Robert Plomin
Robert Plomin is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

 best known for his work in twin studies and behavior genetics. Plomin has made two of the most important discoveries in that field. First, he has shown the importance of non-shared environment, a term that he coined to refer to the environmental reasons why children growing up in the same family are so different. Second, he has shown that many environmental measures in psychology show genetic influence and that genetic factors can mediate associations between environmental measures and developmental outcomes.

He earned a B.A. in Psychology from DePaul University
DePaul University
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...

 in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1974 from the University of Texas, Austin. He then worked at the Institute for Behavioural Genetics at the University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado...

. From 1986 until 1994 he worked at Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU, is a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service...

 studying elderly twins reared apart and twins reared together to study aging and is currently at King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

, Institute of Psychiatry
Institute of Psychiatry
The Institute of Psychiatry is a research institution dedicated to discovering what causes mental illness and diseases of the brain. In addition, its aim is to help identify new treatments for them and ways to prevent them in the first place...

. He has been president of the Behavior Genetics Association
Behavior Genetics Association
The Behavior Genetics Association is a learned society that was established in 1970 and promotes research into the connection between heredity and behavior.- Aims :...

, which in 2002 awarded him the Dobzhansky Memorial Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Scholarship in Behavior Genetics. He was awarded the William James Fellow Award by the Association for Psychological Science
Association for Psychological Science
The Association for Psychological Science , previously the American Psychological Society, is a non-profit international organization whose mission is to promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology in research, application, teaching, and the improvement of...

 in 2004.

Plomin is currently conducting the Twins Early Development Study
Twins Early Development Study
The Twins Early Development Study is an ongoing longitudinal twin study, headed by principal investigator and leading psychologist Professor Robert Plomin. The main goal of TEDS is to use behavioural genetic methods to find out how nature and nurture can explain why people differ with respect to...

 of all twins born in England from 1994 to 1996, focusing on developmental delays in early childhood and their association with behavioural problems.

In 1994 he was one of 52 signatories on "Mainstream Science on Intelligence
Mainstream Science on Intelligence
Mainstream Science on Intelligence was a public statement issued by a group of academic researchers in fields allied to intelligence testing that claimed to present those findings widely accepted in the expert community...

," an editorial written by Linda Gottfredson
Linda Gottfredson
Linda Susanne Gottfredson is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Delaware and co-director of the Delaware-Johns Hopkins Project for the Study of Intelligence and Society. Gottfredson's work has been influential in shaping U.S...

 and published in the Wall Street Journal, which declared the consensus of the signing scholars on issues related to intelligence research following the publication of the book The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve
The Bell Curve is a best-selling and controversial 1994 book by the Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray...


His most recent books are Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era (Washington, DC: APA Books, 2003) and Behavioral Genetics (4th edition, New York: Worth Publishers, 2001).

External links

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