Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The purpose of this study, “Genetic basis of Academic Performance,” is to evaluate associations between the 5-HTTLPR, the DRD4 gene, psychological characteristics including metacognition and depression, and academic performance as reflected in SAT scores. We discovered that participants with 2-repeat or 7-repeat alleles of the DRD4 gene have significantly lower scores on the Metacognition tests (P = 0.022) and two subclades of metacognition, “Cognitive Self-Consciousness” (P = 0.021) and “Need to Control Thoughts” (P = 0.040), as compared to those without 2-repeat or 7-repeat alleles. 7-repeat allele DRD4 gene carriers have significantly higher scores for alcohol use disorders than those without the 7-repeat variant (P = 0.018). People carrying the S/S variants of the 5-HTTLPR gene have significantly higher scores of the Metacognitions subclade, “Cognitive Confidence,” than those with S/L alleles (P = 0.028). Many participants took the SAT more than once. We only used their highest scores. The highest SAT reading score of participants is negatively associated with their score on the metacognition test (p = 0.046), specifically the metacognition subclades “Positive Beliefs about Worry” (P = 0.030) and “Need to Control Thoughts” (P = 0.020), The highest SAT math score is negatively associated with the score of the Metacognition test (P = 0.029) and the Metacognition subclade “Need to Control Thoughts” (P = 0.010). The highest SAT score is negatively associated with the Metacognition subclade “Need to Control Thoughts” (P = 0.046) and weakly negatively associated with Metacognition (P = 0.075).

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