Things that made me laugh today, and some that have intrigued me.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Were You Born Mean?
When researchers at the University of Buffalo and University of California, Irvine, set out to look into the neurogenetics of being nice, they set out to collect a few things: first, answers to several survey questions such as "Are people basically good or bad?" and "Do you donate blood? Go to PTA meetings?" and then they asked surveyers to spit.After analyzing the answers and the saliva, they found that some people have receptors that are especially sensitive to the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, and that those people did nice things even when their survey answers revealed that they generally feared others in society.
"We’ve found that these genes also predict people’s willingness to be nice on behalf of other people or aggressive on behalf of other people," study co-author and assistant professor of psychology Michael Poulin told CNN.
Past tests have shown people to be nicer after squirts of oxytocin in their noses. And without the extra sensitivity to those hormones, this study revealed that people who perceive the world as threatening did not participate in charitable activities.