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Human altruism is a widespread phenomenon that puzzled evolutionary biologists since Darwin. Economic games illustrate human altruism by showing that behavior deviates from economic predictions of profit maximization. A game that most plainly shows this altruistic tendency is the Dictator Game. We hypothesized that human altruistic behavior is to some(More)
BACKGROUND Economic games observe social decision making in the laboratory that involves real money payoffs. Previously we have shown that allocation of funds in the Dictator Game (DG), a paradigm that illustrates costly altruistic behavior, is partially determined by promoter-region repeat region variants in the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor gene(More)
The authors investigated the development of a disposition toward empathy and its genetic and environmental origins. Young twins' (N = 409 pairs) cognitive (hypothesis testing) and affective (empathic concern) empathy and prosocial behavior in response to simulated pain by mothers and examiners were observed at multiple time points. Children's mean level of(More)
Arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) are social hormones and mediate affiliative behaviors in mammals and as recently demonstrated, also in humans. There is intense interest in how these simple nonapeptides mediate normal and abnormal behavior, especially regarding disorders of the social brain such as autism that are characterized by deficits in(More)
Theoretical considerations and new empirical evidence suggest that children's development cannot simply be explained by either genes or environment but that their interaction is important to understanding child behavior. In particular, a genetic polymorphism, the exon III repeat region of the dopamine receptor D4, has been the focus of interest regarding(More)
Prosocial behavior is important for the functioning of society. This study investigates the extent to which environment shared by family members, nonshared environment, and genetics account for children's prosocial behavior. The prosocial behavior of twins (9,424 pairs) was rated by their parents at the ages of 2, 3, 4, and 7 and by their teachers at age 7.(More)
Parenting has been extensively studied but mostly as a causal factor influencing child outcomes. The aim of the current article is to examine the child's side of the relationship by meta-analyzing studies which used quantitative genetic methods that provide leverage in understanding causality. A meta-analysis of 32 children-as-twins studies of parenting(More)
The authors investigated genetic and environmental contributions to the relationships between children's (N=9,319 twin pairs) prosocial behavior and parental positivity and negativity toward them. Children's prosocial behavior was rated by parents at ages 3, 4, and 7 and by teachers at age 7. At each age, parents described their feelings and discipline(More)
Evidence suggests that the reactivity of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPAA) is modulated by both genetic and environmental variables. Of special interest are the underlying molecular mechanisms driving gender differences to psychosocial stressors. Epigenetic mechanisms that sculpt the genome are ideal candidates for mediating the effects of(More)
This study tested the hypothesis that values, abstract goals serving as guiding life principles, become relatively important predictors of adolescents' self-reported violent behavior in school environments in which violence is relatively common. The study employed a students-nested-in-schools design. Arab and Jewish adolescents (N = 907, M age = 16.8),(More)