Phenotype

Last Updated: July 15, 2018

Definition - What does Phenotype mean?

A person's phenotype is his or her collection of physical characteristics. These are the traits that are observable such as eye color or height. Personality and other emotional or psychological characteristics are also a part of a person's phenotype.

WorkplaceTesting explains Phenotype

The phenotype of any organism is that which can be observed. An individual's phenotype is the sum of many influencing factors, biological and otherwise. His or her genotype, or genetic composition, plays a significant role but so do life experiences and environment. Each person responds to the environment and influences of life differently, creating a unique phenotype that changes over time. Changes to a person's physical appearance, preferences, or lifestyle may all be considered changes to his or her phenotype. By comparison, a person's genotype usually does not change in response to his or her environment.

Understanding an employee's phenotype can be helpful in work assignments (Does he or she get along with others easily? Is the employee of small stature to fit in tight work spaces?), but also in wellness programs (Does the employee gain weight more easily than others? Is the employee predisposed to heart disease?).

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