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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Ross S. Feldberg

1. Behavioral Genetics: Reading Assignments

  1. “Crime and Violence ” (Chap 13 in DNA and Destiny: Nature and Nurture in Human Behavior by Steen, R.G. Plenum Press (1996)
    This is a nice introduction to some basic statistics and concepts in criminal behavior. It is my impression that even though he presents evidence that is overwhelmingly in support of environmental causes of crime, he keeps coming back to genetics as a cause. Am I correct in my reading? If so, why do you suppose he does this?

  2. “Genetic Influences in Criminal Convictions: Evidence from an Adoption Court” Mednick, S.A., Gabrielli, W. F. Jr, Hutchings, B. Science 224: 891-894 (1984)
    In this paper the authors compare the criminal convictions of adopted children to their birth parents and their adoptive parents. I suggest you read this paper critically keeping in mind Steven Rose’s paper on neurogenic reductionism. Look at the data carefully. We will discuss this paper in class. (after you have done your own analysis you may want to look at some follow up letters and the authors’ response in Science 227: 983 (1985)

  3. Background to Caspi paper on monoamine oxidase
    (see Technical Background for the Science Paper on Monoamine Oxidase-A in Behavioral Genetics unit.)

  4. “Role of Genotype in Violence” Caspi, A., McClay, J., Moffitt T.E., Mill J., Martin, J., Craig, I.W., Taylor, A. and Poulton, R. Science 297: 851-854 (2002)
    This represents probably one of the best studies in behavioral genetics. It was carried out over 26 years and quite clearly defines the parameters being studied.