IQ-height correlation partly attributable to pleiotropic genetic factors (not just cross-assortative mating)

The Genetic Correlation between Height and IQ: Shared Genes or Assortative Mating?
In this study, we modeled the covariation between monozygotic and dizygotic twins, their siblings, and their parents (total N = 7,905) to elucidate the nature of the correlation between two potentially sexually selected traits in humans: height and IQ. Unlike previous designs used to investigate the nature of the height–IQ correlation, the present design accounts for the effects of assortative mating and provides much less biased estimates of additive genetic, non-additive genetic, and shared environmental influences. Both traits were highly heritable, although there was greater evidence for non-additive genetic effects in males. After accounting for assortative mating, the correlation between height and IQ was found to be almost entirely genetic in nature. Model fits indicate that both pleiotropy and assortative mating contribute significantly and about equally to this genetic correlation. [. . .]

Taller people tend to be smarter. Although the relationship is modest, height and IQ are consistently correlated at ~.10–.20 [24], [25], [26]. [. . .]

The importance of genetic pleiotropy on the association between IQ and height is notable. On the surface, it might seem that height and IQ involve very different functional systems with different developmental origins. Genetic pleiotropy between IQ and height (indeed, between any two complex fitness traits) is consistent with the idea that variation in these traits partly reflects genome-wide mutational loads, and that these traits are components of attractiveness because of this—i.e., they are honest signals or cues of ‘good genes’ [43], [44], [45]. The additional and substantial increase in additive genetic covariance as a function of assortative mating is consistent with both traits being attractive to the opposite sex.

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joe blow said...

Just anecdotal, but I was lucky to work at Google for a while, and oh my God I've never seen such a density of moon-men in my life.

Anonymous said...

I worked at Google for a bit and, it's just an anecdote, but I've never seen such a density of moon-men.