How useful are twin studies for measuring heritability of educational achievement? More than one might think!

From experience to meaning...

I posted already several studies that linked heritability to study success, check e.g. here and here. The way this kind of research is conducted is that the researchers look at twin studies, comparing monozygotic and dizygotic twins. But how useful is this approach? This new study wanted to examine precisely this by (re)examining Dutch data, and maybe surprising: very. Check this quote from the conclusion:

In the Netherlands, the results of a national educational achievement test, the Eindtoets basisonderwijs, partly determine the level of secondary education suitable for a child. Several twin studies have looked at the heritability of individual indifferences on this test, but due to self-selection bias and possible differences in singletons and twins, these results might not generalize to the general population of Dutch pupils. Here we determined the heritability of test scores using population-wide census data. For the estimation, pedigree-based mixed models were used, a…

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