Schwartz contributes to the debate concerning the validity of heritability research in criminology
In a recent article published in the journal Criminology, Burt and Simons (2014, Volume 52, Issue 2) claimed that the statistical violations of the classical twin design render heritability studies useless, and called for abandoning heritability studies and their related findings. Professor Joseph Schwartz and his colleagues, J.C. Barnes, John Wright, Joseph Nedelec (University of Cincinnati), Brian Boutwell (Saint Louis University), Eric Connolly (Pennsylvania State University, Abington), and Kevin Beaver (Florida State University) argued that Burt and Simons’ call for an “end to heritability studies” was premature. Professor Schwartz and his colleagues supported their argument by demonstrating that 1) the Burt and Simons’ critique dates back 40 years and has been subject to a broad array of empirical investigations, 2) the violation of assumptions in twin models does not invalidate their results, and 3) Burt and Simons created a distorted and highly misleading portrait of behavioral genetics and those who use quantitative genetic approaches. The full text of their response to Burt and Simons (2014) appeared in Criminology (2014, Volume 52, Issue 4). Rejoinders by Burt and Simons and Professor Schwartz and his colleagues are also scheduled to be published in Issue 1 of Volume 53 of Criminology, along with commentaries from several other researchers in the field.
Story published 12/2014