Does success run in your family or are you a product of your environment? The age-old question of nature vs. nurture is still being debated and studied. The latest development was published the Journal of Personality. The study, which utilizes previous research that connects happiness and genetics, says that your genes mean more than outside factors in certain situations.

A study of more than 800 sets of twins found that genetics were more influential in shaping key traits than a person’s home environment and surroundings.

Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh who carried out the study, say that genetically influenced characteristics could well be the key to how successful a person is in life.

Participants were asked a number of questions that were then analyzed according to the Ryff Psychological Well-Being Scale.

By tracking their answers, the research team found that identical twins — whose DNA is [presumed to be] exactly the same — were twice as likely to share traits compared with non-identical twins.

Psychologists say the findings are significant because the stronger the genetic link, the more likely it is that these character traits are carried through a family.

Professor Timothy Bates, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said that the genetic influence was strongest on a person’s sense of self-control.

Researchers found that genes affected a person’s sense of purpose, how well they get on with people and their ability to continue learning and developing.


What do you believe are the ultimate determinants of success?

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