac & Eva T. Szodorai, ‘Effect Size Guidelines for Individual Differences Researchers’, Personality and Individual Differences 102 (Nov. 2016): pp. 74–78; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.06.069 52.  Thankfully there have been a great many reliable twin studies since the time of Cyril Burt. For a review, see Tinca J. C. Polderman et al., ‘Meta-Analysis of the Heritability of Human Traits Based on Fifty Years of Twin Studies’, Nature Genetics 47, no. 7 (July 2015): 702–9; https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.3285 53.  For a review of the candidate-genetic links to cognitive abilities, see Antony Payton, ‘The Impact of Genetic Research on Our Understanding of Normal Cognitive Ageing: 1995 to 2009’, Neuropsychology Review 19, no. 4 (Dec. 2009): pp. 451–77; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11065-009-9116-z 54.  


pages: 623 words: 448,848

Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives by Dean D. Metcalfe

active measures, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, epigenetics, hygiene hypothesis, impulse control, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies

Developmental factors, which include immaturity of the gut mucosa and the gut immune system, as seen among infants and children, may contribute to the development of food allergy. In addition, a number of antigenic characteristics of food proteins also impact the occurrence of food allergy. The genetic basis of IgE-mediated food allergies have been more thoroughly characterized [14–19] than for non-IgEmediated food allergies [20,21]. Studies of familial clustering, twin studies, and isolation of genetic polymorphisms 29 30 Chapter 3 illustrate the genetic influences on non-IgE-mediated diseases. For example, celiac disease (CD), a prototypical non-IgEmediated food allergy, shows familial clustering [22,23] and a high concordance rate of approximately 75% among monozygotic twins [24,25]. This disease has also been shown to be associated with two conventional DQ molecules, HLADQ2 and HLA-DQ8 [20,26,27].

Interactions between the microbiota and the intestinal mucosa. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002;56:S60–4. 12 Dimich-Ward H, Chow Y, Chung J, Trask C. Contact with livestock – a protective effect against allergies and asthma? Clin Exp Allergy 2006;36:1122–9. 13 Cebra JJ. Influences of microbiota on intestinal immune system development. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1046S–51S. 14 Sicherer SH, Furlong TJ, Maes HH, et al. Genetics of peanut allergy: a twin study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000; 106:53–6. 15 Kalogeromitros DC, Makris MP, Gregoriou SG, et al. Grape anaphylaxis: a study of 11 adult onset cases. Allergy Asthma Proc 2005;26:53–8. 16 Blanco C, Sanchez-Garcia F, Torres-Galvan MJ, et al. Genetic basis of the latex–fruit syndrome: association with HLA class II alleles in a Spanish population. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;114:1070–6. 17 Liu X, Beaty TH, Deindl P, et al.

Eosinophilic esophagitis: pathogenesis, genetics, and therapy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;118:1054–9. 22 Risch N. Assessing the role of HLA-linked and unlinked determinants of disease. Am J Hum Genet 1987;40:1–14. 23 Macdonald WC, Dobbins III WO, Rubin CE. Studies of the familial nature of celiac sprue using biopsy of the small intestine. N Engl J Med 1965;272:448–56. 24 Greco L, Romino R, Coto I, et al. The first large population based twin study of coeliac disease. Gut 2002;50:624–8. 25 Bardella MT, Fredella C, Prampolini L, et al. Gluten sensitivity in monozygous twins: a long-term follow-up of five pairs. Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95:1503–5. 26 Periolo N, Chernavsky AC. Coeliac disease. Autoimmun Rev 2006;5:202–8. 27 Petronzelli F, Bonamico M, Ferrante P, et al. Genetic contribution of the HLA region to the familial clustering of coeliac disease.


pages: 181 words: 62,775

Half Empty by David Rakoff

airport security, Buckminster Fuller, dark matter, double helix, global pandemic, Google Earth, phenotype, RFID, twin studies, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave, Wall-E, Y2K

I opted for the radiation out of fear of the more difficult but more pervasively effective alternative. Dave the Brave had proven himself unworthy of even his cheap medal and made the easy decision, rather than embracing the fear and the rigor of the strenuous life. In the end, the radiation didn’t even work, and I had to have the chemo anyway. There is little I can do about it now. I try to take comfort in remembering David Lykken’s twins study: They’ll take my arm off in March, and six months after that, I’ll be back to my old self. By September I will be fine. I say this over and over again. (I do, however, want to call up the acupuncturist and say, “Hey, Einstein! Hey, genius! Remember that wind in my arm?”) The parents arrive and take the bed and I join my sister on the pullout couch. The median age in the apartment is now sixty, which is also the approximate number of square feet per person.


pages: 187 words: 62,861

The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest by Yochai Benkler

business process, California gold rush, citizen journalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, East Village, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental economics, experimental subject, framing effect, informal economy, invisible hand, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, twin studies, ultimatum game, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Though neuroscience hasn’t been able to isolate a single part of the brain involved in morality, and probably never will (the human mind is far too complex), these studies demonstrate that we do process moral decisions in physically distinct ways. How can these physical attributes translate into the bewildering array of commitments we hold to be moral, or the wide range of taboos we practice as human beings? One possible direction was raised in chapter 2, as I discussed the work of political scientists who used twin study to argue in support of a significant genetic component to voting practices. One way for this to happen is that while we are universally born with the capacity to act morally, we must fill that capacity with actual content, as children, largely by observing others. As with the possibility that conscientiousness generally takes the form of voting specifically, so too we can speculate more generally: The specific shape that our general capacity to form and adhere to moral commitments takes depends largely on our environment and our culture.


pages: 272 words: 66,985

Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Cal Newport, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, functional fixedness, game design, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Skype, twin studies, Zipcar

Pychyl, “Cyberslacking and the Procrastination Superhighway: A Web-Based Survey of Online Procrastination, Attitudes, and Emotion,” Social Science Computer Review 19, no. 4 (2001): 431–44. yourself from distractions: Mark, Iqbal, and Czerwinski, “How Blocking Distractions Affects Workplace Focus.” correlated with procrastination: John C. Loehlin and Nicholas G. Martin, “The Genetic Correlation Between Procrastination and Impulsivity,” Twin Research and Human Genetics: The Official Journal of the International Society for Twin Studies 17, no. 6 (2014): 512–15. focus on your work: John Trougakos and Ivona Hideg, “Momentary Work Recovery: The Role of Within-Day Work Breaks,” in Current Perspectives on Job-Stress Recovery, vol. 7, Research in Occupational Stress and Well-being, ed. Sabine Sonnentag, Pamela L. Perrewé, and Daniel C. Ganster (West Yorkshire, UK: Emerald Group, 2009). early the night before: Gloria Mark, Yiran Wang, and Melissa Niiya, “Stress and Multitasking in Everyday College Life: An Empirical Study of Online Activity,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (New York: ACM, 2014), 41–50, doi:10.1145/2556288.2557361.


pages: 260 words: 78,229

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare

delayed gratification, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, longitudinal study, Norman Mailer, twin studies

C. DeFries, and D. W. Fulker (1988). Nature and Nurture During Infancy and Early Childhood. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press; F. Schulsinger (1974). Psychopathy, heredity, and environment. In S. A. Mednick, F. Schulsinger, J. Higgins, and B. Bell (eds.). Genetics, Environment, and Psychopathology [pp. 177–95]. Amsterdam: North Holland/Elsevier. Of particular importance is a recent twin study that found evidence for a strong genetic contribution to the cluster of personality traits (described in chapter 3) that define psychopathy (W. J. Livesley, K. L. Jang, D. N. Jackson, and P. A. Vernon. Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Dimensions of Personality Disorder. Paper presented at Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C., May 2–7, 1992; Adrian Raine (1988).


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

Lawrence Mulloy, manager of the Solid Rocket Booster Project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, complained to the manufacturer, Morton Thiokol, when engineers from the company warned him the temperature was too low to guarantee their product would function properly. SCIENTISTS HAVE NEVER BEEN good about explaining what they do or how they do it. Like all human beings, though, they make mistakes, and sometimes abuse their power. The most cited of those abuses are the twins studies and other atrocities carried out by Nazi doctors under the supervision of Josef Mengele. While not as purely evil (because almost nothing could be), the most notorious event in American medical history occurred not long ago: from 1932 to 1972, in what became known as the Tuskegee Experiment, U.S. Public Health Service researchers refused to treat hundreds of poor, mostly illiterate African American share-croppers for syphilis in order to get a better understanding of the natural progression of their disease.


pages: 290 words: 82,871

The Hidden Half: How the World Conceals Its Secrets by Michael Blastland

air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, cognitive bias, complexity theory, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, epigenetics, experimental subject, full employment, George Santayana, hindsight bias, income inequality, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, nudge unit, oil shock, p-value, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, selection bias, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, twin studies

Index abstract formulas 141 Academy of Medical Sciences 133 adoption studies 41 aid, economic development 141 aid-effectiveness craze, the 153 alcohol consumption 180 AllTrials campaign 114–5 Altman, Doug 129–30 Amano, Yukiya 185 ambiguity 209–10 Amgen 111–2 Analysis (radio programme) 102 analytic validity 158, 263n18 anarchy 224 aphorisms 68–9, 149 apprenticeships 205–6 argument, beliefs and habits of 186 asthma 135 Attanasio, Orazio 225–9, 230 Autho, David 219–23 average knowledge 173 background influences 23–34 background norms, rejecting 24–5 bacon 161–3, 162–3 Banerjee, Abhijit 150–4, 157 Bangladesh 80–2, 82, 101–2, 158, 261n6 Bank of England 103, 216 Bank of Japan 103 Basbøll, Thomas 244–5 baseline data 165 base-rate neglect 176–7 basic laws 140 Bateson, William 245 BBC 88, 98 Beatles, the 52–3, 259n33 Begley, Glenn 111–7 behaviour context-specific 42–3 environmental cues 65–7 behavioural economics 157 Behavioural Insight Team 155, 156, 232 beliefs 60 contradictory 63–4 inconsistency of 60–6 justification 60–1, 63 manipulation 62–3 power of information on 66–8 self-contradiction 61–2 Berlin, Isaiah 199 betting, on knowledge 236–7 big causes, power of 35 big events causal intricacy 193–6 complexity 185–7 difficulty determining causality 188–96 power of circumstance 196–9 big picture, the 215–6 Bijani, Ladan 40–1 Bijani, Laleh 40–1 biographies 49 biological randomness 43–4 biomedical science, research standards 129–36 Bolsover 217–8 Boorstin, Daniel 17, 136, 138, 264n24 Booth, Charles 146–7 BP 211 brain, the 64 plasticity 56 self-justifying 83 breast cancer 45–6, 46 Brexit referendum 18–9, 20, 90, 214–8, 223–4, 241 Bunnings 77 Burckhardt, Jacob 255n20 Burke, Edmund 269n1 Burns, Terry 102–3 business decisions, failures 210–1 cancer 45–8 breast 45–6, 46 lung 174–5 risk 162–3, 166, 174–5 screening 132–3 Cancer Research UK 133 canned laughter 154–5 capitalism 118 Carillion 211 Carp, Joshua 123–4 Cartwright, Nancy 79, 79–82, 82, 193–4, 195, 202–3, 203–4, 263n18 causal instincts 123 causal interactions, complexity 239 causal intricacy 193–4 causal models 242–4, 243, 269–70n3 causal theorizing 212–4 causality assumption of 212–4 difficulty determining 188–96 existence of 276–7n12 hard 225–9 importance of 212 mechanical models 242–4, 243 in one person 48 cause and effect dependable 203–4 patterns of 23, 25–6, 26 supposed 248 unreliable 204 causes and causal influences 90, 94 competing 248 criminals 29 interaction 193–6 and luck 178 secret life of 8–11 simple 184–5 cells, biographical stories 47–8 certainty, desire for 235 Chadwick, Edwin 146–7 chance 14, 37–8, 247, 281n1 chaos theory 56–7, 276n10 Chater, Nick 59, 60, 63, 64–5, 66–7 Chernobyl disaster 185 child and adolescent development 23–6, 41–2 child mental health 206–7 childhood influences 23–5 delinquent boys 26–34 China, rise of 218–23, 279n19 choice, situated 31–3, 34 choice blindness 62 choices 60 Cialdini, Robert 154–5 Cifu, Adam 131–2 circumstances 70 power of 196–9 claims inflation 130 climate change 238–9 Clinton, Hillary 222 Cochrane Collaboration, the 189–90 cognition 64 cognitive biases 14 cognitive limitations 14, 214 Comaroff, John 107–8 common sense 69–70 comparative cost analysis 173 competence 236–7 complacency 237 complexity adding 244 big events 185–7 facing 15 hidden 184–201 of reality 245 complexity theory 276n10 complexity-avoidance 187 complications, hidden 187 Conan Doyle, Arthur 108 confidence 72 consistency 68–75, 202–4, 260n6, 260n8 constructive realism 17 consumer behaviour 77 context 41–2, 72, 101 context-specific behaviour 72 context-specific learning 42–3 control alternative to 248–9 elusiveness of 85–6 powers of 195 conviction 104 coping strategies 16–7, 225–46 adapting 230–3 betting 236–7 communicate uncertainty 237–9 embracing uncertainty 234–6 exceptions 244–5 experiment 230–3 governing for uncertainty 239–41 managing for uncertainty 241–2 metaphors 242–4 negative capability 234 relax 246 triangulation 233–4 use of probability 242 Corbyn, Jeremy 20 corporate power 241 cost/benefit analysis, cows 117–22 cows, cost/benefit analysis 117–22 Coyle, Diane 216, 262n12 Crabbe, John 85–7 credibility 238–9 credibility crisis 18 crime causes of 142–4 heroes and villains view 142 opportunist 144–5 reduced opportunity 144–5 theory of 142–6, 143 victims and survivors view 142–3 criminals causal influences 29 childhood influences 26–34 desisters 30 high rate chronics 30 life-course persistent offenders 28–9 life-courses 28, 236 variables 31 critical factors 83–5 crowds, wisdom of 149 cultural difference 79–82, 79–85 Daniels, Denise 43–4, 57 Darwin, Charles 50–1 data granularity 216–7 interpretation 98–100 Dawid, Philip 276–7n12 De Rond, Mark 198, 201 de Vries, Ymkje Anna 114 deadweight cost 205–6 debate 98 decision making 58–60 influences 32–3 situated choice 31–3 deep preferences 65 deeper rationale, construction of 60 Deepwater Horizon 211 defining characteristics 43 degrees of freedom 122–9 delinquent boys 26–34 dementia 176–7, 274n16 democracy 20 Deng Xiaoping 219 Denrell, Jerker 199, 201 desires 59 details importance of 49–54 neglecting 151–2 problem of 229 selective 26 determinism 28 development economics 150–3 developmental difference, sources of variation 9–11 developmental noise 10 difference 15 pockets of 214–24 Dilnot, Andrew 237, 275n3 disciplined pluralism 231 disorder 45 forces of 11–3 doubt 238 Down’s syndrome 166 drugs comparative cost analysis 173 impact 171–2 medical effect 167–9, 169, 170–4 non-responders 172 Numbers-Needed-to-Treat (NNTs) 168, 169, 170, 173–4 predictive weakness 170–3 duelling certainties 235 Duflo, Esther 83, 84, 141, 150–3, 157–8, 158–9, 230–1 ecological validity 263n18 economic development, aid 141 economic forecasting 92, 102–7 economic recovery 217–8 economics 233 economy, the 87–100, 91, 93, 94, 95 education 151–2, 206–7, 275– 6n7 Einstein, Albert 140–1 Emerson, Ralph Waldo 68 enigmatic variation 13–6, 48 environment context 72 non-shared 37 shared 35 environmental influences 43–4 epidemiology 181 epigenetics 6–7 erratic influences 60 essential you, the 59–60 estimates 89–91, 96 European Central Bank 103 evidence 21 balance of 114 conclusive 186, 187 the Janus effect 121, 122–9 limitations of 117–22 statistical significance 137 strength of 137 evidence-based medicine 133–4 exceptions 214–24, 244–5 expectations 35 big 196 frustration of 15 of regularity 47, 202–4 unrealistic 182 experience, influence of 33, 34, 55–7 experiment 230–3 expertise, crisis of 18–9 experts, credibility crisis 18–9 external validity 101, 158, 263n18, 264n19 extreme performance 199 failure 204–11 fairness 66–7 false negatives 113–4 false positives 113–4, 122 falsification 245 family, changes of 41 farmer and a chicken, the 202–4 fate 30 fears, exaggerated 46 Financial Times 77 First World War 108 Fitzroy, Robert 50 flat mind, the 60, 60–8 Flaubert, Gustave 139 forecasting 109 former Yugoslavia 108 foxes 199 France 186–7 Freedman, Sir Lawrence 108, 109 freedom 236 Fukushima nuclear power station meltdown 185–7 fundamentals 141 identifying 153 further education 208–9 Galbraith, John Kenneth 110 Gartner, Klaus 87 Gash, Tom 142–3 Gates, Bill 199 GDP data 262n12 growth estimation 88–100, 91, 93, 94, 95, 262–3n14 local 214–5, 216, 218 Gelman, Andrew 124–5, 244 gene–environment interaction 6–7 general principles 140 generalities 174 generalization 76–8, 146, 152, 263n18 genes and genetics influence of 34–7, 39–41, 44, 45–7 overclaiming 134–5 power of 33, 45 genetic risk 45–7 genius, dangerous 212–4 genotype 8 Germany 185, 186, 188 Gillam, John 77 global financial crisis, 2008–9 104, 106, 210, 235 globalization 213 Gove, Michael 18–9 granularity 216–7 ground truth 217 groupthink 149 guarantees, lack of 160 Guardian 207 Gupta, Rajeev 117, 118 Haldane, Andy 216–7, 218 Harford, Tim 156–7, 237 Harris, Judith Rich 40–2, 72 Hayek, Friedrich 105–6 health screening 177 heart disease 163–6 hedgehogs 199 Henry (ex-delinquent) 32 Hensall, Abigail 39–40, 41 Hensall, Brittany 39–40, 41 herd mentality 154–5 hidden causes 35–8 hidden half, the coping strategies 225–46 ignoring 202–24 mystery of 35 power of 44–5 hidden trivia 8–9 hindsight 78 hindsight bias 83 history 107–8 lessons of 109 Homebase 76–7 Honda, US motorcycle market penetration 196–9 hubris 77 human sameness irregularity 45–9 limits of 34–45 human understanding, fundamentals 213 Human Zoo, The (radio programme) 60–6 humility 224, 248–9 IBM 199 ibuprofen 163–5 ideological divide 240 ideologies 9–10 idiosyncratic influence 53–4 ignorance 21, 107 disguising 242 the shock of 7 imagination 138 impulsive judgement, value of 149 incarceration rates, United States of America 222, 240, 280n10 incidentals, effect of 51–2 incoherency problem, the 149 inconsistency beliefs 60–6 justifiable 70–1 incredible certitude 209 Indian Express 117 individual differences 56 individuality conjoined twins 39–42 neurological foundation of 56 industrial policy 208 inflation 102–7 influences background 23–34 childhood 26–34 criminals 26–34 decision making 32–3 environmental 43–4 erratic 60 hidden 204 microenvironmental 8–9, 253–4n12 information power of 66–8 selective 66–7 Institute for Fiscal Studies 205–6 Institute for Government 208–9 intangible differences 253n11 intangible variation 10, 229 interaction, problems of 193–6 internal validity 101–2, 158 International Journal of Epidemiology 43 intuition 54, 204 Ioannidis, John 121, 133–6 irrationality, human 14 irregularity 94 disruptive power of 224 frustration of 15 human 45–9 influence 12 problem of 229 underestimating 214–24 Islamic State 108 it’s-all-because problem 91, 96 James, Henry 29, 56 James, William 141 Janus effect, the 121, 122–9 Johansen, Petter 62 Johnson, Samuel 214 Johnson, Wendy 71–2 Jones, Susannah Mushatt 162–3, 165 journalism 237–8 Juno (film) 193 Kaelin, William 130 Kawashima, Kihachiro 197 Kay, John 16, 68, 197, 231, 232 Keats, John 138–9, 234 Kempermann, Gerd 56, 57 Keynes, John Maynard 107, 271n9 Keynesianism 103 King, Mervyn 103, 104, 106, 110 Kinnell, Galway 28 Knausgaard, Karl Ove 86–7 Knight, Frank 107 Knightian uncertainty 107 knowledge 12–3, 170 advance of 20–1 average 173 betting on 236–7 credibility crisis 18 critical factors 83–5 failures of 19, 76–8, 79–82 fallibility of 248 generalizable 234 generalization 76–8 illusion of 136, 138 lessons of the past 102–7, 107–10 in medicine 182 negative capability 138–9 as obstacle to progress 17 obvious 82 paths to 136–9 plausibility mistaken for 132 practical 30–1 pretence of 105–6 probabilistic 160, 161, 163–4, 172–3 and probability 180 problem of scale 177–80 provenance 116 relevant 82–5 replication crisis 111–7 subverting 76–110 and time variations 87–100, 91, 93, 94, 95 transfer 37, 76–8, 83, 101–2 unknowns 85–7 validity 100–2 validity across time 107–10 weakest-link principle 79–82 Krugman, Paul 210 Lancet 225–6 Langley, Winnie 51, 165, 178 Laub, John 26–34, 42 law-like effects, claims about 21 learning styles 207 Leicester City Football Club 199–201 Leon (ex-delinquent) 31–2 Leyser, Ottoline 114 life, mechanics of 51 life-course persistent offenders 28–9 limits and limitations 16–7, 44, 75 base-rate neglect 176–7 of cleverness 278n14 individual level 174–6, 178–9, 181–3 lack of guarantees 160 marginal probabilistic outcomes 176–7 medical effect 167–9, 169, 170–4 on prediction 165–6 on probability 160–83 problem of scale 161–6, 174– 6, 177–80, 181–3 Liskov Substitution Principle 261n3 Little Britain (TV comedy) 192 Liu, Chengwei 198, 201 lives, understanding 29 location shift 264n20 Loken, Erik 124–5 long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS) 190 luck 37–8, 48, 178, 198 lung cancer 174–5 Lyko, Frank 1, 2 machine mode thinking 151–2 Macron, Emmanuel 20 Manski, Charles 209, 235 Mao Zedong 218 marginal probabilistic outcomes 176–7 marmorkrebs 1–9, 4, 10, 12, 12–3, 22, 35, 81, 182, 252n2 Marteau, Theresa 65 Martin, George 52 May, Theresa 208 Mayne, Stephen 77 measurement 99–100 mechanical relationships 212, 242, 244 mechanical thinking 242–4, 243 media stigma 192–3 medical effect, drugs 167–9, 169, 170–4 medical reversal 131–3 medicine comparative cost analysis 173 knowledge in 182 non-responders 172 Numbers-Needed-to-Treat (NNTs) 168, 169, 170, 173–4 personalized 181–3 predictive weakness 170–3 probability and 167–9, 169, 170–4 memory 56, 102–7 Mendelian randomization 233 Menon, Anand 214–5 mental shortcuts 14–5 mere facts 202–3 meta-science 19, 20 methodological revisions 97–8, 120 mice 55 microenvironmental influences 8–9, 253–4n12 micro-irregularity 35–7 micro-particulars 128 Microsoft 147–50, 199 Miller, Helen 66–7, 67 mind, the flat 59–60, 60–8 shape 59 models and modelling 140, 242–4, 243, 269–70n3 moment when, the 52 morality, changing 108 More or Less (radio programme) 237 Munafò, Marcus 234 Nadella, Satya 147–8 National Survey of Family Growth 192 National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles 191–2 nationalism 108 Nature 2, 112, 136, 168, 174 nature/nurture debate 3, 5–6, 9–10 negative capability 138–9, 234 neurology 58 New England Journal of Medicine 131–2 Newcastle upon Tyne 214 Newton, Isaac 140–1 noise 14 definition 10 developmental 10 as intellectual dross 11 re-appraisal of 11–3 non-shared environment 37 Nosek, Brian 129 noses 49–51 Nottingham 217 Numbers-Needed-to-Treat (NNTs) 168, 169 nurture, influence of 44 O’Connor, Sarah 217–8 Office for National Statistics 89, 92, 98, 99–100, 216 O’Neill, Onora 238 opinions 21, 59 order 11–2, 13 organ donation campaign 155–6 outside influence 44 overclaiming 134–5 overconfidence 21 overseas business expansion 76–8 Oxfam, sexual abuse scandal 210 Paphides, Pete 52–3 parental behaviour 41 parents, impact of 41 Parris, Matthew 63 parthenogenesis 1–2 particularism 271–2n15 particularity problem, the 93 past, the, lessons of 102–7, 107–10 pattern-making instinct 21 patterns 13 pendulums 57 perceptual systems 64 performance 72–5 personalized medicine 181–3 Peto, Richard 47–8 phenotypes 8 physiognomy, and character 50 plausibility 132 Plomin, Robert 43–4, 49, 57 pluralism 231–2 polarization 235 policy making 231–2 appraisal 277n4 chances of success 208 failures 204–9 governing for uncertainty 239–41 and probability 178–9 secret of 209 seminar 207–8 sequential changes 208 political assumptions, fall of 20 political beliefs 60–6 population validity 263n18 populism, rise of 20 poverty 240–1 Prasad, Vinayak 131–2 precision 183 predictability 28 predictive weakness 165–6, 170–3 preferences 59, 62 deep 65 priming 126–8 probabilistic knowledge 160, 161, 163–4, 170, 172–3 probability 54, 70, 107, 258n25, 272n2 advantages 177–80 base-rate neglect 176–7 difference in 30 fear of low probabilities 166 individual level 174–6, 178–9, 181–3 limits and limitations 160–83 marginal 176–7 medical effect 167–9, 169, 170–4 paradox 170 and policy making 178–9 predictive weakness 165–6 problem of scale 161–6, 174– 6, 177–80, 181–3 recognizing significance 161 risk evaluation 161–6 suggestion of knowledge 180 use of 242 usefulness 161 problems, conceptualizing 17 productivity growth 209–10 progress, knowledge as obstacle to 17 psychoanalysis 58 psychology 58 Pullinger, John 278n14 Pullman, Philip 37 quantification, risk and risk-taking 162–5 racism 125–6 radical uncertainty 106, 107 Radio, Andrew 102 rage to conclude, the 139 randomized controlled trials, value of 280n6 randomness, pure 9 Ranieri, Claudio 200–1 rationality 68, 260n6, 260n8 reality 230, 245, 254n14 reciprocity 155 reflection 65–6 regularity 73, 160 assumption of 212–4 expectations of 47, 202–4 search for 212, 230 statistical 240–1 replication crisis 18, 111–7, 117– 22, 129, 136, 138 Replication Project 129 research 111–39 balance of evidence 114 breadth 130 claims inflation 130 confidence in 115–6 credibility crisis 18 decision rules 136–9 depth 130 evidence-based medicine 133–4 false negatives 113–4 false positives 113–4, 122 fragility 128–9 freedom 122–9 half wrong 113, 115–6 the Janus effect 121, 122–9 limitations of 117–22 micro-particulars 128 multiple analyses 125–6 multiple conclusions 117–22 overclaiming 134–5 priming 126–8 redemption 20 replication crisis 111–7, 117– 22, 129, 136, 138 rigour 19 scepticism 115–6 standards 129–36 statistical significance 122 triangulation 138 validity 101–2 research-credibility crisis 18 rigour 19, 246 risk and risk-taking 70–1, 107, 186 alcohol consumption 180 cancer 162–3, 166, 174–5 communication of 133 evaluation 161–6 heart disease 163–6 quantification 162–5, 166 quantified 187 risk-perception 71 Rockhill, Beverly 181 Rolling Stone magazine 23 Rose, Geoffrey 175–6 Rowntree Joseph 146–7 Royal Bank of Scotland 211 Russell, Bertrand 202, 202–3 samples, validity 100–2 Sampson, Robert 26–34, 42, 236 sanitation 225–9 Santayana, George 109 scale, problem of 161–6, 174–6, 177–80, 181–3 scepticism 105, 115–6, 128, 206 schizophrenia 34–6, 256n10 Science 56 Scientific American 55 Scotland, Triple-P parenting programme 206 screening 132–3, 177 searing memory, doctrine of the 102–7 selection bias 244 self-understanding 67 Sense about 115 serendipitous events 43, 52–3 sex education, role of 189–90 short-term gene–environment interaction 7 significance, recognizing 161 Silberzahn, Raphael 125–6 Simmons, Joseph 122–3 situated choice 31–3, 34, 42 situations, appraisal of 72 sliding-doors moments 50 small differences, power of 56–7 small effects, influence of 49–54 small experiences, influence of 35–7 smartphones 97, 191 Smith, George Davey 50, 51, 234, 281n1 social contexts 31, 195 social media 191 social mobility 240–1 social policy 195 social proof 154–6 social reformers 146–7 social science, utility of 146–50 special theory of relativity 140–1 Spiegelhalter, David 180, 244–5 spontaneous interaction 9 stagflation 103 statins 171 statistical regularities 240–1 statistical significance 122, 137 stents, use of 131 stories and storytelling 25–6, 53–4, 244–5, 247, 248, 258n25, 258n27 structural forces 54 Sun, the 51 support factors 194 Surfers Against Sewage 70–1 surgeons, skills 73–4 system 1 thinking 149 systematic forces 54 systems-level thinking 153 Tamil Nadu 79–82, 101–2 Tangiers, Morocco 84 technology, changing 108 Teen Mom (TV show) 193 teenage pregnancy rate decline in 184, 188–96 estimates 275n3 terrible simplifiers 255n20 Tesco 77, 211 Thaler, Richard 157 theories 140–59 analytic validity 158 arguments about 150–4 of crime 142–6, 143 development economics 150–3 fitness 157 implementation 152 limitations 157 and practice 141 refining 156–7 relevance 157–8 social science 146–50 tension in 154–9 using 156–7 ‘thick’ description 86 time, validity across 107–10 Time magazine 193 time variations, and knowledge 87–100, 91, 93, 94, 95 The Times 63 toilets 225–9 Toshiba 211 trade-offs 190–1 trends 54 trials 156 triangulation 138, 233–4 Triple-P parenting programme 206–7 trivia, importance of 84–5 true uncertainty 107 Trump, Donald 20, 218, 222, 223–4 trust 238 trust deficit 218 trustworthiness 238 Tufte, Edward 139 turning points, variety 49–54 TV crime shows 143, 143 twins and twin studies conjoined 39–42 identical 34–7, 39, 256n10 Tyson, Mike 23, 23–6 Tyson, Rodney 24–5, 255n3 Uhlmann, Eric 125–6 uncertainty 89–90, 100, 209– 12, 254n14 admitting 238 communicating 237–9 data 89–91 embracing 234–6 erratic 93 governing for 239–41 Knightian 107 language of 238 managing for 241–2 in medicine 167–9, 169, 170–4 perpetual 230 radical 106, 107 true 107 uncertainty laundering 268n33 understanding hidden half of 13 limiting effects on 14 limits of 54 unemployment 221–2, 263n17 unintended consequences 105, 229 United States of America China trade 220–3 incarceration rates 222, 240, 280n10 labour market 221 minimum wage 266–7n10 unemployment 221–2 universal gravitational attraction, theory of 140–1 unknowns 85–7, 206 unusual, the 195 upbringing 23–5 Uyeno, Lori 47 validity across time 107–10 analytic 158, 263n18 ecological 263n18 external 101, 158, 263n18, 264n19 internal 101–2, 158 knowledge 100–2, 107–10 population 263n18 research 101–2 samples 100–2 values 59, 232 variation, sources of 5–8 Volkswagen, diesel emissions scandal 211 Wall Street Journal 219 Wallace, Alfred Russel 259n33 Walmart 77 Watts, Duncan 68, 69, 147–50 weakest-link principle 79–82 Wedgwood, Josiah 50–1 Wellington, Duke of 51 Wesfarmers 76–7 West Germany, motorcycle thefts 142–4 Western, Bruce 54 Wilson, Harold 99 World Bank Independent Evaluation Group 79 World Health Organization 162 world picture 63–4 Wright, Sewall 253n11


