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!)


i wanna create a faq page of genes that affect behavior, intelligence, etc., that vary in frequency between different populations or the sexes.** i’m tired of having to look up this stuff whenever i want to make a comment somewhere! i thought it might make a good resource for others, too. (if there’s one out there that already exists, lemme know!)

what i’d like to include are:

1) genes that affect behavior, intelligence, etc., that vary in frequency between different populations or the sexes;
2) genes that affect behavior, intelligence, etc., but that we have no frequency info for yet.

here’s what i’ve got so far (off the top of my head):

MAO-A gene – the “warrior gene”
DRD2? (i can’t remember)

VMAT2 – the “god gene”
oxytocin- and vasopressin-related genes (whatever the heck they are)

any other suggestions? links to sources would be helpful, but not necessary. i can look stuff up myself. thnx! (^_^)

**edit: i’m talking about alleles, of course. genes, alleles — you know what i mean! (~_^)

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why east asians aren’t more creative

one of the questions always floating around in the hbd-o-sphere is why aren’t those really clever east asians more creative.

well, kiwiguy over @dennis’ commented the other day:

“Cochran & Harpending discuss a gene associated with ADD & impulsive behaviour in ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion‘:

“‘The polymorphism is found at varying but significant levels in many parts of the world, but is almost entirely absent from East Asia…

“‘The Japanese say that the nail that sticks out is hammered down, but in China it may have been pulled out and thrown away.

Selection for submission to authority sounds unnervingly like domestication…’ (page 112)”

(*hbdchick reaches for her copy of the book*)

yup. kiwiguy is right. says here right on page 112:

“We know of a gene that may play a part in this story: the 7R (for 7-repeat) allele of the DRD4 (dopamine receptor D4) gene. It is associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a behavioral syndrome best characterized by actions that annoy elementary school teachers: restless-impulsive behavior, inattention, distractibility, and the like.

“The polymorphism is found at varying but significant levels in many parts of the world, but is almost totally absent from East Asia. Interestingly, alleles derived from the 7R allele are fairly common in China, even though the 7R alleles themselves are extremely rare there. It is possible that individuals bearing these alleles were selected against because of cultural patterns in China. The Japanese say that the nail that sticks out is hammered down, but in China it may have been pulled out and thrown away.”

now here’s an article that i happened to link to in this past sunday’s linkfest:

Creativity is an upside to ADHD

“Parents who believe that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes their kids more creative got a little more scientific support recently.

“A new study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences found adults with ADHD enjoyed more creative achievement than those who didn’t have the disorder.

“‘For the same reason that ADHD might create problems, like distraction, it can also allow an openness to new ideas,’ says Holly White, assistant professor of cognitive psychology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and co-author of the paper. ‘Not being completely focused on a task lets the mind make associations that might not have happened otherwise….'”

so, there you go! low frequencies of adhd genes = low creativity. solved that for ya. ENGLISH BLOKE solved that for ya first. (~_^) ur welcome!

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which came first?

(the culture or the biology?)

so, some researchers found a rare variation of the 5-HT2B gene in finns that correlates strongly with violent, impulsive behavior. (see @gnxp: “hotheads by nature”)

which brought to my mind this paper by richerson and boyd: “Culture is Part of Human Biology: Why the Superorganic Concept Serves the Human Sciences Badly.”

in it, the researchers, referring to cohen & nisbett’s work, have this to say…

“Rates of violence in the American South have long been much greater than in the North. Accounts of duels, feuds, bushwhackings, and lynchings occur prominently in visitors’ accounts, newspaper articles, and autobiography from the 18th Century onward. According to crime statistics these differences persist today. In their book, Culture of Honor, Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen (1996) argue that the South is more violent than the North because Southerners have different, culturally acquired beliefs about personal honor than Northerners. The South was disproportionately settled by Protestant Scotch-Irish, people with an animal herding background, whereas Northern settlers were English, German and Dutch peasant farmers….

“Their [Cohen & Nisbett] laboratory experiments are most relevant to our argument here. Cohen and Nisbett recruited subjects with Northern and Southern backgrounds from the University of Michigan student body, ostensibly to work on an psychological task dealing with perception. During the experiment, a confederate bumped some subjects and muttered ‘asshole’ at them. Cortisol (a stress hormone) and testosterone (rises in preparation for violence) were measured before and after the insult. Insulted Southerners showed big jumps in both cortisol and testosterone compared to uninsulted Southerners and insulted Northerners….”

…and then richerson & boyd go on to say…

“Nisbett and Cohen’s study illustrates the two main points we want to make in this essay.
– Culture is fundamental to understanding human behavior.
– Culture causes behavior by causing changes in our biology.”

yeah. sure. terrific.

but what if, also, our biology causes human behaviors which collectively become human culture(s).

i mean, in cohen & nisbitt’s study, there’s cortisol and testosterone levels going up. that sounds like biology to me!

personality is heritable. so is intelligence. what if different frequencies of whatever genes (alleles) it is that contribute to, say, flying off the handle happen to be more common in protestant scotch-irish people than in the english, german or dutch? couldn’t that account for why the culture of the american south is more violent?

i’m sure that there’s constant feedback here between our biology(ies) and our culture(s), but how come researchers never even bother to ask the sort of question i’m asking here? seems kinda, you know, obvious.

see also: Warrior gene prevalent in Maori: study

previously: extraversion and culture

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