• Behavioral genetics examines how behavior is effected by our genetics by comparing our traits with our biologically and nonbiologically related family members.
• In family studies, a trait of interest is examined throughout an entire family tree to determine if it might be inherited; this is far from a certain study, however, as environment, not just genetics, may play a role in trait development.
• Twin studies compare twins, both identical and fraternal, to determine the degree to which they possess the same traits; however, this still doesn't take environment into account.
• Adoption studies, however, account for environment by examining siblings or twins that have been raised in separate households and determining the degree to which they possess the same traits; this accounts for the failings in the previous study types, as the environment is different for the related individuals, and only the genetics are constant.
• All these studies point to genetics as being a great influence on behavior, but not the sole influence. The environment (measured finally in adoption studies) as well as random experiences influence behavior as well.
Define behavioral genetics and describe three important studies that are commonly done by those interested in this field: family, twin and adoption studies. What do these studies tell us about the relationship between genetics and behavior.