Jan 26, 2009 | 6
Always the last one picked for kickball? Never get invites to the hottest parties? Blame Mom and Dad.
That's right, a new study says genes may influence whether or not you're popular. But DNA, or genetic material, shapes more than popularity, according to the research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It may also play a role in the number of friends we have—and whether we're integral or insignificant members of a social group.
Researchers from Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, found that genes may be responsible for 46 percent of the variation (or difference) in how popular we are versus other people. Genetics exerts a similar effect on people's varying degrees of connectivity (for example, one person might know many of their friends' pals, but another person may not know any of their friends' other buddies.) And DNA has a significant, but lesser influence, on the difference between where one or another of us is located in a social network.
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