Social cognition and genetics

Thomas G. O’Connor and Cathy Creswell

in Social Cognition and Developmental Psychopathology

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780198569183
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754432 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Social cognition and genetics

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Our aims in this chapter are, first, to review some of the major tenets of genetics research, secondly, to consider why a behavioural genetics perspective on social cognition is needed, and, thirdly, to review available data on genetic influences on social cognition, including constructs which may involve social cognitive processes. Throughout, we seek to piece together a set of developmental and clinical models which incorporate the largely distinct fields of social cognition and genetics. We also set several parameters for this chapter. Congruent with the developmental psychopathology theme of this volume (see Chapter 1), we prioritize developmental thinking with application to clinical conditions. Additionally, because much of the emphasis in the social cognition literature is on infants and children, we prioritize studies in this age group. Furthermore, we avoid those segments of the literature that are not easily linked to behavioural genetic perspectives, for example studies not particularly concerned with aetiology. There are, of course, very many studies assessing social cognition in numerous clinical groups; we address these findings only insofar as they may be directly germane to behavioural genetics hypotheses. Several other chapters in this volume review broader segments of this diverse research literature.

Chapter.  10200 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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