March 5, 2008 — People tend to be hardwired for happiness, and new genetic research may help explain why.
Past studies suggest that while 50% of happiness is due to situational factors like health, relationships, and career, the other 50% is due to genes.
The new research identified largely inherited personality traits that researchers say are responsible for much of the genetic influence on happiness.
Having the right mix of these inherited traits leads to a “reserve” of happiness that can be called on in times of stress, they say.
“Traits like being active, sociable, conscientious, and not being overly anxious are related to happiness — and these are also traits that are inherited,” researcher Timothy Bates, PhD, tells WebMD.