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Born to lead? A twin design and genetic association study of leadership role occupancy

De Neve, J-E; Mikhaylov, S; Dawes, CT; Christakis, NA; Fowler, JH; (2013) Born to lead? A twin design and genetic association study of leadership role occupancy. Leadership Quarterly , 24 (1) pp. 45-60. 10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.08.001. Green open access

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Abstract

We address leadership emergence and the possibility that there is a partially innate predisposition to occupy a leadership role. Employing twin design methods on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we estimate the heritability of leadership role occupancy at 24%. Twin studies do not point to specific genes or neurological processes that might be involved. We therefore also conduct association analysis on the available genetic markers. The results show that leadership role occupancy is associated with rs4950, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) residing on a neuronal acetylcholine receptor gene (CHRNB3). We replicate this family-based genetic association result on an independent sample in the Framingham Heart Study. This is the first study to identify a specific genotype associated with the tendency to occupy a leadership position. The results suggest that what determines whether an individual occupies a leadership position is the complex product of genetic and environmental influences, with a particular role for rs4950.

Type: Article
Title: Born to lead? A twin design and genetic association study of leadership role occupancy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.08.001
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.08.001
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Leadership role occupancy; Twin design; Genetic association study
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1357794
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