Heritability coefficients (‘heritabilities’) are variance ratios intended to measure the relative contribution of genetic versus environmental factors to physical and psychological individual differences.

Keywords: nature/nurture; twin research; IQ controversy; behavior genetics; biometrics; psychometrics; intelligence tests; g; racism


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Holzinger K (1929) The relative effect of nature and nurture influences on twin differences. Journal of Educational Psychology 20: 241–248.

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Lush JL (1940) Intra‐sire correlations or regressions on dam as a method of estimating heritability of characteristics. Proceedings of the American Society for Animal Production 33: 293–301. [Reprinted in: Hill WG (ed.) Quantitative Genetics, Part I: Explanation and Analysis of Continuous Variation. New York, NY: Von Nostrand Reinhold Company.]

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Schonemann PH (1997) On models and muddles of heritability. Genetica 99: 2–3, 97–108.

Wright S (1969) Evolution and the Genetics of Populations, vol. 2: The Theory of Gene Frequencies. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.

Further Reading

Hill WG (ed.) (1984) Quantitative Genetics, Part I, Part II. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1984.

Hirsch J (Guest editor) (1997) Special issue: Uses and Abuses of Genetics in Society. Genetica 99 (2–3).

Sternberg RJ (ed.) (1994) Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence, 2 volumes. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1994.

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Schonemann, Peter H(Jul 2006) Heritability. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005409]