Optimist or Pessimist? It's in Your Genes

Monday, 19 September 2011 01:02 PM

Our levels of optimism and self-esteem may be at least partially rooted in our genes, according to new research.

Scientists say this genetic connection is associated with the so-called “love” or “cuddle” hormone oxytocin. A small piece of genetic material on the oxytocin receptor gene may influence our sense of optimism and self-esteem, as well as mastery — the idea that you control your own destiny, reports WebMD.com.

According to researchers, whose work was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a combination of two gene variants — A and G — are located in the oxytocin receptor gene. Study participants with a gene variation of one or two A’s had fewer positive personality traits and more depression symptoms, while those people with a variation that included two G’s showed more optimism.

However, this genetic make-up does not completely dictate how we view the world and our level of happiness, researchers noted.

“There is a lot of room for environmental variations, like how you were raised and the life experiences that you have had,” says study author Shelley E. Taylor of the University of California at Los Angeles.

To read the complete WebMD.com story, Go Here.

© HealthDay

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Monday, 19 September 2011 01:02 PM
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