Swiss Journal of Psychology 62 (2003) 15-16

The application of heritabilities in personnel selection:

A comment on Velden

Volkmar
Weiss

More than 30 years ago, studying for my
doctorate in human behavioral genetics, I came to the
same conclusions (in retrospect, Weiss, 1986) as Velden
for exactly the same reasons. The biometrical doctrine seeks to measure all the
variation in a character and to partition the differences observed into
fractions (variances, heritabilities) ascribable to the effects of genetic and environmental phenomena. The biometrical paradigm asserts that continuous variation implies the determination of characters by many genes with small effects. However, the usual notion of small and additive effects of many genes for polygenic inheritance is violated by the hierarchical nature of biochemical conversions in metabolic pathways and will finally be overcome by Mendelian molecular genetics (Weiss, 1995 and 2000).

Since 1974, in former

There exists an analogy between test theory and quantitative genetics. In classical test theory, the following linear model is assumed:

X = T + E,

where X is the observed test score of an individual, T is the true score, and E is the error of measurement. In quantitative genetics is assumed

P = G + E,

where P is the observed phenotypic value, G is the genotypic value, and E is the environmental deviation (including error of measurement).

Two tests are said to be parallel if they yield identical true scores and if the errors are uncorrelated. The analogous situation in quantitative genetics is the case of monozygotic twins reared in random environments. In such a case, members of the twin pair would have identical genotypical values and environmental deviations would be uncorrelated. From the above model of test theory follows

Var (X) = Var (T) + Var (E),

References

Kovár, R. (1981). Human variation in motor abilities and its genetic analysis.
Prague: Charles University.

Weiss, V. (1977). Die Heritabilitäten sportlicher Tests, berechnet aus den Leistungen zehnjähriger Zwillingspaare. Ärztliche Jugendkunde, 68, 167-172 (Reprint (1979): Leistungssport, 9, 58-61).

Weiss, V. (1979a). The use of heritabilities of anthropometric measures and performance tests in personnel selection.
Gegenbaurs morphologisches Jahrbuch, 125 , 174-177.

Weiss, V. (1979b). The heritability of difference scores when environments are correlated. Biometrical Journal, 21, 171-177.

Weiss, V. (1980). Der Heritabilitätsindex in der Begabungs- und Eignungsdiagnose bei Kindern und Jugendlichen. Gegenbaurs morphologisches Jahrbuch, 126, 865-872 (Reprint (1981): Leistungssport, 11, 192-195).

Weiss, V. (1986). Heritabilität. In Weiss, V., Lehrl, S., & Frank, H., Psychogenetik der Intelligenz (p. 36-43). Dortmund: Modernes Lernen.

Weiss, V. (1995). Editorial: The advent of a molecular genetics of general intelligence. Intelligence, 20, 115-124. – www.v-weiss.de/intellig.html

Weiss, V. (2000). Die IQ-Falle: Intelligenz, Sozialstruktur und Politik. Graz: Stocker.
– www.v-weiss.de/iq-falle.html

Wolanski, N. & Siniarska, A. (1984).
Genetics of psychomotor traits in man.