The concept of a “physics gene” or “poetry gene” might not be a joke. Intellectual predispositions are likely to be driven in part by genes – including those that drive autism, mood disorders, and substance abuse.
My students and I are building a tool to measure intellectual phenotypes. To participate, take our brief survey. Continue here…
First, I am required to get your informed consent, which is required by Princeton University for any person involved in a research study conducted by investigators at the University. Our study has been approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects.
I understand that I will be asked to complete a questionnaire about my intellectual interests and family history of neuropsychiatric disorders. The researchers will use this information in the development of a standardized inventory of intellectual interests. I understand that I will not be directly compensated for this study, and that my answers will be made anonymous.
If you acknowledge the above, then please proceed to take the survey here.
Now that you’re back…are you curious about the rationale? Basically, it’s this. Many neuropsychiatric disorders are caused in part by combinations of genes. We suspect that diversity of normal minds is also genetically driven – that the blank slate we are ostensibly born with is not actually blank.
Once we have a tool to classify people’s interests, we can do a lot with genetic information (not yours!). Believe it or not, such a survey-based tool does not exist, as far as we know.