A team of scientists from the Free University of Amsterdam, led by Mike Bartels and Bart Baselmans, discovered in DNA sequences that are related to the perception of happiness and meaningful existence. To do this, specialists needed to study the genome of more than 220 thousand people.
All DNA samples of volunteers participating in the study of scientists were obtained from the British biobank. Also, each participant in the experiment passed a questionnaire in which it was necessary to answer a list of questions related to understanding happiness and well-being. Then, scientists compared data on what genetic variations in DNA lead to differences in the meaning of life.
As a result, experts discovered two genetic variations associated with the idea of the meaning of life, and six genetic variations associated with the perception of happiness. We are talking about genes that are expressed in various parts of the brain.
Experts believe that the data gained through experience can be used to help people be happier.
“We live in a society in which everyone expects prosperity and high achievements in order to live a full life. If science has a clearer picture of the relationship between differences between people at the genetic level and their differences in understanding happiness, scientists will be able to use this information to help those who feel less happy or cannot find a goal in life, ”comments Professor Mike Bartels .
Previously, other researchers have already managed to link some fragments of the genome with what a person understands as “happiness”. The result of a new study by Dutch scientists shows that other psychological differences are encoded in human DNA. For example, depending on the expression of genes, people can set themselves different life goals or have a different attitude to the search for the meaning of life.