Hey man. I see you putting your earphones on

Hey man. I see you putting your earphones on ...

You may remember a post we made about a study that concluded that bashful people tend to be more trustworthy and kind than others. Well, it may be that such trustworthy behavior is based, to an extent, on genetics.

Two dozen couples participated in a recent study from UC Berkeley led by Aleksandr Kogan where each couple was recorded as they talked to each other about difficult experiences they went through. Each partner would take turns to talk about their times of suffering or simply listen. Only when a partner was “listening” would they be filmed.

A separate group of participants, unrelated to any of the couples, then watched 20 second video clips of each “listener” and were asked to fill out a survey in which they rated who appeared to be the most empathetic and trustworthy.

The study found that the participants who were rated the most trustworthy were genetically distinct; they had a particular “variation” of the oxytocin receptor gene: the GG genotype (as opposed to the AA or AG genotype). Oxytocin is a hormone that greatly effects how people interact and bond with each other, explaining its nickname as the “love hormone.”

How did people single out participants with the GG genotype? As you may know, there are certain types of body language that people interpret as “caring” or “kind” behavior. Those with the GG genotype displayed more of these external signals than other participants, such as smiling and direct eye contact.

An interesting study to say the least. To what extent are our personalities molded by genetics? Can you blame nature for being a total jerk (“I was just born this way, dammit”)?  We will leave such deep contemplations to you, reader.

Image Source: ky_olsen under Creative Commons
Is a stranger genetically wired to be trustworthy? You’ll know in 20 seconds [UC Berkely NewsCenter]

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dreambox said:
Mar 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm

This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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