“The Problem of Causal Mutualisms, The Promise of Polygenic Scores, and The Pervasive Divergence of Life Outcomes”
Casual mutualisms are sets of properties that have substantial reciprocal influence on one another. This may sound abstruse, but various big constructs in behavioral science, including “heritability,” “SES”, “health”, and “achievement,” exhibit clear signs of instantiating massive mutualisms and yet many implications of their doing so remain largely unpursued. The talk will describe the problem and several routes into it by reference to a series of phenomena that might otherwise appear unrelated, on intellectual achievement, educational attainment, and health disparities. Together these examples are used to argue for a more strongly integrative and developmental social science, as well as the potential value of predictive scores based on genomic information for helping reckon with mutualisms.