Roman Goff

ORCID Identifier(s)


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Studies have shown that personality and mathematical ability are heritable traits. In the past, the genetic component of this heritability was investigated using twin studies where genetically identical twins are reared apart and the siblings’ traits are compared. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have obviated the necessity of such methods by combining genetic data with modern computing power. The exponential decrease in cost of human genome sequencing and increase in accessibility has made it trivial to use an individual’s alleles to correlate their genome to their phenotypic traits. In this study, the results of a GWAS for the Big Five personality traits (agreeableness (A), conscientiousness (C), extraversion (E), neuroticism (N), and openness (O)) and a GWAS for mathematical ability (M) is used to assess the correlation between predicted and actual trait values of 9 individuals (n = 9). Participants’ 23andMe or Ancestry genetic data were used with single-nucleotide polymorphism effect sizes to compute predicted trait values. Actual Big Five personality trait values were assessed with an online survey, and participants’ self-reported SAT and ACT scores were used as proxy measures for mathematical ability. The study found no significant correlation between predicted and actual values for any of the traits studied.

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