I think there's a lot to critcise about the article, but you have to admit that there is a taboo on discussing any sort of racial difference, more so than gender difference
There are plenty of statistical approaches scientists use to reliably disentangle the relative contributions of (a) genes, (b) shared environment (e.g., parental influences), and (c) non-shared (i.e., unique) environment to a particular trait. Typically these rely on twin or adoption samples. For example, the contribution of shared environment can be estimated by comparing the similarity between identical twins raised together to identical twins raised apart.
It turns out, that for most aspects of personality and cognition, the variance is attributable about 50-50 to genetic and non-shared environmental causes. Familial environment has little or no detectable effect on personality or intelligence, counter-intuitive as it may seem.
Actually, that's incorrect.
A more appropriate strategy would be to, say, compare black twin pairs in which one child was raised in a white household with black twins in which both were raised in black households, controlling for other relevant variables such as parental socioeconomic status.
It's certainly context-dependent (see my previous post). But I think there's very little evidence to suggest it's 'extremely' context-dependent, unless you include highly atypical extremes.
Well look, there are tacit assumptions behind every statement. If you'd like me to qualify my statement by saying "personality dimensions such as extraversion display about 50% heredity and almost no shared environmental influence across virtually all human populations they've been investigated in to date," I have no qualms about that.
On the other hand, I think you're going too far in the opposite extreme.
The fact that estimates of heredity are context-dependent does not make them worthless.
The fact of the matter is that there seems to be relatively little perturbation of the estimates as a function of culture.
In fact, not only are the gross contributions of genetic/environmental roughly the same, but some groups of researchers have even replicated the same genetic structure of personality (i.e., the same patterns of covariance in traits) across multiple samples
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