Biological Determinism for Happiness

This is good news for some people and irrelevant news for others. There is new research coming out that hints that biology plays a significant role in how happy we are.

esearchers from the University of Edinburgh and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane have found our personalities and happiness are largely hereditary and that genetically determined personality traits affect our happiness.

The research, published in the latest issue of the journal Psychological Science, rated the personalities of 973 pairs of twins. The twins were rated using the Five Factor Model of personality, which measures neuroticism, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness and agreeableness.

The study shows identical twins have a very similar personality and well-being. But fraternal twins are only around half as similar.

This suggests that genes are responsible for certain personality traits. Those who are conscientious, extroverted and not overly neurotic are more likely to be happy. People with these personality traits also tend to have a happiness buffer to help them through hard times.

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