pages: 283 words: 85,906

The Clock Mirage: Our Myth of Measured Time by Joseph Mazur

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, computer age, Credit Default Swap, Danny Hillis, Drosophila, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Pepto Bismol, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, twin studies

Lorentz, A. Einstein, H. Minkowski, and H. Weyl, The Principle of Relativity, translated by W. Perrett and G. B. Jeffery (London: Methuen, 1923; reprint ed., New York: Dover, 1952), 35–65. Originally published as Das Relativitätsprinzip, 4th ed. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1922). 3. Recent studies have assessed the dangers of long-term space flight. See Francine E. Garrett-Bakelman et al., “The NASA Twins Study: A Multidimensional Analysis of a Year-Long Human Spaceflight,” Science 364 (2019), doi: 10.1126/science.aau8650. 4. See Gerald James Whitrow, The Natural Philosophy of Time (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 265. 5. By frame of reference, we mean a coordinate system with reference points that uniquely locate all points within the system along with a way of measuring distances between points. 6.


pages: 291 words: 92,406

Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, factory automation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, source of truth, theory of mind, twin studies

Mady Horning at the Columbia University School of Public Health has a three-strikes model. The factors that all interact with each other to cause a developmental disability are: 1. Genetic susceptibility 2. Exposure to a toxic agent 3. The timing during development that exposure to a toxic agent occurs. A toxic agent may have no effect at one stage of development and bad effects at another stage. Twin studies show further evidence of an interaction between environment and genetics. Mady Horning states that the concordance rate for autism in genetically identical twins is 90 percent. This means that 90 percent of the time both twins are autistic. In genetically different nonidentical twins the concordance rate is 35 percent and the autism rate in siblings is 4 percent. Further information on the mercury controversy can be found at the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, California, or in a new book by David Kirby entitled Evidence of Harm. 3 THE SQUEEZE MACHINE Sensory Problems in Autism FROM AS FAR BACK as I can remember, I always hated to be hugged.


pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, twin studies, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

“There are no biological determinants for narcissism,” says social psychologist Jerome Kagan of Harvard University flatly, “none that are known, at least. Forgive the immodesty, but I read this literature every day. There’s no scientific paper worth reading showing that people who are considered narcissists share some brain profile or set of genes.” Kagan bases his beliefs on a range of problems that beset a lot of behavioral research, no matter how well designed the experiments are. For starters, the twin studies gather their raw data via questionnaires, which rely on the subjects to rate themselves and, harder still, to do so honestly—which is about the most subjective research strategy imaginable. This is true no matter who the subjects are, but when they’re twins things can get skewed further, since fraternal siblings, as a rule, try harder to distinguish themselves from each other than identical twins do, and that response bias may show up in their answers.


pages: 336 words: 93,672

The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists by Gary Marcus, Jeremy Freeman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, bitcoin, brain emulation, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, Drosophila, epigenetics, global pandemic, Google Glasses, iterative process, linked data, mouse model, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, Turing machine, twin studies, web application

