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Behavior Genetic Frameworks of Causal Reasoning for Personality Psychology

Briley, Daniel and Livengood, Jonathan and Derringer, Jaime (2018) Behavior Genetic Frameworks of Causal Reasoning for Personality Psychology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Identifying causal relations from correlational data is a fundamental challenge in personality psychology. In most cases, random assignment is not feasible, leaving observational studies as the primary methodological tool. Here, we document several techniques from behavior genetics that attempt to demonstrate causality. Although no one method is conclusive at ruling out all possible confounds, combining techniques can triangulate on causal relations. Behavior genetic tools leverage information gained by sampling pairs of individuals with assumed genetic and environmental relatedness or by measuring genetic variants in unrelated individuals. These designs can find evidence consistent with causality, while simultaneously providing strong controls against common confounds. We conclude by discussing several potential problems that may limit the utility of these techniques when applied to personality. Ultimately, genetically informative designs can aid in drawing causal conclusions from correlational studies.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Briley, Danieldabriley@illinois.edu
Livengood, Jonathanjonathan.livengood@gmail.com
Derringer, Jaimejderr@illinois.edu
Keywords: Behavior genetics; causal models; personality; Mendelian randomization
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Psychiatry
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Jonathan Livengood
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2018 16:39
Last Modified: 27 May 2019 10:47
Item ID: 14550
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Psychiatry
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 30 March 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14550

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