A group of scientists representing Cambridge University and a number of scientific organizations in other countries, to find out how much genes affect a person’s ability to show empathy. As it turned out, their role was important, but still less than it might seem.
Experts invited to participate in a study of over 46 thousand people, each of which participated in the survey and also provided a DNA sample. It allowed the experts to compare the level of empathy of certain people, and then to understand what genes could have to this effect, and in some cases, the role played by other factors.
According to the researchers, no less than ten percent capacity for empathy is determined by genes. Although the remaining 90 percent, in all likelihood, can be attributed to the influence of the environment and so on, scientists claim that the role of genes in any case should not be underestimated. In particular, the understanding of the genetic prerequisites of the problems with empathy would more effectively help some people suffering from disorders of the autistic spectrum and not always understanding the thoughts of others.
Also, experts have noticed that the capacity for empathy at the genetic level depends, in particular, by gender.
In General, experts say that not too surprised with the results of studies of this kind have long shown that hardly any human trait that you can somehow “measure” depends partly on genes, but almost always, in matters relating to intelligence and human nature, no less, and often more significant role played by other factors. In this respect, with the exception of empathy was not.
Anyway, the researchers believe that a more accurate understanding of the obtained results require additional, larger studies.
The study was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
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