Eric Turkheimer

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Eric Turkheimer is the Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.

Turkheimer has coined what he calls the "three laws of behaviour genetics":

  • First Law. All human behavioral traits are heritable.
  • Second Law. The effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of genes.
  • Third Law. A substantial portion of the variation in complex human behavioral traits is not accounted for by the effects of genes or families.[1]

In contrast to other contributors in the field, such as Robert Plomin, he emphasizes the fact that we have in very few cases demonstrated specific causal links between genes and behavior.[2]

Turkheimer is critical of hereditarianism about differences in average IQ scores between one race and another,[3] and argues they are best understood as environmental in origin.[4] He has, along with two other prominent behavioral geneticists (Kathryn Harden and Richard Nisbett), authored various article disproving Charles Murray's hereditarian bullshit on IQ differences between various "races".[5][6]

External links[edit]


  1. Turkheimer, Eric. "Three laws of behavior genetics and what they mean." Current Directions in Psychological Science 9.5 (2000): 160-164.
  2. Turkheimer, E. (2016). Weak Genetic Explanation 20 Years Later: Reply to Plomin et al. (2016). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(1), 24–28.