Genetic and environmental bases of the interplay between magical ideation and personality

Paolo Brambilla, Corrado Fagnani, Filippo Cecchetto, Emanuela Medda, Marcella Bellani, Miriam Salemi, Angelo Picardi, Maria Antonietta Stazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sub-threshold psychotic symptoms are quite commonly present in general population. Among these, Magical Ideation (MI) has been proved to be a valid predictor of psychosis. However, the genetic and environmental influences on the interplay between MI and personality have not fully been explored. A total of 534 adult twins from the population-based Italian Twin Register were assessed for MI using the MI Scale (MIS) and for personality with the temperament and character inventory (TCI). A Multivariate Cholesky model was applied with Mx statistical program. The best-fitting model showed that additive genetic and unshared environmental factors explain approximately the same proportion of variance in MI, whereas a less strong genetic influence on personality traits emerged. Relevant correlations between MI and specific personality traits (novelty seeking, cooperativeness, self-directedness, self-transcendence) were found, suggesting shared influences for MI and these traits. Both genetic and environmental factors explained these correlations, with genetic factors playing a predominant role. Moderate-to-substantial genetic effects on MI and personality were found. Shared genetic and environmental effects underlie the phenotypic correlation between MI (psychosis-proneness) and personality traits, i.e. self-directedness (negative association) and self-transcendence (positive association), potentially representing predictive markers of psychosis liability related to schizotypy and personality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2014


  • Magical ideation
  • Psychosis
  • Schizotypy
  • Self-directedness
  • Self-transcendence
  • Temperament and character inventory
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Medicine(all)


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