Wallflower or Life of the Party? It's in Your Genes

Study of twins finds genetic link to social position
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2009 7:31 AM CST
An individual's ranking in a social grouping may be largely determined by their genes, scientists have discovered.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Whether a person becomes a wallflower or social butterfly and what group of friends they develop is apparently significantly affected by their genes, National Geographic reports. Scientists examined social groupings of more than 1,000 pairs of teenage twins and discovered that identical twins, who share the same genes, were much more likely to have the same position in a social group than fraternal twins with different DNA.

Researchers say the findings show about half of social networking behavior comes from a person's genes and believe people have evolved to fit different social positions. "We were able to show that our particular location in vast social networks has a genetic basis," said one of the scientists, whose work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The beautiful and complicated pattern of human connection depends on our genes to a significant measure."