Gene Expression

I was curious about a few social variables which often associate across generations, and also within families. So I looked in the General Social Survey for denomination, highest degree and socioeconomic index, which I knew were surveyed for the individual (respondent), their parents and their spouse. Below the fold are the correlation matrices generated. Remember that if you assume a linear dependency you square the correlation (e.g., 0.50 → 0.25) to find out how much of the variation in X can be accounted for by variation in Y.

Religious denomination Denomination Father’s Denom. Mother’s Denom. Denom. Raised Spouse Denom. Spouse Denom. Raised
Denomination 0.63 0.59 0.68 0.80 0.48
Father’s Denom. 0.84 0.89 0.47 0.40
Mother’s Denom. 0.87 0.41 0.39
Denom. Raised 0.48 0.42
Spouse Denom.   0.67
Spouse Denom. Raised

Highest level of education Degree Father’s Degree Mother’s Degree Spouse Degree
Degree 0.43 0.41 0.57
Father’s Degree 0.57 0.37
Mother’s Degree 0.35
Spouse Degree

Socioeconomic index SEI Father’s SEI Mother’s SEI Spouse SEI
SEI 0.26 0.23 0.33
Father’s SEI 0.38 0.22
Mother’s SEI 0.20
Spouse SEI


  1. #1 Ian Tindale
    July 30, 2008

    This seems restricted to a specific foreign country, therefore is it really useful to anyone other than those in that particular country?

  2. #2 bgc
    July 30, 2008

    This is very interesting indeed – and the opposite to what most people would predict – because people ‘choose’ (or at least they *think* they choose) their denomination but not their SES.

  3. #3 Jason Malloy
    July 30, 2008

    If you looked at adopted children, denomination would be about the same, while SES would be 0.

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