News of global warming, air pollution, and other environmental impacts is common, but how much you find yourself talking about it likely depends on who you are and your stances. Environmentalism is a social movement and way of thinking that is focused on protecting and conserving the elements of the earth's ecosystem, such as conserving water, breathing clean air, and conserving endangered species.
Environmentalism can be classified as a philosophical ideology that influences political preferences. Molecular genetic studies in economic behavior have drawn special attention from economists and political scientists. Existing studies claiming to have established genetic associations with economic and political traits typically use samples of several hundred individuals, and no such study has used a sample larger than 3,000 individuals. Researchers investigated the underlying genetic effects on economic and political preference.
This study investigated the underlying genetic effects on economic and political preferences using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data obtained from 9,836 Swedish twins. A part of the Political Attitudes Battery was used to measure five dimensions of political preferences: immigration/crime, economic policy, environmentalism, feminism/equality, and foreign policy. As for measuring environmentalism, participants were asked to indicate their opinions of various proposals, such as “strengthen animal rights,” “invest more to prevent environmental damages,” and “decrease carbon dioxide emissions.” Potential answers included 5 scaled choices listed as follows: “Very good proposal,” “Fairly good proposal,” “Neither good nor bad proposal,” “Fairly bad proposal,” and “Very bad proposal.” The results revealed that there may be moderate correlations between having environmentalist ideals and genetic factors, which include these SNPs: rs10937540, rs6775909, rs9821642, rs1397924, rs4902960, rs7612581, and rs12485744. These SNPs are all located in MIR548AB/RAP1BP2, with the exception of rs4902960 located in RGS6.
The analysis of individual SNPs did not reveal any associations at a genome-wide significance level. However, the researchers made the remark that the results are unsurprising in light of the accumulating evidence that the effects of common variants on complex outcomes are small, especially in the context of social science traits. In addition, these results suggest that much of the “missing heritability” of social science traits reflects the fact that these traits have a complicated architecture, with most factors only explaining a fraction of the variation. Read more about the study here:
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