Scientists Bet There's a Gambling Gene

Study suggests genetics behind taking money risks
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
Scientists may have found a gene tied to gambling.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Genetics might be behind your betting habits, researchers have found. People with a “short” type of a certain gene were more likely to take risks than those with the “long” type, the Daily Telegraph reports. In a study, 30 volunteers were, for example, given cash and allowed to decide between keeping a small amount or shooting to keep it all—with a 60% chance of losing it.

The genetic effect was even stronger when a gamble was “framed” to make it sound more appealing. “We know that people from across a variety of cultures are susceptible to biases when making decisions, and that even with training these biases are hard to overcome,” said a researcher. “This implies that hard-wired genetic influences might play an important role in determining how susceptible different individuals are to the framing effect.”