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Niceness in Humans May Be Genetic April 27, 2012
Nice People Live Here
Science would suggest that this advertisement for a Montana town might not be quite true.
The milk of human kindness may actually be passed on through the genes of nice people, while some jerks could be born bereft of that genetic niceness, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine, writing in the journal Psychological Science, suggest that mom's and dad’s DNA may actually contribute to the kinds of moods and personalities their children inherit.

Michael Poulin says that his team observed people who have versions of receptor genes for two hormones that, in controlled studies, are associated with niceness.

Previous studies have linked the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin to the way people treat each other.

Poulin says that while he and his colleagues have not found the “niceness” gene, they have found something that makes a contribution.

“What I find so interesting is the fact that it only makes a contribution in the presence of certain feelings people have about the world around them,” Poulin writes.

Photo: File