Subjective well-being and Genetics. Our presentation is based on: Weiss A, Bates TC, Luciano M (2008) Happiness is a personal(ity) thing: the genetics of personality and well-being in a representative sample. Psychological Science 19, 205–210. How important is?. Life satisfaction
Subjective well-being and Genetics
Our presentation is based on:
Weiss A, Bates TC, Luciano M (2008) Happiness is a personal(ity) thing: the genetics of personality and well-being in a representative sample. Psychological Science 19, 205–210.
College students from 17 different countries agree that subjective well-being is the most important in life, more than money (Diener, 2000).
DeNeve and Cooper (1998) conducted a meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being found:
Overall correlation between SWB and Personality (r = 0.19).
Subjective well-being is related to the Five-Factor Model
(Extraversion, Neuroticism and Conscientiousness).
Genetic effects account for approximately 50% of variance in the FFM (Bouchard & Loehlin, 2001).
Variance in subjective well-being appears to be heritable (Bouchard & Loehlin, 2001).
Genetics effects account for around 50% of the variance in subjective well-being (Nes, et al., 2006).
Therefore, Genes might partly linked to subjective well-being
Sharing genes may cause subjective well-being and FFM to correlate.
Participants sampled from MacArthur Foundation Survey of Midlife development in US (MIDUS)
The Genetics of Subjective Well-Being
(Weiss, Bates & Luciano, 2008)
- Lykken & Tellegen (1996) : 80% of the stable component of SWB is inherited.
- Inherited personality traits predispose people to happiness?
- Variability underlying individual differences in happiness also responsible for differences in personality traits?
Suggests involvement of higher order factor.
- Higher order factor (K) undelrlies a variety of distinct life history parameters
- common factor K correlates with a number of personality traits; “Big Neuroticism” r=-0.24, “Big Psychoticism” r=-0.67, “Big Exroversion” r=0.12
However, they may be mostly transient.
Set Point Theory
The idea that ‘individuals return to baseline levels of happiness following a change in life circumstances’(Lucas, 2007).
Genetics may influence the extent of change and speed of recovery to baseline.
Nes et al (2006): long-term stability of SWB was mainly attributed to stable genetic factors, whereas susceptibility to change was mostly related to individual environmental facotrs.
Identify the gene(s) responsible for forming personality (and in turn happiness) which affects so many aspects of life.
Investigate the relationship between SWB and other factors, controlling for personality.
Bouchard, T.J., Jr., & Loehlin, J.C. (2001). Genes, evolution, and personality. Behavior Genetics, 31, 243–273.
DeNeve, K.M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A metaanalysis
of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197–229.
Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness, and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.
Nes, R.B., Rysamb, E., Tambs, K., Harris, J.R., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2006). Subjective well-being: Genetic and environmental contributions to stability and change. Psychological Medicine, 36, 1033–1042.
Weiss A, Bates TC, Luciano M (2008) Happiness is a personal(ity) thing: the genetics of personality and well-being in a representative sample. Psychol ogical Science ,19, 205–210.
Amy C. Challacombe
Lindsey C. Eunson