Do you have the ‘niceness gene’?

'Niceness gene' may make some people kinder than other

Until now kindness has been regarded as something we learn through experience, but research suggests we may actually be born ‘nice’.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found certain genes which control the function of the ‘cuddle’ hormone oxytocin.

Oxytocin is used to bond couples together, promote maternal behaviour and improve sociability, so the genes may cause people to behave in a more positive way in general.

A study found learned attitudes and beliefs were overruled with people possessing the ‘niceness’ gene more likely to give to charity, help others and report crimes.

Although our behaviour is enforced by our perceptions of the world around us, our genes appear to play a part in whether we are nice or not.

‘We have found a gene that makes a contribution,’ says Michael Poulin, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo.  

Researchers believe that genes make a great contribution to the way we behave suggesting being nice is more about nature than nurture.

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