Do the dimensions of the temperament and character inventory map a simple genetic architecture? Evidence from molecular genetics and factor analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: It has been reported that the human temperament dimensions of novelty seeking and harm avoidance are associated with polymorphisms in the D(4) dopamine receptor gene (D4DR) and the serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR), respectively. Although these findings are consistent with Cloninger's hypothesized psychobiological model of temperament and character, many studies failed to replicate these findings. In the present study the authors tested whether the psychobiological model taps the genetic architecture of personality by exploring associations between these candidate genes and the dimensions of the Temperament and Character Inventory and by examining its phenotypic structure. METHOD: Of the 946 male and female participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging to whom the Temperament and Character Inventory was administered, 587 were genotyped for a polymorphism with a 48-base-pair repeat in the D4DR gene and 425 were genotyped for a 44-base-pair insertion or deletion in the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. RESULTS: There was no significant association between D4DR polymorphisms and novelty seeking. The authors also failed to find an association between 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms and harm avoidance. The factor structure of the Temperament and Character Inventory did not reveal the hypothesized phenotypic structure. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation produced no support for the temperament-character model at either the biological or psychological level.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Herbst, JH; Zonderman, AB; McCrae, RR; Costa, PT

Published Date

  • August 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 157 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1285 - 1290

PubMed ID

  • 10910792

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10910792

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-953X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.8.1285


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States