The Media and Behavioral Genetics: Alternatives Coexisting with Addiction Genetics

Molly J. Dingel, Jenny Ostergren, Jennifer B. McCormick, Rachel Hammer, Barbara A. Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To understand public discourse in the United States on genetic causation of behavioral disorders, we analyzed media representations of genetic research on addiction published between 1990 and 2010. We conclude first that the media simplistically represent biological bases of addiction and willpower as being mutually exclusive: behaviors are either genetically determined, or they are a choice. Second, most articles provide only cursory or no treatment of the environmental contribution. A media focus on genetics directs attention away from environmental factors. Rhetorically, media neglect the complexity underlying the etiology the addiction and direct focus back toward individual causation and responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-486
Number of pages28
JournalScience Technology and Human Values
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 12 2015

Fingerprint

addiction
genetic research
etiology
environmental factors
neglect
responsibility
Behavioral Genetics
Addiction
Behavioral genetics
Genetics
discourse
Causation
Media Representations
Responsibility
Neglect
Public Discourse
Etiology

Keywords

  • addiction
  • behavioral genetics
  • discourse analysis
  • genetics
  • media
  • science and knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Anthropology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Philosophy
  • Engineering(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

The Media and Behavioral Genetics : Alternatives Coexisting with Addiction Genetics. / Dingel, Molly J.; Ostergren, Jenny; McCormick, Jennifer B.; Hammer, Rachel; Koenig, Barbara A.

In: Science Technology and Human Values, Vol. 40, No. 4, 12.07.2015, p. 459-486.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dingel, MJ, Ostergren, J, McCormick, JB, Hammer, R & Koenig, BA 2015, 'The Media and Behavioral Genetics: Alternatives Coexisting with Addiction Genetics', Science Technology and Human Values, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 459-486. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243914558491
Dingel, Molly J. ; Ostergren, Jenny ; McCormick, Jennifer B. ; Hammer, Rachel ; Koenig, Barbara A. / The Media and Behavioral Genetics : Alternatives Coexisting with Addiction Genetics. In: Science Technology and Human Values. 2015 ; Vol. 40, No. 4. pp. 459-486.
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