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Quantitative behavioral genetic and molecular genetic foundations of the approach and avoidance strategies

Smederevac, S., Sadikovic, S., Colovic, P. , Vucinic, N., Milutinovic, A., Riemann, R., Corr, P. J. ORCID: 0000-0002-7618-0058, Prinz, M. & Budimlija, Z. (2022). Quantitative behavioral genetic and molecular genetic foundations of the approach and avoidance strategies. Current Psychology, 42(17), pp. 14268-14282. doi: 10.1007/s12144-022-02724-9


Two studies examined genetic and environmental influences on traits proposed by the revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (rRST) of personality. Both quantitative and molecular behavioral genetic methods were applied considering the effects of COMT, DRD2, HTR1A and TPH2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Study one included 274 monozygotic and 154 dizygotic twins for the quantitative behavioral study; and in study two there were 431 twins for the molecular genetic study. The Reinforcement Sensitivity Questionnaire was used to assess basic personality traits defined by the rRST. Univariate biometric modeling suggested that genetic influences accounted for 34–44% of variance of Behavioral Approach System (BAS), Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and Fight-Fligh-Freeze System. Molecular genetic analyses proposed the significant main effect of COMT SNP on the BAS and TPH2 SNP on the BIS, and pointed out epistatic effects of COMT x DRD2 on BAS and HTR1A x TPH2 on Fight. Results demonstrated substantial heritability for all rRST constructs, as well as for differences in the molecular genetic basis of both approach-related and avoidance-related dimensions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The version of record of this article, first published in Current Psychology, is available online at Publisher’s website:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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