Some people are born happy, scientists say.
Researchers have identified a “happiness gene” that makes people more likely to feel satisfied with their lives. Their sunny disposition is an accident of birth, at least in part.
Those who carry the less efficient version of the gene are more likely to be pessimistic. Their tendency to see the glass half empty is equally a part of their inheritance.
The finding is the first to demonstrate a link between the gene, called 5-HTT, and satisfaction. People with the long version are more likely to be cheerful while sulkiness is the default position of those with the short version. Knowing which version of the gene they carry may help people improve their mood.
Jan-Emmanual De Neve, a behavioural economist at the London School of Economics, said: “In five or 10 years, people will be able to read their genome. If you find you have a predisposition to see the glass as half empty then when you feel down, you may think 'Maybe my biology is fooling me into thinking my situation is less rosy than it is.' That combined with your own will power may help you get out of the psychological dip and go above and beyond. Knowledge is power.”