PSYA3 Aggression - Genetic Factors

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  • Created by: emilyleah
  • Created on: 04-07-13 17:29

Genetic Factors in Aggressive Behaviour

1. Twin Studies
- If researcher compares similarity between sets of MZ twins to similarity between DZ twins for a trait like aggression and finds that MZ twins are more alike in terms of this trait, then this similarity is assumed to be due to genetics

- McGuffin + Gottesman (1985) found a concordance rate of 87% for aggressive + antisocial behaviour for MZ twins, compared to 72% for DZ twins
X AO3: However if it was purely genetics correlation would be 100% (deterministic)

2. Adoption Studies
Hutchings and Mednick (1973) reviewed 14000+ adoptions in Denmark. Found positive correlation between number of convictions for criminal violence among the bio parents and the number of convictions for criminal violence among their adopted sons

- Finding a greater similarity in levels of aggression between adopted children + bio parents that adoptive parents suggests high importance of genetic factors

3. Genes for Aggression

- no gene is responsible for aggression, researchers found that the gene responsible for producing a protein called Monoamine oxidase (MAOA) has been associated with aggression

- MAOA regulates the metabolism of serotonin in the brain, and low levels of serotonin associated


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