Psychiatric condition of family shapes your personality

family

Who you are can largely be defined by the personal interests you develop over a lifetime. Scientists now think that many personal interests may be genetically predetermined. A new study suggests that a family history of psychiatric disorders like autism and depression could influence what you find to be interesting.

This new study indicates a link between psychiatric conditions and aptitude in the arts and sciences. Other studies have looked at occupations or the activities of highly creative people. This study indicates that the influence of familial neuropsychiatric traits on personal interests is independent of a person’s talent or career path and could even inform a person’s basic personality.

Princeton researchers surveyed nearly 1100 students from their own Class of 2014 during their freshman year to determine their intellectual interests. They were also asked to indicate a variety of disorder in their immediate family including mood disorders, substance abuse or autism. These students were old enough to have defined interests and known aptitudes, but are not yet on a career path.

Students interested in the humanities were twice as likely to have a relative affected by a mood disorder or substance abuse. Science and technical majors were three times more likely to report a sibling with an autism spectrum disorder. The data suggests that heritable psychiatric conditions are linked to a person’s intellectual interests.

The connection was interesting even for Aristotle who famously said “eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.”

“Altogether, results of our study and those like it suggest that scientists should start thinking about the genetic roots of normal function as much as we discuss the genetic causes of abnormal function. This survey helps show that there might be common cause between the two,” said Sam Wang an associate professor in Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology and The Princeton Neuroscience Institute .

Source: PLoS ONE, ScienceDaily

 
disclaimer

The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Yes
50%
No
50%
Total votes: 3979