neanderthal personality test

have you experienced people telling you that you have very pronounced brow ridges? had your dna genotyped (like by 23andMe, for instance)? then glenn geher and pals at SUNY would like you to take their personality test!:

New Paltz Neandertal Project

We are a research team from the Psychology Department of SUNY New Paltz conducting a research study examining the relationship between genotype and behavior. We are recruiting participants who are at least 18 years old, fluent in English, and who have had their DNA sequenced by a genomics company to complete a short survey (approx. 45 minutes).

the idea is to find out if any particular personality/behavioral traits correlate with neanderthal alleles.

don’t be such a knuckle-walker! go on and take the test! it’s for science. (^_^)


(note: comments do not require an email. i’m a bit of a neanderthal!)


  1. Oh the assumptions we make about Neanderthal. This is a people who survived for several hundred thousand years, and it’s as if we think they would burn down their own neighborhood and torch Freddie’s Market.


  2. Looking at that depiction of a Neanderthal makes me wonder if Neanderthal genes are responsible for the epicanthic fold.


  3. I’ve just been glancing at Oliver and Fage’s A Short History of Africa (4/e 1972):

    There is no need to postulate a war to the death in which rival ‘species [of man] were extinguished. probably the earliest example sod the ‘sapient’ type of man, being more successful, multiplied faster and so were able to absorb the representatives of divergently specialised types, such as the Neandertal type.

    It is likely that in Africa the dominant type to emerge at the beginning of the upper paleolithic period was a type ancestral to the modern bushman. ….

    In the west-central forested regions the triumph of Homo sapiens over slightly different pre-existent strains had perhaps already produced a distinct negroid type.


  4. Well, I left the idea that the behavioral characteristics or individual combinations that are rare among sub-Saharan Africans, could be the result of the presence of Neanderthals genes. For example, the introspection, the capacity for abstract thought, could be one of the results. Of course, I’m not saying that there are sub-Saharan individuals with these characteristics, but do not seem to be common to find.


  5. Splendid idea for a study. My expectation is that there will be no correlation between genotype and personality at all; it’s been a long time. If there is anything, put me in the camp that expects Neanderthals to be politically correct, to embrace outsiders and to give women their due rights. I suspect that these are not “personality types” and will not show up in the study. And I suspect they would not show up anyway.


  6. The only flaw would be if neanderthal personalities hated being tested and ate the livers of researchers with a nice chianti.


    “Looking at that depiction of a Neanderthal makes me wonder if Neanderthal genes are responsible for the epicanthic fold.”

    I wonder about that – a low nose bridge is apparently the direct cause but it’s always struck me as interesting how Bushmen and Chinese have the same eyes.


  7. Interesting study but their questionnaire has lots of typos in it. Even the answer headings on one page are messed up. Sloppy.


  8. It’s not plausible that they’re picking up anything real.

    Intra-population variation in neanderthal admixture fraction is much smaller than implied by 23andMe’s estimates; differences in “neanderthal percentage” between two people of European ancestry as reported by 23andMe are mostly if not entirely noise in 23andMe’s estimates.

    And even if 23andMe’s estimates were accurate, the sample size of this survey would still probably need to be at least a couple orders of magnitude larger to pick up any real effect.


  9. I’m Bipolar, and I’m white. I haven’t used 23 and Me to test my Autosomal DNA. Only But my mental illness and Ethnicity suggest I most likely would have some Neanderthal DNA.


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