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2014商务英语中级阅读材料:快乐是可以遗传的

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You can’t buy happiness but it looks like you can at least inherit it, British and Australian researchers said.

A study of nearly 1000 pairs of identical and non-identical twins found genes control half the personality traits that make people happy while factors such as relationships, health and careers are responsible for the rest of our well-being.

"We found that around half the differences in happiness were genetic," said Tim Bates, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh who led the study. "It is really quite surprising."

The researchers asked the volunteers – ranging in age from 25 to 75 – a series of questions about their personality, how much they worried and how satisfied they were with their lives.

Because identical twins share the same genes and fraternal twins do not, the researchers could identify common genes that result in certain personality traits and predispose people to happiness.

People who are sociable, active, stable, hardworking and conscientious tend to be happier, the researchers reported in the journal Psychological Science.

"What this study showed was that the identical twins in a family were very similar in personality and in well-being, and by contrast, the fraternal twins were only around half as similar," Bates said. "That strongly implicates genes."

The findings are an important piece of the puzzle for researchers trying to better understand depression and what makes different people happy or unhappy, Bates said.

People with positive inherited personality traits may, in effect, also have a reserve of happiness to draw on in stressful times, he said.

"An important implication is that personality traits of being outgoing, calm and reliable provide a resource, we called it ’affective reserve,’ that drives future happiness" Bates said.

快乐买不到,但英国和澳大利亚的研究人员称,快乐至少可以遗传得到。

一项对近千对同卵及异卵双胞胎开展的研究发现,在快乐的性格特征中,有一半是由基因控制的,而另一部分则受到人际关系、健康、职业等因素的影响。

研究负责人、爱丁堡大学的蒂姆•贝茨说:“我们发现,研究对象在快乐方面的差异约有一半受到遗传基因的影响。这个结果实在令人惊讶。”

研究人员向年龄在25岁至75岁之间的志愿者提出了一系列问题,问题涉及他们的性格特点、焦虑程度以及对目前生活的满意度。

由于同卵双生的双胞胎基因完全相同,而异卵双胞胎不完全相同,所以研究人员可以分辨出决定某些性格特征及使人容易快乐的共同基因。

研究报告在《心理科学》期刊上发表。研究人员指出,善于交际、活泼、踏实、勤奋、有责任心的人更加快乐。

贝茨说:“该研究表明,同卵双胞胎的性格特征和快乐程度十分相似,然而,异卵双胞胎仅有约50%的相似度。这充分说明了基因的作用。”

贝茨说,研究人员一直在努力寻找有关“人为什么会郁闷”的更为合理的解释及影响不同的人快乐与否的因素,这一发现无疑为这一难题提供了一个重要解释。

他说,具有积极遗传性格特征的人实际上同时拥有一种“快乐储备”,供他们在郁闷的时候“支取”。

贝茨说:“这说明了很重要的一点,外向、冷静和可靠的性格特点能形成一种“情感储备”,为将来的快乐提供保障。”


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