Thursday, March 5, 2009
Looking on the bright side of life is in the genes
Variations in a mood altering gene influence whether or not people take a pessimistic or optimistic view of the world, researchers believe. They found that different versions of the gene, which is involved in the transportation of the well-being chemical serotonin, affect whether or not we are drawn to negative or positive aspects of the world. Those with a long version of the gene tended to have a "sunny disposition", dwelling on positive aspects of life and deliberately downplayed the negatives. Those with a shorter version did the opposite. The psychologists behind the study from the University of Essex believe the findings could help develop new treatments for anxiety and depression.