Real differences underlying illness in particular subsets of patients will be swamped out if the causes of these conditions are actually heterogeneous. Genetics Where neuroscience has so far failed to distinguish psychiatric patients by cause, genetics is proving more incisive. From the time that conditions like schizophrenia and autism were first described it has been clear that they “run in families.” Twin studies clearly show that this effect is largely due to shared genes, not shared environment. In neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and schizophrenia, genetic differences account for the vast majority of variance across the population in who develops these conditions. The big news is that it is now finally possible to find those genes. Where previously we knew of rare mutations in a couple of genes that could lead to psychiatric disease, we now know of well over a hundred.


pages: 287 words: 92,194

Sex Power Money by Sara Pascoe

Albert Einstein, call centre, Donald Trump, Firefox, gender pay gap, invention of movable type, Louis Daguerre, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Neil Kinnock, phenotype, telemarketer, twin studies, zero-sum game

The study uses words like ‘habituation’ – people get used to seeing violence and it becomes normalised. That does worry me, and it appears difficult to quantify. There is a multitude of studies examining how watching hardcore porn might change how the viewer interacts with the real world, but unfortunately there are so many other factors in somebody’s life, it’s impossible to say definitively what causes an opinion or a behaviour. Until I get my porn-island twin study off the ground, that is. I have been seeking a study about empathy and sexual arousal. I want a clear answer to my question from right at the beginning: does being turned on make someone care a bit less? Something I have experienced personally from sex with men is that when they are very aroused, they are also very motivated to orgasm. Motivated is a polite term, but it’s why stopping just before or during sex can be difficult to orchestrate.


pages: 357 words: 98,854

Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance by Nessa Carey

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, life extension, mouse model, phenotype, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, stochastic process, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies

Assuming that the mutation was present in either the egg or the sperm that fused to form the zygote, all the daughter cells that form the inner cell mass and ultimately the two embryos will also carry the mutation. However, relatively few conditions show 100 per cent concordance, as the majority of illnesses are not caused by one overwhelming mutation in a key gene. This creates the problem of how to determine if genetics plays a role, and if so, how great this role is. This is where twin studies have become so valuable. If we study large groups of MZ twins we can determine what percentage of them is concordant or discordant for a particular condition. If one twin has a disease, does the other twin also tend to develop it as well? Figure 5.1 is a graph showing concordance rates for schizophrenia. This shows that the more closely related we are to someone with this disease, the more likely we are to develop it ourselves.


pages: 360 words: 100,991

Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence by Richard Yonck

3D printing, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, friendly AI, ghettoisation, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of writing, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Skype, social intelligence, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing test, twin studies, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, zero day

“Genetic susceptibility to substance dependence.” Mol Psychiatry 10 (4): 336–44. 2005. 8. Davis, M. “NMDA receptors and fear extinction: implications for cognitive behavioral therapy.” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 13(4):463–474. 2011. 9. Stein, M.B., Lang, L. Taylor, S., Vernon, P.A., Livesley, J.W. “Genetic and Environmental Influences on Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A Twin Study.” American Journal of Psychiatry. 150(10):1675–1681. 2002. 10. Wallach, W. “From Robots to Techno Sapiens: Ethics, Law and Public Policy in the Development of Robotics and Neurotechnologies.” Law, Innovation and Technology 185–207 3(2). 2011. 11. Match.com. / U.S. News & World Report.; Pew Research Center. “15% of American Adults Have Used Online Dating Sites or Mobile Dating Apps.” February 11, 2016.


pages: 339 words: 95,988

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

airport security, Broken windows theory, crack epidemic, desegregation, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, mental accounting, moral hazard, More Guns, Less Crime, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pets.com, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, school choice, sensible shoes, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, War on Poverty

SUVs swimming pools, drowning in Switzerland Szilagyi, John taxes cheating on evasion of “sin” withholding of tax gap teachers bonuses for cheating to meet testing standards by firing of incentives of male vs. female proficiency of television Temple, Shirley terrorism deterrence of fear of money raising for threats of see also Ku Klux Klan; September 11 terrorist attacks testing: of adopted children of black vs. white children data of family factors and of girls vs. boys high-stakes multiple-choice repeat teacher cheating to meet high standards of Texas, University of Texas, University of, at Arlington Southwestern Medical Center at Thaler, Richard Theory of Moral Sentiments, The (Smith) Thomas, Clarence Thurmond, Strom Time tipping point tips, pooling of Tokhtakhounov, Alimzhan Tour de France tragedy of the commons Trilby (Levitt’s friend) Tuskegee Institute twin studies Twitchell, James B. “Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School” (Fryer) “Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990’s: Four Factors That Explain the Decline and Seven That Do Not” (Levitt) Undis, David union busting United Network for Organ Sharing University Press of Florida utility maximization Venkatesh, Sudhir Vienna voting Wade, Henry Waksal, Sam Walk, Hunter Wall Street Journal Wal-Mart Washington Merry-Go-Round Weakest Link, The weapons of mass destruction weather weight loss West Palm Beach airport When Bad Things Happen to Good People Wikipedia William Morris Agency William Morrow/HarperCollins Wilson, James Q.


pages: 297 words: 96,509

Time Paradox by Philip G. Zimbardo, John Boyd

Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, Drosophila, endowment effect, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, twin studies

Brown, “Illusion and Well-Being: A Social-Psychological Perspective on Mental Health,” Psychological Bulletin 103: 193–210 (1988). Chapter 2: The View from in Here 1. N. L. Segal, Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us About Human Behavior (New York: Dutton, 1999). 2. N. Angier, “Joined for Life, and Living Life to the Full,” New York Times, 23 December 1997, F1. 3. A. D. Dreger, “The Limits of Individuality: Ritual and Sacrifice in the Lives and Medical Treatment of Conjoined Twins,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 29: 1–29 (1998). 4. Ibid. Since this paper was published, at least one pair of adult conjoined twins sought separation and died during surgery. “A Lost Surgical Gamble,” New York Times, 9 July 2003, 20. 5. J. R. Searle, Mind, Language, and Society: Philosophy in the Real World (New York: Basic Books, 1998). 6. Subjective states can be defined only in terms of their objective antecedents or other subjective states, but the same is true for physical objects.


pages: 307 words: 102,477

The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep by Dr. Guy Leschziner

23andMe, Berlin Wall, British Empire, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, phenotype, stem cell, twin studies

In these cases, understanding why you may experience these events is plain to see. But why do people without narcolepsy experience this horrible phenomenon? It is certainly not rare. Many people experience it at some point in their lives. Research in this field is limited, but it appears that certain factors predispose to sleep paralysis and the associated hallucinations. Age, gender and race do not seem to be particularly relevant, but from looking at family history and twin studies, there does appear to be a genetic element. More importantly, however, sleep disruption is a common association. Shift work, night cramps, sleep apnoea and sleep quality in general all appear to increase the likelihood, as do certain psychiatric conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. What all these factors have in common is that they make it more likely for you to enter into REM sleep very quickly, or they result in unstable sleep, and perhaps predispose you to waking directly from REM.


Global Catastrophic Risks by Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Cirkovic

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, availability heuristic, Bill Joy: nanobots, Black Swan, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, death of newspapers, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, feminist movement, framing effect, friendly AI, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, global village, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, P = NP, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, South China Sea, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Tunguska event, twin studies, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, War on Poverty, Westphalian system, Y2K

The members at the top level of the 62 Global catastrophic risks hierarchy live healthier lives than those at the bottom level - or even those who occupy positions slightly below the top level! Reproduction also applies psychological pressures. The introduction of effective means of birth control has provided personal choice in reproduction for more people than at any time in the past. We can only surmise how selection for genes that influence reproductive decision-making will affect our future evolution. There is some evidence from twin studies, however, that heritability for reproductive traits, especially for age at first reproduction, is substantial (Kirk et al., 2001). Thus, rapid changes in population growth rates such as those being experienced in Europe and the former Soviet Union are likely to have evolutionary consequences. Concerns over dysgenic pressures on the human population resulting from the build-up of harmful genes (Muller, 1950) have abated.

Ifwe can be sure about anything, it's that humanity won't become superhuman. New York Times, p. E 1 7. Kasting, J . F. (2001). Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee's ' Rare Earth'. Persp. Biol. Med., 44, 1 1 7-1 3 1 . Kirk, K.M., Blomberg, S . P . , Duffy, D.L., Heath, A.C., Owens, I . P. F . , and Martin, N.C. (200 1 ) . Natural selection and quantitative genetics of life-history traits in Western women: a twin study. Evolution, 55, 423-435. Lamason, R.L., Mohideen, M .-A. P . K., Mest, J . R. , Wong, A. C., Norton, H . L. , Aros, M . C . , Jurynec, M . J . , Mao, X., Humphreville, V.R., Humbert, J . E . , Sinha, S . , Moore, J . L. , Jagadeeswaran, P . , Zhao, W., Ning, G . , Makalowska, I., McKeigue, P . M . , O'Donnell, D., Kittles, R., Parra, J . , Mangini, N . J . , Grunwald, D.J., Shriver, M . D . , Canfield, V.A., and Cheng, K.C. (2005) .


