Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version



Twin Research and Human Genetics, Volume 18, Number 3, pp. 243–255



Here we introduce the Genetic and Environmental Foundations of Political and Economic Behaviors: A Panel Study of Twins and Families (PIs Alford, Hatemi, Hibbing, Martin, and Smith). This study was designed to explore the genetic and environmental influences on social, economic, and political behaviors and attitudes. It involves identifying the psychological mechanisms that operate on these traits, the heritability of complex economic and political traits under varying conditions, and specific genetic correlates of attitudes and behaviors. In addition to describing the study, we conduct novel analyses on the data, estimating the heritability of two traits so far unexplored in the extant literature: Machiavellianism and Baron-Cohen’s Empathizing Quotient.