A twins study of communicative adaptability: Heritability of individual differences

Michael J. Beatty, Lenora A. Marshall, Jill E. Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recently, a model of communication theory and research has appeared in the literature within which stable individual differences in communication behavior represent individual differences in activation thresholds of neurobiological systems. The neurobiological systems thought to underly communication traits and behavior are assumed to be primarily due to genetic inheritance. As such, the model assigns a limited role to adaptability in social situations, instead positing communication adaptability as an inherited trait. In the present study, heritability estimates for the dimensions of communicative adaptability were derived from correlations based on identical and fraternal twins’ responses to a multidimensional communicative adaptability measure. Results indicated that social composure was 88% heritable, wit was 90% heritable, social confirmation was 37% heritable, articulation ability, and appropriate disclosure were 0% heritable. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-377
Number of pages12
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education


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