Genetics: Are Your Genes To Blame?

For your good looks? Sure. For your shyness or your temper? Not entirely

Readers of the science pages could be forgiven for thinking that the conversation in the cartoon on the opposite page really took place. Study after study has shown that genes can affect behavior and mental life. Identical twins separated at birth (who share their genes but not their environment) are similar in their intellectual talents, their personality traits (such as introversion, conscientiousness and antagonism), their average level of lifelong happiness and such personal quirks as giggling incessantly or flushing the toilet both before and after using it. Identical twins (who share all their genes) are more similar than fraternal twins (who...

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