Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes May Influence Popularity, Study Of College Students Finds

Date:
December 22, 2008
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
A groundbreaking study of popularity has found that genes elicit not only specific behaviors but also the social consequences of those behaviors.

Is popularity in our genes? Scientists found that genes elicit not only specific behaviors but also the social consequences of those behaviors.
Credit: iStockphoto/Li Kim Goh

A groundbreaking study of popularity by a Michigan State University scientist has found that genes elicit not only specific behaviors but also the social consequences of those behaviors.

Related Articles


According to the investigation by behavioral geneticist S. Alexandra Burt, male college students who had a gene associated with rule-breaking behavior were rated most popular by a group of previously unacquainted peers.

It’s not unusual for adolescent rule-breakers to be well-liked – previous research has made that link – but Burt is the first to provide meaningful evidence for the role of a specific gene in this process. The study appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association.

“The idea is that your genes predispose you to certain behaviors and those behaviors elicit different kinds of social reactions from others,” said Burt, assistant professor of psychology. “And so what’s happening is, your genes are to some extent driving your social experiences.”

The concept – which researchers call “evocative gene-environment correlation” – had been discussed in scientific literature but only in theory. This study is the first to really flesh out the process, establishing clear connections between a specific gene, particular behaviors and actual social situations, she said.

Burt collected DNA from more than 200 male college students in two separate samples. After interacting in a lab setting for about an hour, the students filled out a questionnaire about whom they most liked in their group. In both samples, the most popular students turned out to be the ones with a particular form of a serotonin gene that was also associated with rule-breaking behavior.

“So the gene predisposed them to rule-breaking behavior and their rule-breaking behavior made them more popular,” Burt said.

Burt is working on similar studies with female college students, as well as mixed-gender social groups. She also plans to explore associations with other social behaviors and other genes in larger samples.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Genes May Influence Popularity, Study Of College Students Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222074607.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2008, December 22). Genes May Influence Popularity, Study Of College Students Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222074607.htm
Michigan State University. "Genes May Influence Popularity, Study Of College Students Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222074607.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins