Proposal Assessment: Novelty Seeking
There is some evidence for genetic influences on certain personality
traits. One such personality trait that has been examined is Novelty
Seeking (NS). Several common personality tests have been used to
identify the NS phenotype (e.g. Temperament and Character Inventory
(TCI); NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI); NEO-PI-R neuroticism scale;
Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ); Revised Eysenck
Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R)).
Investigations into the genetics of NS phenotypes have produced mixed
results and have revealed considerable genetic heterogeneity. The genetic
polymorphisms associated with NS include variation at the dopamine receptor
D4 locus (DRD4; Gene map locus 11p15.5), especially exon 3 polymorphisms, and
several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the promoter region of
DRD4: -1217G Ins/Del, -809G/A, -616C/G, -603T Ins/Del, -602(G)8-9, and -521C/T.
You have been asked to referee proposals for research on the genetic
basis of the NS personality traits. Assess the following four proposals, assuming
that all the lead investigators have equally impressive track-records,
institutional backing, and so forth. Please remember, as you would when faced
with a real proposal, that resources are limited.