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Success Lies in Your Genes

Update Date: May 17, 2012 09:05 PM EDT

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh say according to their new study that everything a person does, from the choice he makes in life to his personality, all lies in his genes. The study suggests that the personality of a person is influenced by his genes to a large extend. Genes play a greater role in traits as self-control, decision making or sociability than previously thought. These traits and characteristics play an important role in how life progresses, if you are successful in career and have healthy relationships, or not, the researchers said.

"Ever since the ancient Greeks, people have debated the nature of a good life and the nature of a virtuous life," study researcher Timothy Bates, of the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement. "Why do some people seem to manage their lives, have good relationships and cooperate to achieve their goals while others do not? Previously, the role of family and the environment around the home often dominated people's ideas about what affected psychological well-being. However, this work highlights a much more powerful influence from genetics."

Researchers observed more than 800 set of twins in the United States. Most of them were over the age of 50. These twins were asked to answer a set of questions which included some questions like: "Are you influenced by people with strong opinions?" and "Are you disappointed about your achievements in life?" The answers were measured according to the Ryff Psychological Well-Being Scale which assesses and standardizes these characteristics. These results were then compared to the results of the person's identical twin and then with the other twins. It was found that twins sharing similar genes showed similar personality traits as well. This brought researchers to state that genes influence a person's traits more than his or her home environment and surroundings.

Bates said: "If you think of things that people are born with you think of social status or virtuoso talent, but this is looking at what we do with what we've got. The biggest factor we found was self control. There was a big genetic difference in [people's ability to] restrain themselves and persist with things when they got difficult and react to challenges in a positive way."

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