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

They estimated the heritability of aggressive behavior at around 0.44, and the heritability of criminality at around 0.75 (of which 0.33 consists of additive heritability, that is, variation that breeds true, and 0.42 consists of nonadditive heritability, variation caused by interactions among genes). Though their dataset on criminality did not distinguish violent from nonviolent crimes, they cited a Danish twin study that separated the two and that yielded a heritability estimate of 0.50 for the violent ones.145 As in most studies in behavioral genetics, the effects of being brought up in a given family were tiny to nonexistent, though other aspects of the environment that are not easily measurable by these techniques, such as effects of the neighborhood, subculture, or idiosyncratic personal experiences, undoubtedly do have effects.

The uses of violence: An examination of some cross-cutting issues. International Journal of Conflict & Violence, 3, 40–59. Eisner, M. 2011. Killing kings: Patterns of regicide in Europe, 600–1800. British Journal of Criminology, 51, 556–77. Eley, T. C., Lichtenstein, P., & Stevenson, J. 1999. Sex differences in the etiology of aggressive and nonaggressive antisocial behavior: Results from two twin studies. Child Development, 70, 155–68. Elias, N. 1939/2000. The civilizing process: Sociogenetic and psychogenetic investigations, rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell. Ellickson, R. C. 1991. Order without law: How neighbors settle disputes. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Ellis, B. J. 1992. The evolution of sexual attraction: Evaluative mechanisms in women. In J. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J.

and commerce and cosmopolitanism Global Village government as and information killing at a distance and moral progress robots and drones weaponry temperance movement temporal discounting; see also interest, and self-control Ten Commandments Tennyson, Alfred, Lord territory: expansion of fighting for terrorism Age of Terror as asymmetrical warfare and ethnic riots failure of and fear in history and Islam nuclear power-law distribution of segregationist September statistics of suicide testosterone Tetlock, Philip Thaler, Richard That Obscure Object of Desire (film) Theisen, Ole theoconservatism theocracy theory of mind; see also empathy; mentalizing third nature third world, see developing world Thirty Years’ War Thomas, Clarence Thöni, Christian Three Mile Island Thucydides Thurmond, Strom Thyne, Clayton Till, Emmett Tilly, Charles Titchener, Edward Tit for Tat game tit-for-tat retaliation Tocqueville, Alexis de Tolstoy, Leo Tooby, John torture: abolition of death by a thousand cuts as entertainment and human sacrifice of Inquisition instruments of of martyrs in modern democracies moral rationale of museums of as punishment in Roman Empire and Roman law and sadism salvation attained by ticking-bomb scenario and witch executions totalitarianism and genocide see also autocracy; dictatorships; theocracy total war Townshend, Pete Toynbee, Arnold, A Study of History trade, international trafficking, see human trafficking Tragedy of the Commons Tremblay, Richard tribalism tribes: archaeological sites and community elders group dominance horse tribes kinship in and sorcery violence between and witchcraft see also hunter-gatherers; specific tribes Trietschke, Heinrich von Trivers, Robert Trivers-Willard theory of sex ratios Trojan War Trolley Problem Truman, Harry S. Trust game Tuchman, Barbara Tucker, G. Richard Tunisia Turing, Alan Turkey Turner, Henry Tutu, Desmond Tversky, Amos Twain, Mark Huckleberry Finn Twenge, Jean 20th century, violence in twin studies: and behavioral genetics of criminals of intelligence of personality Tylor, Edward Tyndale, William tyranny, see despotism; totalitarianism UCDP (Uppsala Conflict Data Project) Uganda Ukraine Ultimatum game Umberto I, king of Italy unemployment United Kingdom, see Britain/United Kingdom; England; Ireland; Scotland; Wales United Nations Arab Human Development Report on capital punishment Committee on Rights of the Child General Assembly on genocide and homosexuality and Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and national borders Office on Drugs and Crime and peacekeeping Security Council UNESCO motto UNESCO Trafficking Statistics Project UNICEF Child Survival Revolution and violence against women United States: American Revolution armed forces of capital punishment in closing of the frontier and Cold War, see Cold War culture war in deaths in decivilization in 1960s, demographics of geographical distribution of homicides in as great power homicide rates in immigrants to migration routes in nuclear monopoly of presidential debates presidents racism in recivilization in 1990s, violence in war deaths in Universal Declaration of Human Rights Uruguay USSR: Afghanistan invaded by before and after Cold War, see Russia collapse of collectivization in Cuban Missile Crisis expansionism genocide in as great power and nuclear weapons Stalin’s purges and World War II, see also Cold War utilitarianism utopianism uxoricide vaccination Valdesolo, Piercarlo Valentino, Benjamin Valero, Helena Valéry, Paul van der Dennen, Johan van Gogh, Theo Vasquez, John vegetarianism vengeance, see revenge Venice, democracy in Verkko’s Laws Versailles, Treaty of Vidor, King Vienna, Congress of Vietnam “Vietnam Syndrome,” Vietnam War antiwar protests atrocities in deaths in Tungsten Theory of as war of attrition vigilantism Violence Against Women Act (1994) violence triangle Virginia, homicides in vivisection Vlad the Impaler Voltaire Vonnegut, Kurt Voting Rights Act (1965) Waal, Frans de Waldman, Irwin Wales Walker, Alice Wallis, John Walsh, John Waltz, Kenneth war: alternatives to antiwar views of attrition avoidance of battle deaths, use of term categories of causes of changing attitudes toward colonial datasets Conflict Catalog Correlates of War Project Human Security Report Project Levy on great power wars Luard on PRIO L.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Overconscientiousness predicts obsessive-compulsive disorder, whereas low conscientiousness predicts drug addiction and other “impulse control” disorders. Low emotional stability predicts depression, anxiety, bipolar, borderline, and histrionic disorders. Low extroversion predicts avoidant and schizoid personality disorders. Low agreeableness predicts psychopathy and paranoid personality disorder. High openness is on a continuum with schizotypy and schizophrenia. Twin studies show that these links between personality traits and mental illnesses exist not just at the behavioral level but also at the genetic level. And parents who are somewhat extreme on a personality trait are much more likely to have a child with the associated mental illness. One implication is that the “insane” are often just a bit more extreme in their personalities than whatever promotes success or contentment in modern societies—or more extreme than we’re comfortable with.


pages: 381 words: 111,629

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Dr. Elissa Epel

Albert Einstein, epigenetics, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, survivorship bias, The Spirit Level, twin studies

Birnbaum, B. L. Needham, and A. R. Zota, “Cross-Sectional Associations Between Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants and Leukocyte Telomere Length Among U.S. Adults in NHANES, 2001–2002,” Environmental Health Perspectives 124, no. 5 (May 2016): 651–58, doi:10.1289/ehp.1510187. 28. Bijnens, E., et al., “Lower Placental Telomere Length May Be Attributed to Maternal Residental Traffic Exposure; A Twin Study,” Environment International 79 (June 2015): 1–7, doi:0.1016/j.envint.2015.02.008. 29. Ferrario, D., et al., “Arsenic Induces Telomerase Expression and Maintains Telomere Length in Human Cord Blood Cells,” Toxicology 260, nos. 1–3 (June 16, 2009): 132–41, doi:10.1016/j.tox.2009.03.019; Hou, L., et al., “Air Pollution Exposure and Telomere Length in Highly Exposed Subjects in Beijing, China: A Repeated-Measure Study,” Environment International 48 (November 1, 2012): 71–77, doi:10.1016/j.envint.2012.06.020; Zhang et al., “Environmental and Occupational Exposure to Chemicals and Telomere Length in Human Studies”; Bassig, B.


pages: 370 words: 107,983

Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All by Robert Elliott Smith

Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, AI winter, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, animal electricity, autonomous vehicles, Black Swan, British Empire, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, corporate personhood, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Gerolamo Cardano, gig economy, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, p-value, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, women in the workforce

Galton himself travelled extensively through Eastern Europe to Constantinople, and to east and southern Africa, where he carried out a surveying expedition in Namibia in 1850, which earned him the Royal Geographical Society’s Founders Gold Medal in 1853. Having been a child prodigy himself, he had always been interested in intelligence and how this and other behavioural and character traits were transmitted from parents to child. And following the publication of Origin, he was the first person to attempt to systematically measure intelligence, inventing questionnaires, twin studies, the lexical approach, psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology. At the same time, he was hugely influential in the fields of statistics and mathematical biology, having established the principles of correlation and regression to the mean. In 1884, he founded the Anthropometric Laboratory, first at the International Health Exhibition and then at the South Kensington Museum.


pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

Kagan agreed, and the scientist proceeded to tell him that he gives lectures every month and, despite his capable stage persona, is terrified each time. Reading Kagan’s work had had a big impact on him, however. “You changed my life,” he told Kagan. “All this time I’ve been blaming my mother, but now I think I’m a high-reactive.” So am I introverted because I inherited my parents’ high reactivity, copied their behaviors, or both? Remember that the heritability statistics derived from twin studies show that introversion-extroversion is only 40 to 50 percent heritable. This means that, in a group of people, on average half of the variability in introversion-extroversion is caused by genetic factors. To make things even more complex, there are probably many genes at work, and Kagan’s framework of high reactivity is likely one of many physiological routes to introversion. Also, averages are tricky.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

