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Can Genes Control Your Happiness?

The New York Times’ Well Blog reports that levels and types of happiness may actually be linked to genetics. The study, published in Proceedings in the National Academy of the Sciences, identified “molecular mechanisms underlying the prospective health advantages associated with psychological well-being.” Scientists surveyed 80 healthy individuals to assess whether their happiness was hedonistic, or materialistic, or whether it was eudaemonistic, or based on higher meaning and fulfillment. They then, “analyzed leukocyte basal gene expression” to determine an association between immune response and type of happiness. Researchers concluded that those who were more eudaemonic, “had profiles that displayed augmented levels of antibody-producing gene expression and lower levels of the pro-inflammatory expression.”

Read the article in The New York Times’ Well Blog.

Read the study published in PNAS.