Genetics and Skills

Genetics and Skills

Genetics also affect how likely someone is to…(1)

  • …be politically liberal.…
  • be a thrill-seeker.…
  • live a long and healthy life.…
  • be sexually promiscuous.…
  • donate to charity.

About 60% 

  • Percentage of influence that genes have on cognitive ability (1)


  • Percentage of a child’s learning ability that is genetic (2)


  • The average percentage of their IQ that children inherit from their parents. (3)

Other skills that genetics may determine include: (8,9,10,11)

The ability to recognize facesThe part of the brain that recognizes faces is in the temporal lobe. When this is less active or damaged, people cannot recognize others as well. (4)

Athletic abilityA Princeton study found that hours upon hours of deliberate practice in athletes only accounted for an 18% difference in performance, lending more proof to the genetic factor.(5)

Mathematic comprehensionThe U.S. is ranked 35th out of 64 countries in national math test scores.(6)

Reading fluencyThe same genes that help determine a person’s math skills also affect a person’s ability to read text fluently. (3)

Learning a foreign language1 in 4 Americans can hold a conversation in a second language other than English. (7)