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Positive EmotionIntegrating the Light Sides and Dark Sides$
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June Gruber and Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.001.0001

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Genetic and Environmental Influences on Positive Emotionality

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Positive Emotionality

(p.137) Chapter 9 Genetic and Environmental Influences on Positive Emotionality
Positive Emotion

Ragnhild Bang Nes

Oxford University Press

Some people seem to have more joy juice than others, experiencing more positive emotions. Why is this so? An abundance of studies have shown that positivity runs in families, suggesting that positive emotions may be rooted in genetics or shared family circumstances. Over the last decade, behavior geneticists have tried to resolve why positivity is a family matter and shown family resemblance to be largely due to genes. By means of quantitative and molecular genetic techniques, behavior genetic studies have also enabled a growing understanding of the genetic and environmental processes underpinning variation, co-variation, stability, and change in positive emotions, and identified some of the specific genes involved. This chapter aims to provide an overview of methods, findings and implications from studies exploring genetic and environmental influences on a range of positivity indicators such as subjective well-being, life satisfaction, positive affect, and optimism. Thus, the focus is placed on positive emotionality broadly defined with the choice of indicators largely determined (or limited) by the research that has been published to date.

Keywords:   positive emotionality, positivity, positive affect, subjective well-being, life satsifaction, behavior genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular genetics

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