Genetics of aggression  

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The field of psychology has been greatly influenced by the study of genetics. Decades of research has demonstrated that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in a variety of behaviors in humans and animals (e.g. Grigorenko & Sternberg, 2003). The genetic basis of aggression, however, remains poorly understood. Aggression is a multi-dimensional concept, but it can be generally defined as behavior that inflicts pain or harm on another.

Genetic-developmental theory states that individual differences in a continuous phenotype result from the action of a large number of genes, each exerting an effect that works with environmental factors to produce the trait (Tremblay et al., 2005). Because this type of trait is influenced by multiple factors, it is more complex and difficult to study than a simple Mendelian trait (one gene for one phenotype).

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