Genetics and Intervention Research

Robert Plomin, Claire M A Haworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


As part of this special section on genetics and behavioral intervention, we discuss the papers by McGue et al. and by Davey Smith. In the second half of our paper, we consider the integration of genetics and intervention research more broadly. The two papers describe ways to use genetic controls to infer causation from correlational ('observational') data without intervention. McGue et al. discuss the use of twins discordant for exposure, which is a variant of the co-twin control method. This method can show that the link between an exposure and outcome is not entirely mediated genetically. Davey Smith discusses a method called Mendelian randomization that uses DNA to draw causal inferences without the need for experimental intervention. Despite the possibilities for using genetic controls to infer causation from correlational data in order to attenuate the need for intervention studies, we are most excited about the opportunities for integrating genetics and intervention research, especially as new DNA technologies make it possible to incorporate genetics in any intervention research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


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