How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Robert Plomin

What made you, you? What made your personality, mental health and cognitive abilities? Robert Plomin, world-leading behavioural geneticist, concludes that inherited DNA differences are the major systematic force that shapes us as individuals.

  • 1200px Robert Plomin
    Robert Plomin

    Robert J. Plomin, FBA is an American psychologist and geneticist best known for his work in twin studies and behaviour genetics. 


About the Course


We all know that genes determine many of our characteristics - like our height, eye colour, and whether we can roll our tongues. But how about how likely we are to get divorced, our exam scores or the food we like? New paradigm-shifting research is showing that is not just our bodies that are determined by our genes, but our entire lives. So how has this been proven? Can we escape the fate given to us by our genes? And how should view ourselves and our society in light of these new findings?

In this course, Robert Plomin, the world's leading behavioural geneticist and author of Blueprint, explains the ground-breaking research he's done studying twins, and explains how his findings prove that DNA differences are the major systematic force that shapes who we are as individuals. He dispels the common misunderstandings regarding what it means for a trait to be heritable, and instead looks at how a lack of focus on genetics has slowed the development of medicine and psychology.


By the end of the course, you will have learned:

  • Why winning the lottery doesn't make you happy
  • Why it's not worth paying for private school
  • The surprising statistic of how many traits aren't heritable
  • Why diagnosing common psychological disorders is mistaken
  • The difference between DNA and RNA
  • What SNPs are, and why they are so important

As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, and discussion boards to have your say.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

About the Instructor

  • Robert Plomin

    Robert Plomin is an American psychologist and geneticist, who has made important contributions to the study of identical twins. He is the 71st most cited psychologist of the 20th century, and the author of several books on genetics and psychology, including Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are.


Course Syllabus

  • Part One: Why DNA Matters
    What led psychology to recognise the importance of genetics as well as environmental factors? Plomin draws on his 45 years of research and outlines psychology’s exciting new synergies.
  • Part Two : The DNA Revolution
    DNA can now predict both problems and promise from birth. Plomin outlines a positive vision for how new advances will transform science, society and our understanding of ourselves.