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The Gene Illusion

The Gene Illusion[1] is a book by clinical psychologist Jay Joseph,[2] published in 2003, which challenges the evidence underlying genetic theories in psychiatry and psychology. Focusing primarily on twin and adoption studies, he attempts to debunk the methodologies used to establish genetic contributions to schizophrenia, criminal behaviour, and IQ. In the nature and nurture debate on the causes of mental disorders, Joseph's criticisms of genetic research in psychiatry have found their place among those who argue that the environment is overwhelmingly the cause of these disorders, particularly with psychiatry critic Jonathan Leo,[3][4] and with Oliver James.[5][6][7] The conclusions of The Gene Illusion have been criticized by mainstream researchers in genetics, psychiatry, and psychology.[8][9]

Joseph expressed similar criticism of the genetics research in autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder in his second book, The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity, and the Fruitless Search for Genes (2006). He and J. Leo (who cites Joseph's publications) have also criticized some of the papers published in mainstream medical journals on the topic of psychiatric genetics by sending letters to the editor,[4][10] which were rebuked by these mainstream researchers.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ Joseph, J. (2003). The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology under the Microscope. PCCS Books. ISBN 1-898059-47-0. 
  2. ^ Newnes, C. "Not at all in the genes: Craig Newnes interviews Jay Joseph" (PDF). Critical Psychology & Psychiatry. Shropshire, England: Dept. of Psychological Therapies, South Staffs & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Leo, J. (2003). "The fallacy of the 50% concordance rate for schizophrenia in identical twins". Human Nature Review 3: 406–415. 
  4. ^ a b Leo, J. (2006). "Schizophrenia Adoption Studies". PLoS Medicine 3 (8): e366. PMC 1564288. PMID 16942400. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030366.  edit
  5. ^ James, Oliver (3 October 2003). "Required reading". The Times (London). 
  6. ^ James, Oliver (17 May 2003). "Children before cash". The Guardian (London). 
  7. ^ James, Oliver (19 June 2006). "Can maternal anxiety lead to ADHD". The Times (London). 
  8. ^ Hanson, D. (2005). "The Gene Illusion Confusion". PsycCRITIQUES 50 (52): art. 10. doi:10.1037/04131512.  edit
  9. ^ Spinath, F. (2004). "The Gene Illusion: Genetic research in psychiatry and psychology under the microscope: Jay Joseph; PCCS Books, Ross-on-Wye, UK, 2003, 342 pages, ISBN 1-898059-47-0". Intelligence 32 (4): 425–427. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2004.04.001.  edit
  10. ^ Joseph, J. A. Y. (2005). "Research Paradigms of Psychiatric Genetics". American Journal of Psychiatry 162 (10): 1985; author reply 1985–6. PMID 16199857. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.10.1985.  edit
  11. ^ Kendler, K. S. (2005). "Dr. Kendler Replies". American Journal of Psychiatry 162: 1985. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.10.1985-a.  edit
  12. ^ Sullivan, P. F. (2006). "Author's Response to Dr. Leo". PLoS Medicine 3 (8): e376. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030376.  edit

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