Thursday, August 09, 2007

Genes may influence friendships


What really influences you - Genetics or Environment? This is a question that researchers have been asking for a long time. And, they have been applying this question to all aspects of the human condition. (image credit)

What about the friends that you pick? Is it the outside environment that influences you more, or your genetic make up? A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry tries to answer this question. The researchers interviewed about 1,800 male twins aged 24-62 born in Virginia and listed in the Virginia Twin Registry. (WebMD)
In Kendler's study, identical twins were more likely than fraternal twins to make similar choices in their friends. So the researchers reason that genetics may play a role in choosing friends.

That doesn't mean that identical twins always chose the same type of friends. The findings aren't quite that iron-clad.

But Kendler's team estimates that when kids are 8-11 years old, genes explain 30% of their choice in friends, wiih that percentage rising to about 50% from age 15-25, as people mature into independent adults.
As always happens when this question is asked, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Yes, genetics play a role somewhat. And, yes, the environment plays a role somewhat.

For me, it's just interesting to think back to the friends that I had in childhood and compare them to the personalities and people who I am friends with today. I guess I do see some trends. I will be interesting to see as the rest of my life plays out to see if this trend continues.

2 comments:

twilite said...

Hm...how to deduce genes influence friendships? Too abstract to grasp!

Being a rollingstone, I meet people along the way...either we strike up or... Environment for me! Chemistry perhaps?!

Scott said...

Bah! I wish ol' Watson and Crick had been door-to-door salesmen instead of scientists. Now too many scientists put too much weight on that ol' double H. And I think people try to explain away bad things with the magical phrase, "It was GENETICS!"

Not really what I believe, I just got bit in the butt by the devils advocate paramecium

Check out the CT images on my blog if you get a chance. The only problem is, thanks to a massive computer glitch, you can't enlarge them right now, but I am going to try to fix that!