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Thread: control for

  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default control for

    Would you please explain the following in bold more easily?

    Here is the single most surprising fact about child rearing and childhood events: Study after study has shown that the interfamilial variance in personality is about the same as the intrafamilial variance---once you control for genes. (Practice saying this and you can take the life out of any cocktail party.) Translated into English, this means that, on average, the personalities of any two children from the same family turn out to be about as different from each other as they are from the personality of any random child---once you control for genes.

    For example, Could I paraphrase "once you control for genes" like "even if you take genetic similarities(or differences) into account" or "when you compare the genetic differences between the two"? What is this saying in the context?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: control for

    Given that it is about rearing, I think controlling for genes would be excluding the factors that are genetic to focus on nurture.

  3. #3
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: control for

    Thank you for the answer.

    And I hope you will explain the part in parentheses, too.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: control for

    Inter/intra are similar sounds, hence the need to practise, and it's the sort of sentence that would kill a discussion on the topic in a social or non-specialist situation.

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