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Molecular genetics and subjective well-being

Bartels, Meike, Benjamin, David J., Cesarini, David, De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel, Johannesson, Magnus, Koellinger, Philipp D., Krueger, Robert F., Magnusson, Patrik K. E., Pedersen, Nancy L., Rietveld, Cornelius A. and Tiemeier, Henning (2013) Molecular genetics and subjective well-being. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1225). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Subjective well-being (SWB) is a major topic of research across the social sciences. Twin and family studies have found that genetic factors may account for as much as 30-40% of the variance in SWB. Here, we study genetic contributions to SWB in a pooled sample of ~11,500 unrelated, comprehensively-genotyped Swedish and Dutch individuals. We apply a recently-developed method to estimate “common narrow heritability”: the fraction of variance in SWB that can be explained by the cumulative additive effects of genetic polymorphisms that are common in the population. Our estimates are 5-10% for single-question survey measures of SWB, and 12-18% after correction for measurement error in the SWB measures. Our results suggest guarded optimism about the prospects of using genetic data in SWB research because, while the common narrow heritability is not large, the polymorphisms that contribute to it could feasibly be discovered with a sufficiently large sample of individuals.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?...
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2013 11:35
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 03:42
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/51566

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