Psychology professor Erik N. Turkheimer to discuss behavior genetics, October 4, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Eric N. Turkheimer will deliver a lecture entitled “Behavior Genetics: Understanding Our Own Genes,” at 5:30pm on Thursday, October 4, in the Villard Room of Vassar College’s historic Main Building on the second floor. Free and open to the public, the event is presented by Vassar College’s Departments of Psychology and Biology and its Program in Neuroscience and Behavior.

Behavior genetics is sometimes misunderstood as an attempt to replace our psychological understanding of ourselves with reductionist biological explanations. Turkheimer will suggest that this was never the proper goal of behavior genetics, which is on the one hand part of a very old program of understanding human nature, and on the other is a tool for social scientists who study phenomena for which the usual tools of scientific inference are not available.

Eric N. Turkheimer, Professor of Psychology, has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology and the Director of Clinical Training at the University of Virginia, and is the Past President of the Behavior Genetics Association. He has authored over 150 scientific papers, including his highly cited 2003 paper, Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of IQ in young children. He is the recipient of grants from the William T. Grant Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the MacArthur Foundation.  

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Vassar is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, September 19, 2012