How people make their own environments: a theory of genotype greater than environment effects

Child Dev. 1983 Apr;54(2):424-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1983.tb03884.x.


We propose a theory of development in which experience is directed by genotypes. Genotypic differences are proposed to affect phenotypic differences, both directly and through experience, via 3 kinds of genotype leads to environment effects: a passive kind, through environments provided by biologically related parents; an evocative kind, through responses elicited by individuals from others; and an active kind, through the selection of different environments by different people. The theory adapts the 3 kinds of genotype-environment correlations proposed by Plomin, DeFries, and Loehlin in a developmental model that is used to explain results from studies of deprivation, intervention, twins, and families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adoption
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Human Development
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intelligence
  • Models, Psychological
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychological Theory
  • Psychosocial Deprivation
  • Twins