Navigation Links
Why do people vote? Genetic variation in political participation
Date:6/26/2008

Washington, DCA groundbreaking new study finds that genes significantly affect variation in voter turnout, shedding new light on the reasons why people vote and participate in the political system.

The research, conducted by political scientists James H. Fowler, Christopher T. Dawes (of UC San Diego) and psychologist Laura A. Baker (of University of Southern California), appears in the May issue of the American Political Science Review, a journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). The article is available online at: www.apsanet.org/imgtest/APSRMay08Fowler_etal.pdf.

"Although we are not the first to suggest a link between genes and political participation," note the authors, "this study is the first attempt to test the idea empirically." They do so by conducting three tests of the claim that part of the variation in political participation can be attributed to genetic factors. The results suggest that individual genetic differences make up a large and significant portion of the variation in political participation, even after taking socialization and other environmental factors into account. They also suggest that, contrary to decades of conventional wisdom, family upbringing may have little or no effect on children's future participatory behavior.

In conducting their study, the authors examine the turnout patterns of identical and non-identical twinsincluding 396 twins in Los Angeles County and 806 twins in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Their findings suggest that 53% of the variation in turnout can be accounted for by genetic effects in the former, with similar outcomes in the latter.

Moreover, genetic-based differences extend to a broad class of acts of political participation, including donating to a campaign, contacting an official, running for office, and attending a rally. According to Fowler, "we expected to find that genes played some role in political behavior, but we were quite surprised by the size of the effect and how widely it applies to all kinds of participation."

"The fact that we have found genetic variation in voting, and political participation in general, should not be surprising given the large numbers of behaviors that have already been found to be heritable," observe the authors. They conclude by noting that "the next step in this line of research must move beyond estimatesand attempt to identify why genes matter so much." Some potential avenues include examining the interaction of genes and the environment on political participation, tracing the connections between participation in small groups and large-scale participation, and identifying the genes or groups of genes implicated in political behavior.


'/>"/>

Contact: Helena Saele
hsaele@apsanet.org
202-483-2512
American Political Science Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
2. Fungus genome yielding answers to protect grains, people and animals
3. People who skip meals: are they better off?
4. Energy drinks may pose risks for people with high blood pressure, heart disease
5. Ozone can affect heavier people more
6. Rising food prices threaten worlds poor people
7. New study finds biodiversity conservation secures ecosystem services for people
8. 100 percent of people carry at least 1 type of pesticide
9. Half of the people suffering from head injuries fake to receive financial help
10. People not always needed to alleviate loneliness
11. Gene guards grain-producing grasses so people and animals can eat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... recognition analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today ... Sheridan as director of public safety business development. ... of diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on ... Vigilant. In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare ... personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, ... a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower ... With that intent focus, PMD developed the first ever ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Federal funding for basic and applied scientific research — ... and other vital technologies — deserves continued support, say leaders of SPIE, the ... today in responding to the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2018. , The ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... ... ... cells (PSCs) offer an unlimited source of human cardiovascular cells for research ... cardiac-directed differentiation methods makes it possible to generate large numbers of cardiomyocytes ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Energetiq Technology, a world leader in high ... accommodate its rapid growth. , The renovations at the company’s headquarters in Woburn, ... areas. The expansion includes, a state-of-the-art engineering facility, and a second clean manufacturing ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Stratevi, a boutique firm that partners with healthcare companies ... opened an office in downtown Boston at 745 Atlantic Ave. , “We are ... generate evidence on the value they provide, not just to patients, but also payers. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: