Article

The genetic and environmental etiology of decision-making: A longitudinal twin study

Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 S. McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061, USA. Electronic address: .
Journal of Adolescence (Impact Factor: 2.05). 12/2012; 36(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.10.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study examined the genetic and environmental etiology of decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task; Bechara, Damásio, Damásio, & Anderson, 1994), in a sample of twins at ages 11-13, 14-15, and 16-18 years. The variance across five 20-trial blocks could be explained by a latent "decision-making'' factor within each of the three times of IGT administration. This latent factor was modestly influenced by genetic factors, explaining 35%, 20% and 46% of the variance within each of the three times of IGT administration. The remaining variance was explained by the non-shared environment (65%, 80% and 54%, respectively). Block-specific non-shared environmental influences were also observed. The stability of decision-making was modest across development. Youth showed a trend to choose less risky decks at later ages, suggesting some improvement in task performance across development. These findings contribute to our understanding of decision-making by highlighting the particular importance of each person's unique experiences on individual differences.

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Available from: Laura A Baker, Jul 29, 2015
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    • "Therefore, our ability to detect some differences between relatively small groups of healthy participants strongly supports the hypothesis that decision-making may be particularly heritable in families of suicide completers. Previous studies in different patient populations, including bipolar disorder, alcoholism, anorexia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, have also reported heritability of IGT performance (Lovallo et al., 2006; Cavedini et al., 2010; Kulkarni et al., 2010; Galimberti et al., 2013; Tuvblad et al., 2013). To date, the present study is the first to suggest heritability in decision-making impairment in families of suicide completers, adding important findings to the literature on transmissible cognitive impairments and underlining the significant role of risky decision-making in the vulnerability to suicidal behaviour. "
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 07/2015; in press.
    • "Therefore, our ability to detect some differences between relatively small groups of healthy participants strongly supports the hypothesis that decision-making may be particularly heritable in families of suicide completers. Previous studies in different patient populations, including bipolar disorder, alcoholism, anorexia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, have also reported heritability of IGT performance (Lovallo et al., 2006; Cavedini et al., 2010; Kulkarni et al., 2010; Galimberti et al., 2013; Tuvblad et al., 2013). To date, the present study is the first to suggest heritability in decision-making impairment in families of suicide completers, adding important findings to the literature on transmissible cognitive impairments and underlining the significant role of risky decision-making in the vulnerability to suicidal behaviour. "
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