A top behavioral geneticist makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses.
In Blueprint, behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin describes how the DNA revolution has made DNA personal by giving us the power to predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses from birth. A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent life-long sources of our psychological individuality—the blueprint that makes us who we are. This, says Plomin, is a game changer.
Plomin has been working on these issues for almost fifty years, conducting longitudinal studies of twins and adoptees. He reports that genetics explains more of the psychological differences among people than all other factors combined. Genetics accounts for fifty percent of psychological differences—not just mental health and school achievement but all psychological traits, from personality to intellectual abilities. Nature, not nurture is what makes us who we are.
Plomin explores the implications of this, drawing some provocative conclusions—among them that parenting styles don't really affect children's outcomes once genetics is taken into effect. Neither tiger mothers nor attachment parenting affects children's ability to get into Harvard. After describing why DNA matters, Plomin explains what DNA does, offering readers a unique insider's view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology.
An important book, a must-read guide to one enormous aspect of the human future (Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times)
I cannot tell you how well thumbed this book is . . . every single person listening to me qualifies to read this book because it's about human beings . . . this is our story (Jo Good BBC Radio London)
A challenging and thought-provoking new book. (Daily Mail)
Important new evidence in a never-ending argument (The Evening Standard)
You can't read the book without seeing the world afresh. (Andrew Anthony Observer (Books of the Year))
An extraordinary book (Stephen Sackur BBC HARDtalk)
Plomin writes with authority about the ongoing genomic revolution that will unquestionably transform our lives and society. (Steven Mithen The Guardian)
No-one should be making any proposals about how to improve education without being aware of the contents of, and ideally having read, Robert Plomin's new book, Blueprint. Uncomfortable, but essential reading. (Dylan William, Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Education)
Plomin takes recent genetic research and draws some provocative conclusions. (Andrew Anthony The Guardian)