It has two outcomes: to increase the number of people taking expensive drugs and therapy, and to fracture the families of those who are most vulnerable. The alternative explanation, backed by a growing body of data, is biological basis. It is still a controversial notion, absent from DSM-5, which was authored by the pharmaceutical and mental health care industries. A biological basis means that personality disorders are strongly inherited, and triggered or exacerbated by environmental factors to a degree that we can actually measure, from twin studies. Yet within this exists a paradox: How can genes that make us so dysfunctional, self-destructive, and even suicidal be the result of natural selection? The same paradox applies to groups: How can collective violence and stupidity be based on inheritable instincts when they clearly seem counterproductive? The simplest plausible answer is that "being functional" is highly context-sensitive. In societies with enough food, being tall is advantageous.


pages: 387 words: 120,155

Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference by David Halpern

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, collaborative consumption, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, different worldview, endowment effect, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, IKEA effect, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, libertarian paternalism, light touch regulation, longitudinal study, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, nudge unit, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, presumed consent, QR code, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, the built environment, theory of mind, traffic fines, twin studies, World Values Survey

A sunny disposition We observe every day that some people seem blessed with more positive outlooks on life. In contrast, others seem prone to darker outlooks, or to seeing the negative side of life. It turns out that most of us seem to have a sort of set point or anchor for our well-being, and this helps to explain why we tend to give a similar answer to how satisfied we are with life when asked the same question a decade or more later. Evidence from twin studies suggests that there is at least some genetic basis for this difference. Identical twins, even when adopted and raised apart, have more similar levels of reported life satisfaction than non-identical twins. Part of these individual differences are thought to lie in cognitive style, whether rooted in genes or upbringing. This is especially manifest at the negative, or sad, end in a tendency to interpret events in a negative, internally attributed way.


pages: 405 words: 112,470

Together by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.

Airbnb, call centre, cognitive bias, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, gig economy, income inequality, index card, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, stem cell, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft

When Cacioppo and his colleagues conducted the first genome-wide association study of loneliness, published in 2016 in Neuropsychopharmacology,20 they confirmed that genes do play a role in chronic loneliness, though not nearly as much as experience and circumstance do. After studying data from more than ten thousand people aged fifty or older, they concluded that the tendency to feel lonely over a lifetime, rather than just occasionally due to circumstance, is between 14 and 27 percent heritable based on an analysis of common gene variants. Other studies, including twin studies, looking at the total heritability of loneliness have pegged that number as high as 55 percent.21 But it’s important to note that loneliness is not a discrete condition but an emotional response. “What’s being inherited is not loneliness,” Cacioppo said, “it’s the painfulness of the disconnection.”22 What he meant is that the overall experience of loneliness is a complex product of our genes, past experiences, current circumstances, the culture in which we live, and our personalities.


pages: 428 words: 126,013

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

basic income, Berlin Wall, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, gig economy, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, open borders, placebo effect, precariat, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Rat Park, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the scientific method, The Spirit Level, twin studies, universal basic income, urban planning, zero-sum game

See Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Star-D Trials, of SSRIs, here starvation, effects on body, here status and respect current large differences in, here disconnection from, as cause of depression, here and depression as type of submission response, here and status hierarchy in baboon troops, here and low/threatened status as source of stress, here, here, here reconnection to cooperatives and, here universal basic income and, here Stein, Richard, here, here, here stigmatization of depressed persons research on, here undermining of, as motive for chemical imbalance theory of depression, here stress long-term, as cause of depression, here impact of research on, here, here research on, here low/threatened status as source of, here, here, here Sudblock (Berlin gay club) and bonding of Kotti residents, here and Kotti neighborhood protest, here and Tuncai (homeless man), adoption of, here, here, here suicide rates, among Native American/First Nations groups, here Sullivan, Andrew, here Summerfield, Derek, here symptoms, painful of depression, as message about needed changes in society, here as key to discovering underlying problem, here, here, here, here Tamir, Maya, here taxi drivers in London, and neuroplasticity, here teenagers, ineffectiveness of antidepressants for, drug companies’ hiding of, here television, and advertising power to create materialistic desires, here sense of inadequacy generated in viewers, here Thatcher, Margaret, here Ticu, Alex, here, here tribe, human need for connection to cooperatives and, here, here and disconnection from other people as cause of depression, here, here, here, here Internet gaming and, here Tuncai (homeless man) freeing of, by Kotti protesters, here and involvement with others as treatment for depression, here and Kotti neighborhood protest, here return to psychiatric institution, here Tuncer, Neriman, here Twenge, Jean, here twins studies, and genetic factors in depression, here unhappiness, and depression, continuum between, here unions, difficulty of establishing, here United Nations, on social causes of mental illness, here universal basic income cost of implementing, here experiments with, here experiment with, in Dauphin, Canada, here effects on residents, here ending of, here Forget’s analysis of data from, here and improvements in working conditions, here, here mental health effects of, here as realizable dream, here as remedy for economic insecurity created by globalization, here, here Utopia for Realists (Bregman), here values, meaningful, disconnection from as cause of depression, here advertising’s encouragement of materialistic values and, here, here and chemical imbalance model of depression, here link between materialism and depression, here and materialism, destructive effects of, here, here values, meaningful, reconnecting to, here alternative lifestyle designed for, here banning of advertising and, here and consumer values, experiment in changing, here difficulty of, here meditation and, here psychedelic drugs and, here Vietnam, author’s food poisoning in, here, here Virno, Paul, here Virtually Normal (Sullivan), here wand, healing.


pages: 473 words: 121,895

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski Ph.d.

cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, delayed gratification, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, Skype, Snapchat, spaced repetition, the scientific method, twin studies

(On Language and Life).” November 17, 2007. http://alicedreger.com/dsd.html. Drysdale, Kirsten, Ali Russell, and Andrew Glover. “Labiaplasty: Hungry Beast.” ABC TV Australia, 2010. http://vimeo.com/10883108. Duffey, Eliza Bisbee. The Relations of the Sexes. 1876. New York: Arno Press, 1974. Dunn, Kate M., Lynn F. Cherkas, and Tim D. Spector. “Genetic Influences on Variation in Female Orgasmic Function: A Twin Study.” Biology Letters 1, no. 3 (2005): 260–63. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0308. Eichelberger, Erika. “Todd Akin Not Sorry for His Insane Rape Comments.” Mother Jones, July 10, 2014, accessed July 27, 2014, http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/todd-akin-book-legitimate-rape. Ekman, Paul. Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life. 2nd ed. New York: Henry Holt, 2007.


pages: 474 words: 136,787

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, assortative mating, Atahualpa, Bonfire of the Vanities, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, feminist movement, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, phenotype, rent control, theory of mind, twin studies, University of East Anglia, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

., 308, 322, 339 Slime-mould, 98 Small, Meredith, 205 Smith, Adam, 89 Smith, Holly, 317 Smith, Robert, 223 Smolker, Rachel, 189 Smuts, Robert, 280 Snails, 78–9 Social contracts, 324 Social Darwinism, 307 Social skills, 243, 244 Social status, see Dominance Society, individual in, 11–13 Sociobiology (Wilson), 21 Socioecology, 180–81, 183–6 Sociology, 307–8 Sparrows, 225–7 Spatial skills, 239, 242–3, 249 Species, survival of, 32 Sperm competition theory, 205–18, 222, 223 Status, see Dominance Strawberries, 55–6 Suetonius, 193 Sumeria, 192 Sunquist, Mel, 111 Survival of the fittest, 33 Swallows, 148–9, 203, 215–16, 219 Swift, Jonathan, 202 Symington, Meg, 112, 113, 115 Symmetry, 147–9 Symons, Donald, 176, 184, 224, 245, 261, 263, 265, 287, 322, 328 Syntactic Structures (Chomsky), 311 Tacitus, 193, 195 Talmud, 115 Tang Dynasty, 192 Tangled bank theory, 58–61, 63, 78–9, 83 Tannen, Deborah, 245 Tardigrades, 82, 83 Taxonomic assumption, 303–4 ‘Temple of Nature, The’ (Darwin), 24 Terns, 135–6, 139 Territoriality, 171, 180, 196 inheritance and, 230 Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Hardy), 230 Testicular size, 211–14 Testosterone, 20, 118, 151–2, 246–50, 255–7 Thai people, 235 Thinness, 278–82 Thornhill, Nancy Wilmsen, 234, 235, 259, 276 Thornhill, Randy, 224 Thorpe, William, 278 Through the Looking-Glass (Carroll), 2, 17, 62 Tiberius, 193 Tierra, 67 Tiger, Lionel, 17 Tinbergen, Nikolaas, 277 Tooby, John, 74, 80, 96, 106, 267, 303, 311, 321, 329 Toolmaking, 313–14 Topminnows, 79–80 Tragedy of the commons, 87, 122 Transposons, 91–2 Trivers, Robert, 110–15, 118–22, 129, 172, 205, 325 Trobriand Islanders, 229 Trojan War, 197–8 Trollope, Anthony, 322 Trumai people, 234 Trypanosomes, 72–3 Turkeys, 104 brush, 127–8 coalition of males among, 189 Turner’s syndrome, 247, 249 Twin studies of homosexuality, 271 Udayama, 191–2 United States Department of Agriculture, 116 University of Michigan, 291 Vaccination, 71 Van Valen, Leigh, 61–2 Veiga, José, 225–6 Verbal tasks, 242, 243, 249 Vermelin, H., 105 Vicar of Bray hypothesis, 30–31, 36, 47, 50, 61, 78, 83 Violence, 195–8 gender differences in, 241 jealousy and, 228 Virgin greenflies, 28, 29 Viruses, 69, 90 AIDS, see HIV artificial, 66–7 fusion and, 99 Voles, 239 Volterra, Vito, 81 Vrijenhoek, Robert, 79–80 Waist-to-hip ratio, 282–4 Wallace, Alfred Russel, 27, 131, 138 War, 195–8 Wason test, 323–4 Wasps, 103, 104 Water fleas, 39, 47, 48 Way Men Think, The (Hudson and Jacot), 245 Wealth, 187–95, 198, 236 beauty and, 280–282 incest taboos and, 276 inheritance of, 230–35 ornamentation as sign of, 291 sexual mentality and, 258–60 Weill, Kurt, 238 Weismann, August, 8, 28, 30–31, 83 Welch, David, 54 Westermarck, Edward, 274–7 Whales, 212 White cells, 72 Whiten, Andrew, 324–5 Whole object assumption, 303 Willard, Dan, 110–15, 118, 120–22 Williams George, 35–40, 54–7, 58, 60–61, 83, 88, 110 Wilmot, John, 298 Wilson, Edward, 21, 266, 339 Wilson, Margo, 227–8 Windsor, Duchess of, 279, 281 Wolfe, Tom, 225, 279, 291, 322 Woodpeckers, 189, 222 World War II, 256 Wrangham, Richard, 206, 221 Wright, Sewall, 35 Wynne Edwards, V.


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Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

They’re also thought to experience synaesthesia: ‘Synesthesia: A new approach to understanding the development of perception’, Ferrinne Spector, Daphne Maurer, Developmental Psychology (January 2009), 45(1), pp. 175–89. These connections start dying off at a rate of up to 100,000 per second: The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood (Constable, 2011), p. 15. In a major study, researchers in Queensland collated the results of 2,748 papers: ‘Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies’, Tinca J. C. Polderman et al., Nature Genetics (May 2015), 47, pp. 702–9. Co-author Beben Benyamin added: ‘Are we products of nature or nurture? Science answers age-old question’, 19 May 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/­science/­2015/may/­19/­are-we-products-of-nature-or-nuture-science-answers-age-old-question. Children growing up in Tanzania: Interview, Sophie Scott. to get along, which gives us prestige, and get ahead, which gives us status: Fact check notes, Constantine Sedikides.


pages: 1,132 words: 156,379

The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve by Steve Stewart-Williams

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, carbon-based life, David Attenborough, European colonialism, feminist movement, financial independence, gender pay gap, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, out of africa, Paul Graham, phenotype, post-industrial society, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture (pp. 451–493). Oxford University Press. Pinker, Susan. (2008). The sexual paradox: Troubled boys, gifted girls, and the real difference between the sexes. New York: Scribner. Polderman, T. J. C., Benyamin, B., de Leeuw, C. A., et al. (2015). Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies. Nature Genetics, 47, 702–709. Pollan, M. (1990). The botany of desire: A plant’s-eye view of the world. New York: Random House. Popper, K. R. (1979). Objective knowledge: An evolutionary approach. Oxford, UK: Clarendon. Pound, N., Lawson, D. W., Toma, A. M., et al. (2014). Facial fluctuating asymmetry is not associated with childhood ill-health in a large British cohort study. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20141639.


pages: 661 words: 187,613

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

Albert Einstein, cloud computing, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, elephant in my pajamas, finite state, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, Loebner Prize, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, natural language processing, out of africa, phenotype, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Yogi Berra

.), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society: General Session and Parasession on the Grammar of Event Structure. Berkeley, Calif.: Berkeley Linguistics Society. Birdsong, D. 1989. Metalinguistic performance and interlinguistic competence. New York: Springer-Verlag. Bishop, D., V. M., North, T., & Conlan, D. 1993. Genetic basis for Specific Language Impairment: Evidence from a twin study. Unpublished manuscript, Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge, U.K. Bley-Vroman, R. 1990. The logical problem of foreign language learning. Linguistic Analysis, 20, 3–49. Bloom, A. H. 1981. The linguistic shaping of thought: A study in the impact of language on thinking in China and the west. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum. Bloom, A. H. 1984. Caution—the words you use may affect what you say: A response to Au.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, twin studies, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

By 1973, when Kanner finally admitted that autism might manifest itself in varying degrees of severity, this was already common knowledge in London. She was also free of the heavy load of guilt that Kanner, Eisenberg, and Bettelheim laid on American parents. “When I read Kanner’s later papers,” Lorna told me, “I thought they were bloody stupid. I knew I wasn’t a refrigerator mother.” One of the leading lights of the London group was Michael Rutter, also at the Institute of Psychiatry. He conducted the first twin study of autism with a research fellow named Susan Folstein, which provided proof of the genetic basis of the condition for the first time. Rutter’s early work also decisively untangled autism from schizophrenia, showing that they were separate conditions that only rarely occur together. Despite all the anecdotal evidence to the contrary accumulated by parents, the biggest empirical question that remained unanswered into the 1960s was whether autism was as rare as Kanner continued to insist that it was.


pages: 691 words: 203,236

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional

A significant minority of people who lead highly mobile urban lives are what Stanley Feldman or Karen Stenner would call ‘authoritarian’ in outlook – preferring order and consensus to diversity and dissent. Others are conservative, favouring the status quo over change.99 Meanwhile, an important tranche of people who have never moved from the town they were born in are liberal. These differences may begin in the womb – twin studies suggest a third to a half of political behaviour is inherited – and continue with early childhood socialization related to strict or permissive parenting.100 This induces a baseline receptivity to certain ideas which tends to be self-fulfilling. Someone with a mildly authoritarian predisposition is somewhat more likely to favour capital punishment. They internalize this value, which in turn opens them up to other conservative values on, say, child-rearing, immigration or Europe, as well as to a Conservative Party identity whose leaders cue their supporters to adopt certain positions across a wide range of issues.


pages: 936 words: 252,313

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease by Gary Taubes

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, collaborative editing, Drosophila, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, invention of agriculture, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, unbiased observer, Upton Sinclair

McGovern’s committee in 1977: Select Committee 1977c (“I want to be sure…” “constantly hear anecdotes…,” 222). Sims’s studies: Data and observations from these are scattered over numerous publications; the account given here is taken mostly from Sims 1976; Sims et al. 1973; Goldman et al. 1976; Sims et al. 1968. “marked differences…”: Sims et al. 1973. “lost weight readily…”: Quoted in Bennett and Gurin 1982:19. “in response to both…”: Sims 1976:393. Bouchard’s twin study: Bouchard et al. 1990. Levine reported: Levine et al. 1999. “Genetic factors…”: Bouchard et al. 1990. Animal husbandry: See Mayer 1968:45–46. “Up until that moment…”: Interview, Ingrid Schmidt. Mayer studied obese mice: Mayer 1968:49. Tanner and Chambers: Tanner 1869b:220–21. Footnote. Ibid.:222–23. The paradox developed: For a history of this era of nutrition research, see, for instance, Du Bois 1936:93–125; McCollum 1957:115–33.


pages: 935 words: 267,358

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, circulation of elites, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, high net worth, Honoré de Balzac, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index card, inflation targeting, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, market bubble, means of production, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, refrigerator car, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, twin studies, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, We are the 99%, zero-sum game

The data used in these works do not allow us to isolate mobility of capital income. 28. The correlation coefficient ranges from 0.2–0.3 in Sweden and Finland to 0.5–0.6 in the United States. Britain (0.4–0.5) is closer to the United States but not so far from Germany or France (0.4). Concerning international comparisons of intergenerational correlation coefficients of earned income (which are also confirmed by twin studies), see the work of Markus Jantti. See the online technical appendix. 29. The cost of an undergraduate year at Harvard in 2012–2013 was $54,000, including room and board and various other fees (tuition in the strict sense was $38,000). Some other universities are even more expensive than Harvard, which enjoys a high income on its endowment (see Chapter 12). 30. See G. Duncan and R. Murnane, Whither Opportunity?