Heritability of Psychological Traits

Always contentious that atypical variations around the neurotypical “human condition” are (a) real in any objective sense and (b) heritable as much as they are plastic in mental development. Always PC to avoid medicalising conditions away from such norms, and variety has its own value anyway, but the woke extreme of PC often denies the basic facts.

Kevin Mitchell re-tweeted this from an older thread

Earlier in the thread (that I hadn’t actually been following at the time) he had said:

“All species accumulate genetic variation that leads to heritable differences between individuals in all kinds of traits (that have a genetically specified species ‘norm’) Human psychology is no exception. It is the product of an incredibly complex program in the canonical human genome that specifies a canonical human brain. Except no individual has the ‘canonical’ human genome or brain – we all have inevitable variations in our genomes and *consequent variations* in our brains and our psychological traits.”

NOT part of the thread, but an aside that hit me relating this to the McGilchrist work, is taking the same logic to the idea that there are canonical male and female human brains, even if no individual can be that canonical exemplar and the individual variation is enormous.

Like so much of any field that his been tainted by pop-psychology it is normal (ie PC, woke) to deny very real biologically heritable, brain/mind and psychological sex/gender differences.

“[That] genetic differences affect our individual natures – is completely expected. It couldn’t be otherwise.”

In McGilchrist terms the sex/gender differences are an aside to his main agenda, but no less real. Something I picked-up on in his original Master and Emissary and supported by even more evidence in his latest. In fact it is a reminder of the scientific thoroughness needed in recording all case sample features in order not to be fooled by randomness – a false randomness imposed by prior political conditioning.

(To be clear women being different to men is something to value for them and for humanity and says nothing against anyone’s human rights or opportunities. In fact it’s positively a reminder that despite any and all heritable differences we share common human rights. Vive la difference! as I may have mentioned once or twice before.)

And I am not alone in warning about being fooled by the statistical randomness of aggregation across the sexes. Here Kathleen Stock picked-up on Jonathan Haidt’s latest:


[Post note, coincidentally several threads generated by opinions about Haidt here. The recurring woke / PC problem of denying the deniers rather than attempting to understand subtle realities between extreme positions:

Includes even the gendered brain differences taboo – McGilchrist’s work is surely going to allow some common sense to pervade these spaces?]

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