STUDY ALERT: Cognitive ability, self-assessed intelligence and personality

March 8, 2012 in Study Alerts

Cognitive ability, self-assessed intelligence and personality: Common genetic but independent environmental aetiologies

Denis Bratko, Ana Butkovic, Tena Vukasovic, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Sophie von Stumm

Self-perceived abilities (SPA), which play an important role in academic achievement, have been recently reported to be fully attributable to genetic and non-shared environmental influ- ences. To replicate and extend this finding, 732 Croatian twins (15–22 years old) were assessed on cognitive ability, self-assessed intelligence (SAI), and Five Factor Model personal- ity traits. In addition to attempting to replicate the finding that SAI is due to genetic and non- shared environmental influences, we used bivariate and multivariate genetic analyses to in- vestigate genetic and environmental influences on the phenotypic association of IQ, SAI, and personality traits. The results replicated the finding that individual differences in SAI can be attributed to genetic and non-shared environmental influences. Bivariate and multivariate ge- netic analyses showed intelligence, SAI measures, and personality traits are inter-correlated not only at the phenotypic but also at the genotypic level. Multivariate analyses indicate that around 20% of IQ variance could be explained by SAI and personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness). In combination with other recent findings from behavior genetics, this result supports the idea of pleiotropy and generalist genes.

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