Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Genes, economics and happiness

We all know some people are born stupid but what I didn't know was that some people are born to be happy dudes while others are inherently miserable. To be precise, heritability of happiness is approximately 33%, and much higher for men then women.
This is documented in a study by De Neve, Christakis, Fowler and Frey which is even able to pinpoint specific genes associated with happiness. This suggests that if you want your kids to be happy campers that you should be very careful who you mate with, especially if you are a woman. Unless its too late. There's a cheery thought.


Liam Delaney said...

there is a cartoon where two chaps are walking along and one says to the other something like "I used to think my happiness was due to the fact that my hard work had paid off and made me a success. Turns out, it was due to my naturally cheery disposition"

Kevin Denny said...

We should be careful not to over-egg the role of nature and the nature/nurture dichotamy is over-simplified anyway.