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Responsibility and Cooperativeness Are Constrained, Not Determined

Journal article
Authors Danilo Garcia
Alva Stråge
Sebastian Lundström
Susanna Radovic
Sven Brändström
Maria Råstam
Thomas Nilsson
C. Robert Cloninger
Nora Kerekes
Henrik Anckarsäter
Published in Frontiers in Psychology
Volume 5
Pages 308
ISSN 1664-1078
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 308
Language en
Links http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.20...
Keywords Free Will; Genetic determinism; Personality; Self-directedness; Twin Methodology
Subject categories Philosophy, Ethics and Religion, Psychology, Psychiatry

Abstract

Neurobiological determinism has characterized later decades’ scientific approaches to the notion of free will. Scientists suggest that legal responsibility should be adjusted accordingly. We measured the genetic and environmental effects behind self-reported Self-directedness and Cooperativeness in a nation-wide population-based adolescent twin study. In spite of substantial overall genetic and shared environmental effects on these character scores, individual outcomes in both monozygotic and dizygotic co-twins of probands reporting severe personality problems varied widely into the normal range. Hence, even when constrained by genetic and environmental adversity, self-experienced responsibility and cooperation are not simply genetically determined but, to some extent, malleable.

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