adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.99

Buy for $24.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A top behavioral geneticist makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses.

In Blueprint, behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin describes how the DNA revolution has made DNA personal by giving us the power to predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses from birth. A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent life-long sources of our psychological individuality - the blueprint that makes us who we are. This, says Plomin, is a game-changer. It calls for a radical rethinking of what makes us who were are.

Plomin has been working on these issues for almost fifty years, conducting longitudinal studies of twins and adoptees. He reports that genetics explains more of the psychological differences among people than all other factors combined. Genetics accounts for fifty percent of psychological differences - not just mental health and school achievement, but all psychological traits, from personality to intellectual abilities. Nature defeats nurture by a landslide.

Plomin explores the implications of this, drawing some provocative conclusions - among them that parenting styles don't really affect children's outcomes once genetics is taken into effect. Neither tiger mothers nor attachment parenting affects children's ability to get into Harvard. After describing why DNA matters, Plomin explains what DNA does, offering listeners a unique insider's view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology.

©2018 Robert Plomin (P)2018 Penguin Books Limited and used by arrangement.

More from the same

Author

Narrator

What listeners say about Blueprint

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    166
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A milestone book

I began learning about DNA nearly 40 years ago. Since that time the advances made in our ability to understand the implications of DNA, and how to modify it, have been incredible. This book does an excellent job of reviewing the advances and discussing the implications of this research.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

good until Plomin inserted political opinions

Information was good but his insertion of politics (Ch 8) lost me. Genetics determine your success so we should tax the successful and redistribute to those less successful people? I'm really not sure why social justice needed to be pushed. I did like the insights of genetics and how parents should nurture a child's strengths instead of trying to form a child like a lump of clay in their views. Good read but made me question him once he stepped out of his lane.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Some Genuine New Thinking

The mapping of the human genome has created amazing breakthroughs in medicine but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it is also revolutionizing the field of psychology. Using a variety of methods, researchers have made amazing progress in deciphering the “nature vs nurture” quandary that has plagued the field since its founding days.

The past 30 years have been heavily influenced by the believers in “nurture.” An avalanche of self-help and parenting books have set the trajectory. The message is that if you toughen up, buckle down and condition the correct behavior, anything is possible. Human beings are lumps of clay and those who fail to overcome their shortcomings simply lack discipline.

Robert Plomin is a psychology researcher who specializes in studies on twins. Plomin and an army of other researchers have conducted thousands of causality studies for everything from personality traits to major psychological maladies like depression and schizophrenia.

The result is that the answer to the “nature vs nurture” question is becoming clearer. The pendulum is swinging back to the “nature” camp. Solid science shows that our personalities are far more genetically driven than we ever realized. While outside forces such as parenting, peers and self-discipline can bring about real change, it’s becoming increasingly clear that genetic predisposition is the most powerful driver of our feelings and behavior.

Some people are just happy by nature. Others have a more grumpy disposition. Some are achievers, couch potatoes, worriers or happy-go-lucky. For good or for bad, the research is now showing that your ability to pick yourself up by your bootstraps has daunting limitations.

This has profound implications for the field of psychology, education and most importantly, parenting. Today’s helicopter parents will not be nearly as successful as they think. The good news is that kids tend to be a lot like their parents, but this is primarily driven by parents passing down their DNA, not by child-rearing prowess. Good or bad parenting can have a powerful impact, but we are learning that all of us have a mighty inclination to ascend or regress to the behavior that is genetically programmed in our DNA.

The research reveals that genetic predisposition is the dominant determining factor in education success. It’s more of an influence than where a child goes to school, the skill of teachers, or involvement of parents. Don’t get me wrong, all these latter components can make a difference, but they appear to have less impact than was previously thought.

The research is revealing that a systematic change is required in the way we look at the field of psychology. The field still follows a medical model. People in the mental health system are classified as “sick” and in need of a “cure.” They are “healthy” or “normal.” Plomin argues this black and white thinking is the wrong approach.

There is no single gene for depression. This feeling is endemic to human existence. The research is showing that ALL OF US suffer from depression. Some of us have very little, and some of us have a lot. The level of severity can be predictably graphed on a standard bell curve. The daunting conclusion this book reveals is that all of us will still be powerfully compelled to return to a set point coded in our chromosomes.

We will not be able to “cure” something that is hard coded throughout the human genome. This would be like curing someone of the malady of having brown eyes or being tall. What we want to do is to help those in the most distress move up the bell curve to a place where their suffering is lessened.

I also appreciated Plomin’s explanation of how cells divide and pass along their DNA coding. He took a very complicated topic and made it understandable.

I really enjoyed this book. The writing is a bit cumbersome but it has some genuine new insights. A warning - the first chapters are abysmal, filled with methodology and biography. Stick with it and muscle through. It gets better.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Most Interesting and Important Book In My Library

Polygenetic scores finally explain a significant portion of heritability with specific genetic markers (actually more than anything else in some cases). The future is now, and the next 10-15 years will be very interesting.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narcissistic author with eugenics slant

I finished it only so that I could fairly critique the entire content of the book.

The author is an American genetics researcher at Kings College in London. He presents many studies and claims to address the ethical implications. However, he overstates the conclusions of his and other family-based and genome wide association (GWAS) studies and fails to acknowledge that his statements are not universally accepted across the genetics field.

More troubling, he omits the potential eugenics implications of his "genetics explains almost everything, including socioeconomics" (my paraphrasing; not a direct quote). He should realize that his claims could be used to support a eugenics agenda, and the onerous is on him (as a scientist) to clearly state that his results do NOT support eugenics.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great and accessible journey into genetics

A valuable read for anybody who wants to get a better understanding on the importance of genetics on many aspects of life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

incredibly insightful.

made it very clear to me role of effect of DNA in life outcomes for myself and everyone else.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

But the narration will put you to sleep. I appreciate hearing the author narrate their own material, but Mr. Plomin sounds like he's reading a bedtime story to a toddler.

other than that, if you're interested in the future of genomics, this is the book for you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Astounding Revelations

Incredible insights into advances in genomics, behavior, and psychology the likes of which have and will continue to change our lives and our understanding of all life. Simply mind blowing…

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Augmenting patient classification

Very interesting new science, clearly explained with potentials and limitations, with certain phrases repeated ad nauseum in case you didn't get it the first time.