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Out of my control : the effects of perceived genetic etiology Cheung, Benjamin Yue

Abstract

Interpersonal judgements regarding other people’s behaviours often involve understanding their underlying causes. People tend to ascribe such causes to some fundamental, vague essence that lies within the individual. The gene has gained prominence in recent decades as a specific instantiation of this essence, although laypeople’s understanding of genetics is often inaccurate and overly simplistic. These inaccurate perceptions lead people to engage in genetic essentialism – the tendency to view genes and their associated attributes in overly deterministic and fatalistic terms. This dissertation discusses eight studies that: a) examine the consequences of genetic essentialism in various domains; b) expand on the existing theoretical framework of genetic essentialism by supplementing it with attribution theory; and c) attempt to find ways that can mitigate the impact of genetic essentialism.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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