Show Details

Voting & Happiness Roundup

August 1, 2008

Voting could be in your genes and happiness depends on where you live.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Politics and genetics. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Your likelihood of voting may have more to do with your genes than your upbringing. This according to research published in the Journal of Politics. It found that identical twins are much more similar in their voting habits than are fraternal twins. And it linked voting behavior to two particular genes that are also involved in fear, trust and social interaction. The same genes also influence the likelihood someone will make campaign donations or run for office themselves.

In other psychology news, the World Happiness Index shows that in general, people are happier today than they were twenty-five years ago. Out of 97 countries, Denmark ranked as the happiest on earth, and Zimbabwe the least happy. The US came in 16th. The researchers say the factors most responsible for happiness are democracy, social tolerance and economics. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.